PlayStation Studios: Everything we know Sony Worldwide Studios is working on in 2021 for PS5

by Joseph K. Clark

The PlayStation 4 generation was an interesting one for Sony Worldwide Studios. It saw internal teams double down on blockbuster, cinematic games while also retaining experimentation from the smaller groups. U.K. developers at Evolution Studios, Guerrilla Cambridge, and Manchester Studio were shut down, while Insomniac Games — longtime associate and partner of PlayStation — was finally acquired.

Sony Worldwide Studios

With a new generation comes new games. This is a list of everything we know Sony Worldwide Studios is currently working on or reasonably sure to be developing for the PS5.

While officially known as Sony Worldwide Studios, Sony revealed the PlayStation Studios brand on May 12, 2020. This brand is meant to indicate that a game is being developed with Sony’s aid as an exclusive title, providing distinction from timed exclusive deals. The intro video above plays for any PlayStation Studios titles on PS4, PS5, or PC. It can also be customized depending on the specific game.

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PlayStation Studios How many are there?

Currently, Sony Interactive Entertainment consists of 13 game development studios with different support studios. Another team is listed here for completion, but they do not actively develop console games for PS4 or PS5.

PlayStation Studios vs Xbox Studios

For years, Sony Worldwide Studios was considered more significant and more prestigious than Xbox Game Studios. That has changed with several significant acquisitions Microsoft has made from 2018 through 2020, with the purchase of Bethesda Softworks bringing Microsoft to a total of 23 Xbox studios. Here are the current standings.

Sony Worldwide Studios:

  • SIE Bend Studio
  • Guerrilla Games
  • Insomniac Games
  • SIE Japan Studio
  • SIE London Studio
  • Media Molecule
  • Naughty Dog
  • Pixelopus
  • Polyphony Digital
  • PlayStation Malaysia – Support Only
  • SIE San Diego Studio
  • SIE San Mateo Studio – Support Only
  • SIE Santa Monica Studio
  • Sucker Punch Productions
  • SIE xDev Europe

Xbox Studios:

  • 343 Industries
  • Alpha Dog Games
  • Arkane Studios
  • Bethesda Game Studios
  • Compulsion Games
  • Double Fine Productions
  • id Software
  • inXile Entertainment
  • MachineGames
  • Mojang Studios
  • Ninja Theory
  • Obsidian Entertainment
  • Playground Games
  • Rare
  • Roundhouse Studios
  • Tango Gameworks
  • The Coalition
  • The Initiative
  • Turn 10 Studios
  • Undead Labs
  • World’s Edge
  • Xbox Game Studios Publishing
  • ZeniMax Online Studios

What is SIE Bend Studio working on?

SIE Bend Studio is located in Bend, Oregon. Acquired by Sony in 2000, the studio has worked on games like the Syphon Filter series, Uncharted: Golden Abyss and Days Gone. Over several years of developing Days Gone, Bend Studio has grown to over 130 developers.

In April 2019, Bend Studio shipped Days Gone, a game about bikers surviving the apocalypse while hordes of mutants called Freakers roam the highways. While Days Gone wasn’t a hit with critics, it did sell well, staying in the top 10 games sold in North America for several months per NPD charts. Given this success, it’s highly likely that Bend is now working on a follow-up, though it will probably be some time before we see an announcement.

One of the game directors, Jeff Ross, has told fans to “stay tuned” and wait for more information. He has since departed Bend Studio alongside John Garvin, another director on the game. We’re waiting to find out what this team is doing. Next, Days Gone 2 or otherwise.

What is ForwardWorks working on?

ForwardWorks, established by Sony in 2016, develops mobile games in Japan. Some of these draw on PlayStation games, like Everybody’s Golf.

Unless something changes, it’s unlikely that ForwardWorks will be developing any games that hit PS5 or even be available in countries outside of Asia. We’re mainly listing them here for the sake of total completion.

What is Guerrilla Games working on?

