Deviation Games closes studio

I’m still waiting to see that Halo Killer first before moving onto the CoD Killer. It is so weird to see so many things pushed as a specific killer. Especially where so many different things can coexist. Its as if they focus to much on killing something that they forget to focus on being good and sustainable first.


The industry was growing in that period. People were spending money on games and spending time playing them.

It’s really in the past year that inflation on basic necessities like shelter and food has hurt the spending power on entertainment for most regular folks and has caused a bit of concern for all of these corporate forecasts. So we see many of these companies deciding to cut costs.

Nevermind creating studios, greenlighting certain projects made a ton of sense. When Respawn was set to create a Mandolorian game, it made a ton of sense at that time. A hot IP with a great team to make it and it should hopefully sell at least 4 million units at $70 USD, helping to pay for a costly IP license and a high dev budget. In 2020, 2022, and even 2023 I would have said this makes a lot of sense. But not today.

So from my perspective I think they all made a good decision to start studios when the industry was showing steady growth.

There were definitely indications of an upcoming recession in the last couple years, but people were still spending money on games.

I wonder if these closures and cutbacks are the result of that companies having a long term forecast that’s poor. These teams wouldn’t have products ready in the next year, they’re looking at 2026+ releases. Maybe the industry isn’t looking too hot by then. For me, food items have gone up 150% over the last 2 years. If that continues by '26 I’m definitely cutting back on the new games I buy.


I think it’s a mix of things. Like we had a boom during covid and sales were definitely much higher than they normally were and so financially, everything was artificially boosted plus you had people not going out and saving tons of money so having a lot of money to waste as well as all that financial aid from the government.

And now, we are at the complete opposite, with inflation through the roof, everything going up in price and people’s budgets being squeezed. Even I have tons of disposable income and yet, I put it away and invest it smartly instead of spending more on games as it’s the smart thing to do right now, and I can only sympathize with people on low income salaries right now.

Which is also why while I hate the MS strategy of releasing their games elsewhere, it might actually make sense right now to keep all their studios solvable but also keep the value proposition at Xbox with Gamepass as I think that could be a big system seller in the coming months/years, especially once all of ABK is on it, including COD. I see a lot of people on my friend list almost exclusively playing Gamepass games, and I think the recession is a big part of why this is happening.

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Ironically one of the only “killer” franchises that clearly surpassed another is Forza surpassing GT


The whole ‘killer’ conversation is quite interesting now, because Microsoft technically own some of the most dominant IP’s:

Call of Duty, Minecraft, Halo, World of Warcraft, Diablo, Elder Scrolls, Doom & Forza.

It’s not just about creating a ‘Halo Killer’ anymore but multiple IP’s and genres.


The crazy and sad talk about what Sony can do to get their own version of COD is they already have a great IP in SOCOM.

That game was a hit during the PS2’s life. I understand that is a few decades ago now, yet a tactical, third person, shooter game, would do really well today.

I can easily see it selling more than it did on the PS2, too.

The reason why I say that is because while Xbox Online was doing well, PlayStation was just entering that market and they couldn’t capture what Xbox was doing.

Now, PlayStation has more people playing online compared to Xbox and online gaming for consoles didn’t blow up until Call of Duty: Modern Warfare.

So a game like SOCOM that would take part in the present, plus be a spin on what online gaming is like today, but with a tactical and stealth aspect would succeed.

Sony also had Warhawk, for the PS3, which was Fortniteish before Fortnite. Unfortunately for Warhawk it came out at a time, where if a multiplayer game shipped without a single-player campaign, it would fail, yet if it released today, it could have been successful.

There still isn’t anything for multiplayer like its dogfight battles and is easy to see it doing well today.


I can recall many of killers

Killzone 1 - Halo Killer - sequel helped but still buried

Haze - Halo Killer - buried so fast

Fable - FF killer - buried but revived by competent dev

Forza - GT killer - alive and well. Some would say its spinoff did the work

Unannounced FPS - CoD killer - never see the light

Coming soon: xDefiant - coined as CoD killer

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That being said:


Moon are uniquely positioned to not need that much to survive being completely work from home and small, and so as long as they get a publishing deal they’ll not likely be desperate to sell off.

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While true, but the fact this could happen to anyone even being “supported” by big name publication. The fact PS is the one doing so is really discouraging. People need to understand these game cancellations and studio closures won’t bring your favorite kind of gaming back sooner.

After all, the ones that are affected were designed for live service, so nothing has progress. If anything, only Naughty Dog is going forward ahead with the style they’re known for, but not without repercussions. Everyone remains the same. The only difference is less games output. That’s not a good thing.


The thing is, they hadn’t sold to PlayStation, so his comment doesn’t completely make sense. They had a deal in place for their game and Sony seemingly canceled it and they couldn’t pivot.

In an alternate universe where Ori was canceled prior to launch, this could possibly have been Moon in the article, because it wasn’t the studio’s ownership but the publishing deal that seems to have killed Deviation.


2021 Playstation x Deviation partnership announced

2022 Co Founder Jason Blundell left the studio

2023 Jason Blundell joined Playstation

2024 Deviation closed


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Sony canceled the game then poached their talent quickening their closure. But thats ok cause Sony gets to do whatever they want even if its destructive to devs they dont even own.


You missed the point I think. I’m not saying anything at all about Sony, I’m saying that his comment about wanting to make their own fortune and not wanting to be owned doesn’t actually have anything to do with this situation, since the developer in question was in fact not owned either.


I must admit I thought the same, unless Playstation own the IP surely Deviation could go shop around with other publishers instead?

Even if Sony did own the IP surely Deviation could make a deal with Sony to get the publishing rights back and continue working on it.


And you’re not wrong - PS might own the IP (I’ve got no clue) - which could have caused hardship for Devaiation & forced them to close. 100% possible.

What I’m getting at though - is that this still doesn’t help Mahler’s comment. It’s all about the terms of that publishing deal, not of Deviation having been bought by a large company - because they hadn’t been. So him pointing out that Deviation had to close due to - whatever Sony did to them through their publishing deal / poaching key employees / anything else - still doesn’t actually prove his point that Moon is better off being an independent; because ultimately depending on the deals they have to sign, it could have been them. If anything, this particular incident shows how risky it is to be independent (and especially NEW and independent) & to rely on a publishing deal / partner than the danger of being owned by a large company.


Exactly the moon studio guys are just using anything they can get to boost their game. I do recall he was asked something like this in the past and said he wanted to grow the value of the studio before considering selling which came off like he just wanted a lot of money which he felt would be a thing if the studio value was there. Deviation is a sad case they fell for the deception of Sony being something they weren’t.


Geoff right now :joy: :joy: :joy:



To be perfectly honest, certain people in here tripping over themselves to turn this into a console war thread and make it all about their weird Xbox victim complex, when a studio has closed and people have lost their jobs, are fucking pathetic.

“Victim complex”? Who is the “victim” supposed to be in this scenario lol. The cold hard truth is that Sony is the reason the studio closed and people lost their jobs , get mad at them not the ones pointing it out.