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The hell is going on with Sony game studios?

leroidys

Member
Dec 14, 2008
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One and fucking DONE...seriously the people freaking out is only due to this kind of stuff being more public knowledge

On the contrary, the vast majority of people commenting that everything is fine have apparently never worked in a large corporate software environment. Even if the departures were for benign reasons, they do not bode well for the products' futures.
 

Kiote

Member
Dec 13, 2013
501
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This is a pretty simple one.

Sony does not have any money.

Playstation doesn't make any money.

No matter how well the PS4 sells, it's not going to make any money off Hardware.

Playstation wastes so much money making "Next Gen" games that they have little to no chance of turning a profit on software.

Game Developers are expensive.

This is what happens when you convince people that it is only okay to play games that push the technical limitations of barely affordable hardware. It's not just Sony, most AAA developers are having the same problems. There is a reason Studios are shuttering left and right and Publishers will only approve Sequels.
 

Lagspike_exe

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Feb 10, 2009
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SSM spent close to $100m on a failed project? How is this even possible? Didn't Uncharted 2, a shipped Metacritic 95+ game, cost around $20m to fully develop? How did SSM spend nearly 5 times as much on something that failed?
 

coolasj19

Why are you reading my tag instead of the title of my post?
Jul 3, 2013
9,499
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485
Texas
I thought having Kaz Hirai as the big honcho at Sony it would have been good for SCE but it seems that hasn't been the case.
Also why was Stig's game cancelled after 3 years whilst Team Ico are allowed to carry on working away on The Last Guardian for 9 years now?
Kaz running the show us why Sony was most likely allowed to purchase Gaikai and go ahead with the massive R&D sinkhole that probably is Project Morpheus. But if you want to yell at someone, yell at Andrew House. The person who runs everything PlayStation, SCE CEO.

Because Stig spent $100 Million and "Team ICO" is an extremely small core of people. Probably mostly designers and artist. It'll only ramp up when it's needed to.
They should run game developers like movie studios. Make them independent of the ideas and concepts, and independent from failure.
For instance you could have Respawn to make the next Fifa. Ok maybe too far but have some of the devs whom have some interest move and lead the project for a time.
You realize the reason Titanfall is Titanfall is because Respawn has an entire headhunted studio of mainly FPS professionals. Right?
Plus they could start using Hollywood accounting techniques whereby nothing ever makes money ever.
Or that other thing where a studio makes 20 movies and one movie has to break a billion just to subsidize the other ones.
things change indeed. I'm not worried either and see things from the inside.
I like to think our insiders will tell us when worry is necessary. The honesty of indie devs is in their soul.
 

enanogrande

Member
Nov 1, 2013
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Thank god for this thread, I wouldn't have seen that Mort post otherwise. Good to know this is just 'normal' happenings, Ill be honest that I was starting to get a little bit worried...
 

Liberty4all

Banned
Nov 11, 2007
10,826
5,622
1,685
I would listen to Famous.


given recent events editing for clarification:

The idea that Sony is in big trouble is silly. I personally think alot of what's happening is just normal transitions that happen in people's careers.
 

leroidys

Member
Dec 14, 2008
12,660
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Pure speculation. Seriously why perpetuate speculative claims? It's a waste of time.

I'm speculating that leads are leaving, driveclub is delayed indefinitely, and an enormous ($100 million is hard for me to believe TBH) project at SSM was cancelled? Really? I think this is generally accepted as reality.
 
Mar 27, 2013
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This is a pretty simple one.

Sony does not have any money.

Playstation doesn't make any money.

No matter how well the PS4 sells, it's not going to make any money off Hardware.

Playstation wastes so much money making "Next Gen" games that they have little to no chance of turning a profit on software.

Game Developers are expensive.

This is what happens when you convince people that it is only okay to play games that push the technical limitations of barely affordable hardware. It's not just Sony, most AAA developers are having the same problems. There is a reason Studios are shuttering left and right and Publishers will only approve Sequels.

