Returnal developer Housemarque is hopeful the game’s arrival on PlayStation Plus will help it find a bigger audience.
Speaking to Eurogamer last night at the BAFTA video game awards, Housemarque managing director Ilari Kuittinen said it was “brilliant” that Returnal will be added to Sony’s forthcoming revamped subscription service.
“As you know, it’s been a while since the release. And we know the people who get into [subscriptions] play a lot,” he said.
He’s hopeful players will “dare to try” the game. “There’s no hidden cost, if you like, it’s easy to get into,” he said.
He continued: “Sony does [make] some wise decisions, like funding this game. They started to fund this game five years ago, they took a leap of faith.”
Kuittinen was speaking following Returnal’s big night at the awards, where it won Game of the Year, Audio Achievement and Music awards, while actress Jane Perry won Performer in a Leading Role for her work as main character Selene Vassos.
As for how Returnal has impacted the studio’s DNA, Housemarque suggested it could continue to be a part of its games.
“I mean, gameplay always comes first,” said lead designer Henri Mustonen. “So we always want the gameplay and the systems focus to be in the forefront. Obviously, we want to have an even better marriage between the two moving ahead.”
But he added that Returnal made “massive leaps” to “establish [narrative] as a core part of the experience.”
Narrative designer Eevi Korhonen also spoke of the importance of story in the game and what this could mean for the future.
“We definitely want to keep doing more, I think we did find something really unique and exciting with Returnal. But we still definitely think that there’s more to explore,” she said.
“I’m excited to see what we make and what others could make with this type of storytelling that isn’t so linear, that isn’t so hand-holdy. And we’re really excited to hopefully inspire other game makers to do the same.”