No details yet on what the team is working on, but it has signed an exclusivity deal with Sony to develop an original IP for PlayStation.
Last week’s Summer Game Fest, the unofficial kick off of this week’s E3 festivities, saw the announcement of a number of titles, some more highly anticipated than others. Both indie and AAA development were well-represented at the show, but it wasn’t just games that claimed the spotlight. A pair of new studio announcements also featured prominently, including Deviation Games, founded by Treyarch veterans Dave Anthony and Jason Blundell. As part of the announcement, the pair noted that the studio has signed a deal with Sony to develop a new IP for PlayStation consoles.
“When my partner Jason Blundell and I first met decades ago, we often dreamt about having our own studio, making games our way with our own team of like-minded developers, and building a community where lasting friendships are created,” Anthony wrote in a post on the PlayStation Blog. “That dream has become a reality today.”
While the founders have worked on the Call of Duty franchise--specifically the Black Ops series--there aren’t any details forthcoming on what exactly Deviation is working on yet.
“We’re drawing on what we’ve learned over our collective decades making games, but we’re also out to make something fresh and brimming with innovation like you’ve never experienced before,” Anthony wrote.
For Louise Shorthouse, senior analyst at Ampere Analysis, it’s likely that Deviation is working on a first-person shooter, a good bet considering the team’s background. Historically, Sony’s PlayStation consoles have been lacking in terms of exclusive FPS games. By signing Deviation, Sony appears to be making a grab in that direction.
“Sony's first-party content really lacks a strong multiplayer/FPS IP, and the team behind Deviation Games has huge expertise in shooters and multiplayer, so this may represent a strong strategic move for PlayStation,” Shorthouse told GameDaily. Sony has worked closely with Activision on exclusive Call of Duty content and offers for PS players--probably because it has no really strong FPS of its own. This may be a chance for Sony to build out its content and become more independent in this genre.”
Additionally, Sony competitor Microsoft has been on something of a buying spree throughout the last few years, having acquired somewhere around 23 studios in the runup to the launch of the Xbox Series X|S.
“I do wonder if this is perhaps in response to Microsoft's huge investment into dev studios recently,” Shorthouse said. “It has clearly been amping up its first-party capability, and of course it also said it wants to put one new game into Game Pass every quarter, so they need a huge amount of content to achieve that.”
Without a timetable on forthcoming details or any concrete information regarding what the studio is working on, we’ll just have to wait and see what Deviation has up its sleeve. In a recent interview with Eurogamer, Anthony said that the team is “well over 100 people right now,” so it appears Deviation is preparing to buckle down.
Hermen Hulst, head of PlayStation Worldwide Studios, told GamesIndustry earlier this week that there’s no rush for Deviation.
"It's about the trust, and not squeezing them into unworkable deadlines, or making them do trailers when they're not ready," he said in the interview.
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