Before I say anything - are you being sarcastic here?
 

sol_bad

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Jan 17, 2006
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Sony are basically doing what they should have done a long time ago with the likes of Gran Turismo 5 and The Last Guardian.
 

tokyo slim

Banned
Oct 25, 2013
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Also why was Stig's game cancelled after 3 years whilst Team Ico are allowed to carry on working away on The Last Guardian for 9 years now?

How long would Team Ico have to work on a game to cost Sony the same amount of money? Probably have about a decade left.
 

leroidys

Member
Dec 14, 2008
12,660
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Yup. That's all there is to it really, needless doom mongering otherwise.

Why are you guys so intent on shouting down any discussion at all though? It doesn't have to be a binary appraisal of either EVERYTHING IS SHIT or EVERYTHING IS FINE.
 

PanicFreak

Member
May 10, 2013
5,561
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In the embrace of a wind hug.
I don't buy the figures from FM. At 75 million, it's 500 people working full time at 150 K. Spread out across 4 years, that's 125 people working full time at $150,000 per year. So what in the hell did they spend that money on?
 
Jan 27, 2014
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nothing really.. i guess this is what happens when gaming journalism is more prevalent in the internet age.. pure exaggeration of everything

we didn't know who left Rockstar after finishing GTA 3 during the stages of developing Vice City and San Andreas because of the stage of gaming journalism back then

at the end of the day, let the games speak for themselves after the fact these people left, or laid off or whatever

i think news of studios being closed down like Sony Liverpool are more newsworthy/ game studios aren't NBA teams where one person makes a lot of difference
 

StuBurns

Banned
Jan 9, 2008
69,543
0
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How long would Team Ico have to work on a game to cost Sony the same amount of money? Probably have about a decade left.
Indeed, and Team ICO staffers have been working on Gravity Rush, Puppeteer and Knack.

It's nothing like the Stig situation.
 

Bebpo

Banned
Jun 7, 2004
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Yeah I think the biggest loss is Amy & the Halo/Infamous guy. Infamous SS's combat is SO MUCH better than the previous entries and it's just incredibly fun to play and traverse around. This is what Jamie brought to the game with his "30 seconds of fun" mindset. He was a great win for Sucker Punch and helped them make their best game ever and the first real "must-have" next-gen game that delivers on every front (combat, gameplay, story, graphics).

And of course Amy writes good characters, worlds and game concepts. From Soul Reaver to Uncharted. So her departure is a shame for ND, though they still have lots of other talent. Justin is neither good nor bad, UC3 was a bit weak, and when Amy left it made sense he'd be looking to get out too. The question is who will replace them as the new directors at ND? With The Last of Us guys working on The Last of Us 2 & The Last of Us movie, if ND wants two alternating franchises they'll need to promote someone to head up Uncharted or TLoU2 while Niel and co do the other one.

Stig is deserved. GoW3 wasn't even particularly good, it played decent and looked great, but the story was awful and may have killed the franchise going by Ascension sales. The fact his original IP where he couldn't just build off someone else's talent was terrible and wasted Sony a ton of money is not a big surprise and Sony should've canned his IP years ago for sure.

Same with the Evo guy. Evolution studios aren't even that great (they're no Psygnosis/Liverpool or Bizarre Creations; Motorstorm had one good game with Pacific Rift and the series was also a looker that played janky [awful rubberband AI in SP]). He screwed up getting Sony's launch game out and they kicked him. Maybe they can put someone from ex-Liverpool or ex-Bizarre in charge to make sure it ends up good when it finally comes out.

Guerrilla put out a terrible Killzone game (again). It makes sense to downsize a bit while they try a new IP since Killzone isn't getting them anywhere. They've got great art designers, but boy do they need better gameplay designers, directors and writers.

Hope The Order turns out well or I can see Ready at Dawn going back to low budget portable games or even worse getting shut down in the future.

Sony Japan studios, Team Ico, and Gran Turismo team are all fucking up a lot for years, so hopefully we'll start seeing some results from the guy who went over to shake things up a couple of years ago in the next few years and those guys can get back on track. Where the hell is the PS4 Hot Shots Golf?

