And then there’s Sony Bend, the respected Oregon-based team best-known for Syphon Filter. Mystery surrounds Bend – the studio heads aren’t vocal and you don’t hear much about what they’re doing – and something I’ve pondered since the release of their two Uncharted games on Vita is what could possibly be next for Sony’s quietest developer.
I say two Uncharted games, of course, because not only did Bend deliver the excellent Vita launch game Uncharted: Golden Abyss, but it also collaborated with One Loop Games to create the completely random (but surprisingly good) Vita-exclusive customizable card gameUncharted: Fight For Fortune. And it makes the most sense to assume that Sony Bend will revisit the franchise yet again with a proper follow-up to Golden Abyss that further explores ancillary stories in Nathan Drake’s universe.
Back in November of 2012, Bend also posted job listings seeking to “create AAA content for Sony’s powerful new hardware,” noting that the developer had only “scratched the surface on what the Vita can do” with its inaugural game. This is only another sign that Sony has Bend focusing on Vita.
Still, even if Bend is moving on to PS4, it doesn’t mean it doesn’t have another team toiling away on Vita. Keep in mind that Uncharted: Golden Abyss is undoubtedly one of the best-selling retail Vita games yet released for the handheld (if not the best-selling), and if there was a single Vita game in Sony’s stable that would receive a sequel, it’s that one. Not creating a sequel of some sort to Golden Abyss would waste the time Bend spent creating and tweaking a great engine, beautiful assets and invaluable know-how.
After Nihilistic Software mercilessly killed the franchise with the Vita game Resistance: Burning Skies, Insomniac founder Ted Price confirmed that Insomniac wouldn’t be going back to it. Sony later confirmed that, as the owner of the Resistance name, it has ”no definitive plans” to continue with it.
But let’s not forget about Syphon Filter, either. Rumors of a new Syphon Filter have swirled around the Internet since the last game in the series, Combat Ops, launched on PSP in 2007. In 2009, we heard that Syphon Filter may come to PS3. Years later, we heard that Syphon Filter would come to Vita. We even heard that a new Syphon Filter was set to be revealed alongside God of War IV (which we assume ended up being God of War: Ascension). Obviously, that never happened. In terms of solid information about the continuation of Gabe Logan’s story, all has been quiet for over six years.
Either way, I can’t help but come back to Uncharted. If I were a betting man, I'd wager we’ll get another Uncharted game on Vita from Bend.