Returnal studio’s next PlayStation exclusive will be a new IP

Returnal developer, Housemarque, has started work on its next game and its a new PlayStation exclusive IP.

Speaking with VentureBeat at the recent DICE Summit 2022, Housemarque’s Gregory Louden, Harry Krueger, and Ilari Kuittinen discussed the challenges of developing Returnal, shifting from arcade thrills to a AAA third person shooter.

The interview addresses Sony’s acquisition of Halo and Destiny creators, Bungie, and how the company is looking to reinforce its software line-up with strong live service games. Housemarque’s managing director, Ilari Kuittinen, talks about how the Finnish studio had once worked on designing online 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.”

Interestingly, Kuittinen then alludes to the team’s next unannounced project. “It’s early days with us starting a new game, a new IP, concepting it out. We’ll see what comes with that.”

There are no details yet of what Housemarque could be working on. However, these comments suggest that what comes next won’t be a sequel to Returnal. As self-proclaimed “dinosaurs”, the team are eager to cling to their arcade game roots and we can’t see Sony tearing them away to work on something outside of their comfort zone.

One of the first PlayStation 5 exclusives, Returnal launched in April 2021 to plenty of praise. Housemarque were lauded for their ability to combine the developer’s mastery of arcade shooters with a new third person shooter form and an engaging roguelike game structure.

In our Returnal review on PS5, we scored the game a masterful 9/10:

“It feels immensely satisfying to be sat here in 2021, eons after playing Super Stardust HD on PS3, and see just how far Housemarque has come. Offering a visual bullet hell spectacle, a showcase for the DualSense controller and a rewarding sci-fi narrative woven around the roguelike loop, we can say with unflinching confidence that Returnal is the PS5’s best game to date.”

A Returnal update last year introduced a new “Suspend Cycle” feature letting you pause in between sessions. It also packed in a photo mode.

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Hope they don't keep us waiting too long for the new exclusive

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