For now what Sony seems to be doing what is in their best interest and is just being super Indie friendly and getting as much quality software on their machines as fast and often as possible. That will hold the system together while all these studios get back on track.

/Sony software in a nutshell
 

Loudninja

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I don't buy the figures from FM. At 75 million, it's 500 people working full time at 150 K. Spread out across 4 years, that's 125 people working full time at $150,000 per year. So what in the hell did they spend that money on?
The game is said to have been restarted 3 times so that adds up.
 

Sasukekun

Neo Member
Jan 25, 2014
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People in Sony studios have been around for years, people tend to move about but haven't. All of a sudden lots of people move and it looks a bit weird.
It's probably not something to worry about, but does seem weird none-the-less.
 

fade_

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Jun 19, 2013
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How long would Team Ico have to work on a game to cost Sony the same amount of money? Probably have about a decade left.

GTAV cost $250 million to make so it's not hard to believe that a huge project where the reset button was hit 3 times got above $50. The project must've been pretty massive.
 

Garrett 2U

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Dunno, but it seems like every week a big player is leaving.
I don't like it... Sony has such a great first party output, would hate to see that affected :/
 

Big_Al

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Feb 15, 2013
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Same with the Evo guy. Evolution studios aren't even that great (they're no Psygnosis/Liverpool or Bizarre Creations; Motorstorm had one good game with Pacific Rift and the series was also a looker that played janky [awful rubberband AI in SP]). He screwed up getting Sony's launch game out and they kicked him. Maybe they can put someone from ex-Liverpool or ex-Bizarre in charge to make sure it ends up good when it finally comes out.

Evolution are a great studio who have been around for years and done MANY great games. I'm not a fan of the Motorstorm games but to say they aren't 'that great' is fucking nonsense.

Regardless the guy wasn't kicked, he left himself for personal reasons. (according to another UK dev that knows him personally)
 

SenatorBot

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Apr 10, 2013
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Do you guys think with the recent issues with Sony's main studios, would they reach for games that are further away in production as major surprises for E3?

Like show off Demon Souls 2, Last guardian, Quantic Dream's new game, Media Molecule's game and others I can't think of right now.

Then let their studios like ND, SSM and Sucker Punch some breathing room so they can finish their games without all these issues.

Speaking of which, with their major studios having issues what can Sony show for the upcoming future?
 

KillerMan91

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Aug 24, 2011
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This is a pretty simple one.

Sony does not have any money.

Playstation doesn't make any money.

No matter how well the PS4 sells, it's not going to make any money off Hardware.

Playstation wastes so much money making "Next Gen" games that they have little to no chance of turning a profit on software.

Game Developers are expensive.

This is what happens when you convince people that it is only okay to play games that push the technical limitations of barely affordable hardware. It's not just Sony, most AAA developers are having the same problems. There is a reason Studios are shuttering left and right and Publishers will only approve Sequels.

Don't know if this is joke post but PS division made 172 million profit during last quarter and it was first time ever division made profit during hardware launch. They are going to make nice profits this year.
 

Griss

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Sep 26, 2013
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I wouldn't call everything in Mort's post 'normal turnover'. It sounds like quite a few big projects ran into serious fuckups, either technically or artistically, and all around the same time. That's not good, and so many issues all at once leading to the departure of some many mission critical high ranking personnel isn't 'normal'.

Despite that, the games will still come (except Stig's and Cambridge's, I guess) and hopefully they are salvaged. Something like Uncharted 4 won't be affected much, if at all, at this early stage. I suppose it's DriveClub I'm worried about. That game has a serious cloud over it now.
 

Korezo

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Jan 9, 2013
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It's wierd how Polyphony digital is still fully intact, and they probably drain the most money and have shipped 3 strait incomplete games. Must be that Japan love. I love GT but I think they are in the most need of change and restructuring.
 

leroidys

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Dec 14, 2008
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Dunno, but it seems like every week a big player is leaving.
I don't like it... Sony has such a great first party output, would hate to see that affected :/

Yeah the cuts are a mixed bag though.

