PlayStation London announced it is leaving the Virtual Reality space to work on its most ambitious title to date, an untitled online combat game set in a modern fantasy version of the UK's capital city.
Speaking to the Sony Interactive Entertainment blog, co-studio heads Stuart Whyte and Tara Saunders discussed the project and how it came to be. Saunders said:
It’s a modern fantasy London, it’s cooperative action. And what we really love about this project is that it’s giving us an opportunity to showcase a lot of wonder and magic. It’s our home city, and the idea of bringing fantasy into a believable, modern London world fills us with a lot of excitement.
Whyte mentioned that the ideation process behind this new project was inspired by Guerrilla's Horizon Zero Dawn. A briefing document with high-level guidelines circulated throughout the team, allowing 60 or so variations to be imagined by the team before the selection process began with a series of surveys within PlayStation London, then within PlayStation Studios, and ultimately within a group of UK and US gamers through market research.
The game will be built on PlayStation London's engine, which was rebuilt specifically for the PlayStation 5, as explained by Whyte.
We’ve got a super talented team working on our in-house engine, Soho. And the key thing is that it isn’t an engine that we modified to fit PlayStation 5: it’s an engine that we’ve rebuilt from the ground up for this generation of hardware and the needs of the game we’re creating.
It’s been designed to take full advantage of the PlayStation 5. I remember when we saw the early specs of PlayStation 5—things like ray tracing hardware, the super fast storage—and how that inspired us to set out and build an engine that could push the platform as much as possible.
That started when we got our first PlayStation 5 prototype dev kits, but in fairness, the actual tool set and some of the pipelines predate that, going back to the work we did on VR Worlds and Blood & Truth. Those games required super fast, highly efficient engines and at its heart Soho is still that, but very much tailored for the PlayStation 5.
However, Sony previously hinted that live service games would live on both PlayStation and PC going forward. As such, it's not far-fetched to imagine that the PlayStation London game will also grace PC shores, possibly even from day one.
It'll probably be a while before we see any footage, but stay tuned on Wccftech and we'll make sure to keep you up to speed.