Business As Usual
Yesterday, the internet completely failed to be surprised by Sony snaffling Sucker Punch into the first party developer stables. It's a delicious irony considering that many of the original developers started out as Microsoft employees and that their HQ is situated a stone's throw away from the Microsoft and NoA campuses... but rather than being an awkward move and a potentially restrictive setup, Sucker Punch believe that their day to day operations won't be affected by the transition.
Speaking to Gamespot, Sucker Punch co-founder Chris Zimmerman believes that the Sony buyout will barely affect their business - and that their infrastructure is already set up to continue working on quality product.
I don't think it will have much of an effect on our day-to-day operations. Everyone that's been here for the past dozen years is still here; we still have the same goals in mind. We're still working on the same things. So the day-to-day isn't going to change, I think. We're expecting this is going to put us in a position where we can continue to work on innovative genre-defining content.
Becoming a first party studio also tends to increase the pressure on a development studio - both in terms of release dates and quality. The word BioWare comes to mind, for some reason. However, Zimmerman is confident that Sony will take a hands-off approach, meaning that the only pressure will come from their own high standards.
We've really worked hard to make high-quality games; games that are critically successful and games that are popular with consumers. And Sony's been a super partner for us in that.
They've really been supportive of us and the things we've wanted to do in our games and helped us grow as a studio in the past dozen years. They've helped us see where we needed to improve. And I think that's going to continue moving forward. I think the pressure that we have to do great games more than anything else comes internally.
Finally, Zimmerman was happy to answer the elephant in the room: whether their early Microsoft ties and geographical proximity to their Redmond HQ could be potentially awkward. The short answer, it seems, is no.
It's really kind of interesting because I and the other founders of Sucker Punch are ex-Microsoft guys. I worked at Microsoft for almost a decade, and when we started at Sucker Punch, it was really before Microsoft got into the console business. This was pre-Xbox; this was 1997.
When Microsoft started along that path, it was a little strange; I had friends who worked on the Xbox, and yet I was a Sony guy. I think after a decade, everyone is used to that. It's no more awkward than it has been.
We can't wait to see what they come up with - and whether Sony's latest acquisition will convince Microsoft and Nintendo to pull their respective fingers out. With the promise of a next-gen reveal next year, the big three need to secure all the exclusives they can get.