GoW sucks, IMHO, so I'm glad that they're not throwing money after those guys anymore.

KZ games are extremely lacking in that special something, so GG needs to be pulled in a little more and focused.

Driveclub never looked very interesting to me... but another year of production is not cheap.

I hate Uncharted games, so I don't care about the departures there...

So directly, I don't really care about these departures mentioned in the thread, but the reality is that spending 10s, 100s of millions on these projects means less WipEout, less Starhawk, less puppeteers and Demons' Souls... The mid budget game is dying and I hate it. I don't blame Sony, but they certainly are not helping...
 

KillerMan91

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Aug 24, 2011
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I wouldn't call everything in Mort's post 'normal turnover'. It sounds like quite a few big projects ran into serious fuckups, either technically or artistically, and all around the same time. That's not good, and so many issues all at once leading to the departure of some many mission critical high ranking personnel isn't 'normal'.

Despite that, the games will still come (except Stig's and Cambridge's, I guess) and hopefully they are salvaged. Something like Uncharted 4 won't be affected much, if at all, at this early stage. I suppose it's DriveClub I'm worried about. That game has a serious cloud over it now.

Dunno about Uncharted 4 being in early stages. Uncharted 3 was released 2011.
 

Principate

Saint Titanfall
Dec 17, 2011
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Yeah the cuts are a mixed bag though.

GoW sucks, IMHO, so I'm glad that they're not throwing money after those guys anymore.

KZ games are extremely lacking in that special something, so GG needs to be pulled in a little more and focused.

Driveclub never looked very interesting to me... but another year of production is not cheap.

I hate Uncharted games, so I don't care about the departures there...

So directly, I don't really care about these departures mentioned in the thread, but the reality is that spending 10s, 100s of millions on these projects means less WipEout, less Starhawk, less puppeteers and Demons' Souls... The mid budget game is dying and I hate it. I don't blame Sony, but they certainly are not helping...
Didn't most of those games bomb because Sony didn't bother to market them? I'm not exactly sure Sony was in a hurry to spend money in that direction even if they had it.
 

leroidys

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Dec 14, 2008
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God of War 2's director is heading a new game at Santa Monica, presumably GoW4.

Yeah, better one project than two (from my point of view, I don't begrudge anyone that likes these games, they're just not my thing). I also have heard that GoW 2 is much better, I've only played 1 and 3 and was not a fan.
 

StoopKid

Member
Feb 28, 2013
8,136
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570
This is a pretty simple one.

Sony does not have any money.

Playstation doesn't make any money.

No matter how well the PS4 sells, it's not going to make any money off Hardware.

Playstation wastes so much money making "Next Gen" games that they have little to no chance of turning a profit on software.

Game Developers are expensive.

This is what happens when you convince people that it is only okay to play games that push the technical limitations of barely affordable hardware. It's not just Sony, most AAA developers are having the same problems. There is a reason Studios are shuttering left and right and Publishers will only approve Sequels.

Gamefaqs
 

Bebpo

Banned
Jun 7, 2004
30,395
7
0
39
Orange County, CA
I wouldn't call everything in Mort's post 'normal turnover'. It sounds like quite a few big projects ran into serious fuckups, either technically or artistically, and all around the same time. That's not good, and so many issues all at once leading to the departure of some many mission critical high ranking personnel isn't 'normal'.

Despite that, the games will still come (except Stig's and Cambridge's, I guess) and hopefully they are salvaged. Something like Uncharted 4 won't be affected much, if at all, at this early stage. I suppose it's DriveClub I'm worried about. That game has a serious cloud over it now.

Ummm, even assuming Uncharted 4 is out around this time 2015, the game has to be pretty far into development with only a year left for a big AAA PS4 title. Story, level design, gameplay all has to be basically locked down at this point with the last year being used for touching up stuff, balancing, QA, final additions/changes. The time when it's "early on" and major staff changes are ok are like pre-production. Game must be in heavy heavy production right now even if they're not gonna make 2014.
 

