Days Gone was a PlayStation Vita game before PS4 "favour"

By Kes Eylers-Stephenson,
Days Gone director Jeff Ross has claimed that during early testing, developer Bend Studio had the zombie-horde tech running on PlayStation Vita. The PS4 transition was, in part, a "favour" for Uncharted: Golden Abyss.

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On Episode 162 of Sacred Symbols+, a PlayStation podcast hosted by Colin Moriarty, game director Jeff Ross made an appearance to talk about what was happening around Bend Studio over his tenure there. In the podcast, the director has also spoken about how surprisingly interconnected the fates of Golden Abyss and Days Gone were. Ross relays an important interaction between John Garvin, the former creative director at Bend, and Shuhei Yoshida, the head of PlayStation first-party at the time.

"One time [Garvin] came across Shu after Golden Abyss, he said that [...] 'you have earned one favour, you guys did such a great job.' Just being on that [Vita] hardware. Of course, we cached it in trying to work on the PS4." While Garvin states he isn't sure how "transactional" Golden Abyss was, it does appear that the Vita exclusive's resounding success directly contributed to Bend being allowed the chance to work on a PS4 game.

Perhaps even more interestingly, Ross makes another interesting assertion. "Days Gone started on the Vita. Shu gave us this shot to do something on the PS4, the downside was that [Sony] assumed 'you could do it for the Vita and the PS4.' Then, thankfully, the Vita part just took care of itself. We had the horde running on the Vita and there is still some video out there that exists for it. [...] So, yeah, we have some prototype footage of you finning around a sawmill environment with 150 Gabe Logan's chasing after you." Gabe Logan is a major Syphon Filter character.

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In the same interview, Ross revealed that PlayStation's support network has been very strong contrary to some Bloomberg reporting earlier in the year that stated the studio was being treated as a "Naughty Dog North." The issues Ross has were with local management. They made a "creative panel" behind his back (rather than having a singular creative focal point) and constantly made the director feel terrible about a game that was actually doing very well.

There were also plans for a Sully-themed Uncharted spin-off that never got off the ground (thanks, VGC). There are plenty more nuggets scattered in there left to be uncovered, even though the podcast released a few days ago. Let us know what you think in the comments below!
Kes Eylers-Stephenson
Written by Kes Eylers-Stephenson
Editor Kes is our resident expert in PlayStation and Sony news. He writes about PS5 exclusives like Horizon, The Last of Us, God of War, and Death Stranding 2 using experience from years of playing PlayStation games. He also covers PS Plus and trophy news, as well as his favorite games — The Witcher 3, Assassin’s Creed, and some indie gems — before an evening swim.
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