Bend Studio: history, games, news, and review of the PlayStation Studio

By Kes Eylers-Stephenson,

Bend Studio is one of PlayStation Studios' oldest teams, having made Syphon Filter, Resistance and Uncharted spin-offs, and Days Gone. This is all you need to know about Bend Studio: history, projects, recent news, and a review.

Introduction to Bend Studio

This is our Spotlight on Bend Studio. It is split into useful sections which you can negotiate using the contents above. Below is the developer's panel, which allows you to see all the trophy lists for Bend Studio games and see your completion rate. There is also an update log, so you can keep track of what changes we have made.


If you want to see where Bend Studio ranks amongst the other Sony first-party developers and find out more information about the other teams, check out our PlayStation Studios Hub Page.

Update Log

17/06/22 — Overhaul
25/02/22 — Updated Bend in 2022
Bend Studios history and overview

Bubsy 3D and Syphon Filter (1997-2007)

Syphon FilterSyphon Filter (1999, PS1) — Bend Studio

The Oregon-based Bend Studio was bought by Sony 2000 after seven years of making games under the names Blank, Berlyn & Co. and Eidetic. While the team did make the critically lampooned Bubsy 3D in 1996/97 — the fourth in the mascot platforming series — the game that really caught the gaming public's eye was Syphon Filter. The stealth shooter IP debuted in 1999 on PS1 and somehow managed to carve a space amongst the Metal Gear games. With Bend's purchase in 2000 came more games in the series. With each consecutive year from the original game's release, another Syphon game followed. Syphon Filter spin-off The Omega Strain was released on PS2 in 2004, followed by Dark Mirror and Logan's Shadow on PS2 and PSP in 2006 and 2007, respectively. One more Syphon Filter game came in 2007: Compat Ops on PSP.

Resistance Retribution and Uncharted Golden Abyss (2009-2012)

uncharted golden abyssUncharted Golden Abyss (2012, PS Vita) — Bend Studio

The studio then got sidelined and spent time working on spin-off games for other studios without ever getting involved with PS3 games. In 2009, Bend made Resistance: Retribution for the PSP as a spin-off from Insomniac Games' three-game first-person sci-fi shooter Resistance series on PS3. The underplayed, but still fantastic, Uncharted: Golden Abyss arrived on the launch of the Vita in 2012 as a prequel to Naughty Dog's renowned Uncharted series.

Days Gone (2019)

E3 2017 - 1Days Gone (2019, PS4) — Bend Studio

Bend Studio really pushed itself into the AAA space again with its first original IP since 1996 with Days Gone, released in 2019. Bend's creation was an open-world zombie action game where your lead character, Deacon St. John, rides his motorbike around Oregon chased by hoards of the undead. This, ultimately, would be the game that split the old studio creatives Jeff Ross and John Garvin from the Bend team as new management came in. Sony was not that impressed with the game's performance, and the result has been a rebrand and a few years of trying to find a new project.

Bend Studio's last game: Days Gone (2019)
E3 2017 - 1Days Gone has become a cult classic PS4 game

Days Gone launched to fairly mixed reviews and currently stands with a Metacritic aggregate Critic score of 71; though the User rating is much higher at 8.3. The game was praised for its innovative survival motorbiking, though the story came under fire for being a little trope-ridden. As the Metacritic user rating and TT community score of 4.19 show, though, most players come out of the experience as fans of Bend's road-rage apocalypse.

Bend Studio's new game

Bend Studios new multiplayer IP

syphon filter coverSyphon Filter isn't coming back... yet!

The team is developing on a multiplayer game, it was confirmed on the PlayStation Blog. "We are currently working on a new IP that includes multiplayer and builds upon the open-world systems of Days Gone, but brings you a whole new world that we are extremely excited to craft for you," the post reads. "We cannot wait to reveal it to you when the time is right."

The multiplayer components were confirmed before the announcement as a huge push for senior staff suggested the team was entering full development.

Bend Studio news
bend logoBend Studio's new logo

In 2022, there have been more consistent updates from the company. The most obvious is the logo change which you can see in the logo embedded above. The team revealed the new logo alongside the announcement of a new game. Also, Bend will have put a little effort into Syphon Filter's PS1 re-release, possibly alongside all the other Syphon Filter games and its PSP game Resistance Retribution.

Former director Jeff Ross stated that Days Gone sold as many copies as Ghosts of Tsushima, detailed a potential sequel, and that Days Gone's hordes could have run on the PlayStation Vita.

bend studio spotlight carouselOld Bend Studio logo

The former director, Jeff Ross, semi-confirmed a 2021 Bloomberg article by Jason Schreier. Bend Studio's Days Gone 2 pitch was rejected because of local Sony management. In the report, it states that the team got tired of being treated as Naughty Dog North and working on a The Last of Us Part I project.

However, Jeff Ross also went on to refute this claim on multiple occasions, saying any extra-curricular work for other studios was to keep staff employed and to help them stay busy and learn new crafts with different teams. However, after Days Gone, upper management at Bend — Ross and creative director Gavin — left because neither were satisfied with either the poor management of the team or the creative overhaul local management imposed on the studio.

Bend Studio's form review
What a strange old studio! With Bend's long history with Syphon Filter and nearly as long downtime between recent projects, it appears to be back on track. Days Gone might have had a strange reception, but it is disappointing that Bend is not getting the chance to make a sequel to really lodge the IP into the PlayStation exclusive portfolio. However, with a new co-op multiplayer IP in the works that might fit more amiably into the PlayStation Studios ecosystem, it could be a new beginning for the team. So, we at TT are excited for the future of Bend Studio, but wish that the team had not been messed around so hard by Sony as of late.

Bronze
Bronze

One of the less-prominent studios, or one that is as-of-yet unproven


If you want to see where Bend Studio ranks amongst the other Sony first-party developers and find out more information about the other teams, check out our PlayStation Studios Hub Page.
Kes Eylers-Stephenson
Written by Kes Eylers-Stephenson
Associate Editor Kes is our resident expert in PlayStation news. He writes about upcoming exclusives like The Last of Us and God of War, PS Plus and PS Studios news, and his favourite games — The Witcher 3, Assassin’s Creed, and The Outer Wilds — before an evening swim.