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Housemarque’s Next Game Won’t Be a Returnal Sequel

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PlayStation Studios Housemarque’s next game won’t be a Returnal sequel, according to comments from studio managing director Ilari Kuittinen, VentureBeat reports.

In an interview with journalists at last week’s DICE Awards, Housemarque leaders spoke at length about the future of the studio, future projects, and the studio’s relationship to PlayStation at a time when the publisher is increasing focus on live-service games.

“We’re one of the very last dinosaurs making arcade games,” Kuittinen said. “Nex Machina, a few years ago, was very much a shoot-’em-up game in the style of the coin-ops from the ‘80s. That’s sort of a clue. But it’s interesting. We’ve been thinking about that. We had our stint working on multiplayer games, because a few years back it seemed like you needed to have some kind of multiplayer experience. We tried that, and we really didn’t do it as well. But it’s early days with us starting a new game, a new IP, concepting it out. We’ll see what comes with that.”

Returnal director Harry Krueger added that Housemarque is “trying to hold onto that identity” as a studio focused on arcadey games, and that multiple genres can coexist.

“There can be live service games, multiplayer games, games with many different sensibilities,” Krueger said. “Returnal is just another voice. At this stage we’re quite proud of what we accomplished with Returnal, and we’re quite excited to pursue that same trajectory as a company.”

Returnal took home the DICE Award for outstanding achievement in musical composition, outstanding achievement in audio design, and was nominated for outstanding achievement in technical achievement, action game of the year, and general game of the year. It certainly merits the awards and nominations, considering it’s ranked number two on IGN’s best PS5 games list and received an 8 out of 10 in our review.

Even though it sounds like Housemarque may not return to Returnal for a full game, a tweet from last November sparked speculation that we could be getting some sort of DLC in the future.

Meanwhile, Sony’s acquisition of Destiny 2 developer Bungie has big implications for PlayStation’s future: Namely a bigger focus on developing and investing in multiplayer and live-service games, even though PlayStation’s single-player games shouldn’t be going anywhere.

Joseph Knoop is a writer/producer for IGN.


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