Bluekaveli

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Feb 17, 2013
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Yeah the cuts are a mixed bag though.

GoW sucks, IMHO, so I'm glad that they're not throwing money after those guys anymore.

KZ games are extremely lacking in that special something, so GG needs to be pulled in a little more and focused.

Driveclub never looked very interesting to me... but another year of production is not cheap.

I hate Uncharted games, so I don't care about the departures there...

So directly, I don't really care about these departures mentioned in the thread, but the reality is that spending 10s, 100s of millions on these projects means less WipEout, less Starhawk, less puppeteers and Demons' Souls... The mid budget game is dying and I hate it. I don't blame Sony, but they certainly are not helping...
This guy here
 

leroidys

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Dec 14, 2008
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This guy here

Just my personal taste in games. Sony WWS is my favorite "dev" for sure, but I don't care for any of their AAA projects. I'm not trying to turn this into a discussion about objective quality, so if you don't agree with me just please ignore that post.
 
Mar 27, 2013
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Yeah I think the biggest loss is Amy & the Halo/Infamous guy. Infamous SS's combat is SO MUCH better than the previous entries and it's just incredibly fun to play and traverse around. This is what Jamie brought to the game with his "30 seconds of fun" mindset. He was a great win for Sucker Punch and helped them make their best game ever and the first real "must-have" next-gen game that delivers on every front (combat, gameplay, story, graphics).

And of course Amy writes good characters, worlds and game concepts. From Soul Reaver to Uncharted. So her departure is a shame for ND, though they still have lots of other talent. Justin is neither good nor bad, UC3 was a bit weak, and when Amy left it made sense he'd be looking to get out too. The question is who will replace them as the new directors at ND? With The Last of Us guys working on The Last of Us 2 & The Last of Us movie, if ND wants two alternating franchises they'll need to promote someone to head up Uncharted or TLoU2 while Niel and co do the other one.

Stig is deserved. GoW3 wasn't even particularly good, it played decent and looked great, but the story was awful and may have killed the franchise going by Ascension sales. The fact his original IP where he couldn't just build off someone else's talent was terrible and wasted Sony a ton of money is not a big surprise and Sony should've canned his IP years ago for sure.

Same with the Evo guy. Evolution studios aren't even that great (they're no Psygnosis/Liverpool or Bizarre Creations; Motorstorm had one good game with Pacific Rift and the series was also a looker that played janky [awful rubberband AI in SP]). He screwed up getting Sony's launch game out and they kicked him. Maybe they can put someone from ex-Liverpool or ex-Bizarre in charge to make sure it ends up good when it finally comes out.

Guerrilla put out a terrible Killzone game (again). It makes sense to downsize a bit while they try a new IP since Killzone isn't getting them anywhere. They've got great art designers, but boy do they need better gameplay designers, directors and writers.

Hope The Order turns out well or I can see Ready at Dawn going back to low budget portable games or even worse getting shut down in the future.

Sony Japan studios, Team Ico, and Gran Turismo team are all fucking up a lot for years, so hopefully we'll start seeing some results from the guy who went over to shake things up a couple of years ago in the next few years and those guys can get back on track. Where the hell is the PS4 Hot Shots Golf?

For now what Sony seems to be doing what is in their best interest and is just being super Indie friendly and getting as much quality software on their machines as fast and often as possible. That will hold the system together while all these studios get back on track.

/Sony software in a nutshell

So, you're saying that that one Halo/Infamous guy was responsible for designing the combat, the traversal, the powers, etc?

Evolution Studios is better than Studio Liverpool for me - because they showed that they had much better range than the latter. I know Wipeout is a beloved game around here but, to me, it felt like I have been playing the exact same game every single time. They only have themselves to blame but going under.

People disagree with you about Killzone by voting with their wallets.

