Returnal just the start of Housemarque's rise into AAA development

By Kes Eylers-Stephenson,
The arcade studio Housemarque has spoken about its next project after releasing AAA roguelike Returnal. Marketing director Mikael Haveri gave an interview to Gamereactor in which he talked about the size of the next project. "We want to go for these bigger types of experiences. Now, we still love arcade. We still love smaller games as well. Who knows?"
Returnal hostiles trailer

On Metacritic, Returnal sits at a fantastic 86 rating although we are still waiting for official confirmation of sales success. In our gameplay chart, it was the third most played game on PS5 last week and we suggested that there is much more success to come. Haveri recognises this success and hopes to build on it. "The idea of us now being able to establish ourselves with Returnal will be defining the future type of titles we want to make." Paired with his comment about wanting to go 'bigger,' it suggests that whatever the studio is cooking up next could be at least as big as the 40-hour Returnal.

Housemarque previously developed arcade-style games for the modern era like Super Stardust, Dead Nation, and Resogun. Despite claiming that arcade was dead back in 2017, the studio has worked some of those addicting arcade qualities back into Returnal. So, as for what might be next, Haveri's comments remind me of the studio's former battle royale project named Stormdivers. "Yes, we've been working on two projects previously, and now with Returnal we have of course only one project. It's hard to say if we will continue with one or two projects in the future." Development on Stormdivers was halted while work took place on Returnal, so this could be the other project that Haveri is talking about. The game received a trailer (which you can see down below), had beta invites set up, and was released for streamers to test. This is a lot of work to go into an unreleased title, so it seems logical that, at the very least, the bones of Stormdivers are ingrained in the second project.

Let's wait and see. There is still a meaty mid-run save state update slated for Returnal, so this next big release might take a little longer than expected. What do you think? What do you want to see from Housemarque in the future? Any closer to a Returnal platinum? Embark on an adventure down in the comments.
Kes Eylers-Stephenson
Written by Kes Eylers-Stephenson
Editor Kes is our resident expert in PlayStation and other gaming news. He writes about PS5 exclusives like The Last of Us and Horizon, PS Plus news, and his favorite games — The Witcher, Assassin’s Creed, and God of War — before an evening swim.
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