Sony’s New San Diego Team Working On Existing Playstation Franchises

According to former PlayStation Worldwide Studios head Michael Mumbauer’s LinkedIn profile, he formed a “brand new, all-star” team to develop AAA action-adventure titles. The team, which will work independently from the existing San Diego team, responsible for the God of War series and MLB: The Show, is reportedly developing the next Uncharted title.

Mumbauer, who worked for Sony San Diego between 2007 and 2020, left the company last November. On his profile, the exec listed as his achievements, “Having built a brand new, all-star, AAA action/adventure development team for PlayStation,” which “was assembled to expand upon existing franchises and craft all-new stories for the next generation of gamers.”

The last installment in the Uncharted series was 2017’s The Lost Legacy, a standalone expansion to Uncharted 4. The entry was the first Uncharted game not to feature Nathan Drake, the charismatic treasure hunter, who Naughty Dog reportedly based on Johnny Knoxville, Harrison Ford, and pulp fiction heroes. Uncharted 5 would be a boon for the PS5 since its a Sony exclusive.

Uncharted: The Lost Legacy topped the UK video game sales chart the week it was released and sold 48,000 digital copies within 5 weeks of its launch. It remains unclear if a new Uncharted title would be developed by Naughty Dog, which worked on the previous entries. The Santa Monica studio, which was acquired by Sony Computer Entertainment in 2001, is still working on last year’s The Last of Us Part 2, the fastest-selling PS4 exclusive of all time.

The new Sony team will reportedly be “utilizing proprietary engine technology” to work on new games. In 2018, Visual Arts advertised job listings for AAA third-person action game that would deliver “the next chapter of cinematic storytelling.” The studio has also hired several renowned designers, artists and animators in the past few years, including Quentin Cobb, Uncharted’s level/combat designer, Red Dead Redemption 2’s lead gameplay animator, James Martinchek, and Naughty Dog environmental artist Zak Oliver.

Given that information regarding the new Sony development team has been limited to Mumbauer’s post, any speculation as to what their plans might be is purely hypothetical. What we do know is that Nathan Drake’s arc ended in Uncharted 4, therefore, it’s likely that a new Uncharted entry would probably focus on Chloe and Nadine as leads.

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