Guerrilla Games, based in Amsterdam and acquired by Sony in 2005, has been responsible for developing the Killzone games and Horizon Zero Dawn. Guerrilla also maintains and improves the Decima engine and has grown to over 300 staff.

Horizon Zero Dawn was released in February 2017, with The Frozen Wilds expansion coming a few months later. Horizon Zero Dawn was well-received critically and has sold over 10 million copies (and we called it one of our games of the decade). Job listings indicated that work is taking place on another project in that game’s universe. Meanwhile, new reports indicate Horizon Zero Dawn is now planned as a trilogy. Combined with the success Horizon Zero Dawn has seen, a PlayStation 5 sequel was overwhelmingly likely.

These rumors have been confirmed with the announcement of Horizon Forbidden West, a PS5-exclusive sequel. Before that sequel arrives. However, PC players get to try Horizon Zero Dawn, which was published by Sony on Steam in Summer 2020. In 2019, Guerrilla also hired Simon Larouche, who previously directed Rainbow Six Siege. At the time, Guerrilla also had job listings asking for multiplayer experience. The studio could be working on a new Killzone game or another multiplayer shooter and the Horizon Zero Dawn series.

What is Insomniac Games working on?

With the main office in Burbank, Calif., and a satellite studio in Durham, N.C., Insomniac Games has worked with Sony for over two decades on many classic games like Spyro, Ratchet, and Clank, Resistance, and as of late, Marvel’s Spider-Man. It was finally acquired in Aug. 2019.

Marvel’s Spider-Man is, quite frankly, one of the most successful PlayStation exclusives of all time, having sold over 13 million copies since its release in Sept. 2018.

Insomniac unveiled not one but two PS5 projects in 2020: Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales and Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart. The former was a PS5 launch title (though it’s also coming to PS4), while the latter was described as a PS5 launch window game, though it still doesn’t have a release date.

What is SIE Japan Studio working on?

Founded in 1993 by Sony in Tokyo, this studio, composed of several teams, has worked on various titles in multiple genres. One major success story was this studio’s collaboration with FromSoftware on Bloodborne. As of late, Japan Studio released Astro Bot Rescue Mission on PlayStation VR in 2018 to critical acclaim. Another team released Everybody’s Golf VR in 2019.

While we really don’t know what the different groups at this studio are up to, it will likely be one of the internal studios continuing to provide PlayStation VR owners with new games. Knack launching alongside the PlayStation 4 and Knack 2 in 2017, Knack 3…hasn’t been announced.

More games have, though! Japan Studio is collaborating with Bluepoint Games on a remake of Demon’s Souls for the PS5. The team has also used the character from Astro Bot Rescue Mission to develop Astro’s Playroom. This platformer serves as a great way to test the DualSense controller and comes pre-installed on every PS5. Several veteran employees of the team have left to start their own independent studio, including Silent Hill creator Keiichiro Toyama.

What is SIE London Studio working on?

London Studio, founded in 2002 after merging the remaining teams at Team Soho and Camden Studio, works on various technology and games. The team has more recently pioneered tech for PlayStation VR, releasing some experiences in PlayStation VR Worlds. This tech was put to further use in 2019’s shooter Blood & Truth, while a change of pace brought Erica to PlayStation 4 later in the year.

Having recently released a game, we shouldn’t look for London Studio to make any announcements soon. Whenever the studio does pipe up again, it’ll likely be with a new PlayStation VR title.

What is Media Molecule working on?

In Guildford, U.K. sits small creator Media Molecule. This studio has worked on the LittleBigPlanet and Tearaway games and was purchased in 2010 after years of collaboration with Sony. More recently, the team worked on Dreams. It’s one of the smaller studios within Sony Worldwide Studios, with around 60 developers.

After several years of development, the ambitious Dreams was finally released as of Feb. 14, 2020. Dreams is essentially a game engine turned into a game, allowing players to create whatever worlds or games they wish and share them with other players.

With Dreams finally completed after seven years of development, don’t expect Media Molecule to announce anything else anytime soon. For now, the studio is committed to post-launch support for Dreams.

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