Japan Studios still makes a lot of good games - your point?
 

funkystudent

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Apr 3, 2010
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I do kind of wish the normal sony insiders / hype men would have something bad to say about Sony for a change instead of the normal "everything is rosy. cool things are coming real soon. Just you wait and see".


Something is clearly going on at WWS.
 
Dec 3, 2013
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That's insane. I suppose that part makes sense, but the 100 or even 75m seems absolutely ridiculous. Most games nowadays (AAA) cost wise get hurt more on marketing than the game itself which could cost anywhere from 20 to 40m from Sony's side. They generally don't lose that much money...
 

TalonJH

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Aug 14, 2013
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End of financial year and people moving on. Don't worry, no matter what platform you choose; this generation is going to be amazing.
 

Bebpo

Banned
Jun 7, 2004
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This is the part that worries me.

Everything else makes complete sense.

I find it hard to believe this is about creative differences in Uncharted 4. The game has to be too far along for any major creative changes unless the game is in development hell and is going to be delayed until late 2015 or 2016 (really, really, hopefully not).

It'd make more sense to be creative differences on Uncharted 5 since as U4 gets finished over the next 9-12 months, it's time to start talking about UC5 and the direction of the series. It'd make sense to have fights and disagreements and fallout regarding that. U4 just does not make any sense at this point unless the game is getting a major delay and a make over, which I really hope is not happening because I want to play a new Uncharted on my PS4!
 
Mar 27, 2013
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I do kind of wish the normal sony insiders / hype men would have something bad to say about Sony for a change instead of the normal "everything is rosy. cool things are coming real soon. Just you wait and see".


Something is clearly going on at WWS.


Posted about an hour ago - I bolded the part that is relevant to you:

There are reasons why Sony lost a lot of money during the PS3 years. They are trying not to repeat that.

People losing jobs sucks. I feel for the SSM guys and everyone else. But Sony needs to run a tighter ship if they want to make money. They can't allow teams to piss around for years with nothing to show. That's why they completely restructured Japan Studio. Those guys had dozens of games that were going nowhere. It's why they shuttered Zipper. MAG, while amazing - imo, was an expensive failure. Socom 4 was an expensive failure. They closed them down.

Now they are tightening up on teams that aren't delivering. It sucks - but it makes sense. The playstation division is in strong state right now. The PS3 is finally making money for them, the PS4 is off to best start in console history, and they are correcting the money-wasting mistakes of the prior generation. I'm not saying we should have a party now - there are clearly hurdles to overcome. Stig's game being gone created a giant hole in their lineup. The driveclub delay is the cause of enormous worry for many PS4 fans. The timing of these things has tinfoil hats flying everywhere. Sony corporate has very big problems it needs to handle. Shit isn't all rosy at sony - i'm not trying to say that. But it's not doom and gloom either. These are all separate events that happened for very logical reasons when you look at them individually.
 

RazielCuts

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Nov 13, 2010
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It's like people weren't around at the start of the last gen. Similar thing happened then too.

Yeah, it's almost like its been 8 years and more people have gotten into games and become more interested in the industry side of things since then. Strange, huh.
 
Mar 27, 2013
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I find it hard to believe this is about creative differences in Uncharted 4. The game has to be too far along for any major creative changes unless the game is in development hell and is going to be delayed until late 2015 or 2016 (really, really, hopefully not).

It'd make more sense to be creative differences on Uncharted 5 since as U4 gets finished over the next 9-12 months, it's time to start talking about UC5 and the direction of the series. It'd make sense to have fights and disagreements and fallout regarding that. U4 just does not make any sense at this point unless the game is getting a major delay and a make over, which I really hope is not happening because I want to play a new Uncharted on my PS4!

A few months or 1 year delay does not mean development hell, dude.
 

shink

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Dec 7, 2011
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....
You mean after KZ:M?
Funny, because now I know for sure you are just making all these "rumors" up.

Do you have information to share? Although KZ:M released Sept 13, what makes it unbelievable they may have been working on another Vita game since then?