10 October 2009

The Getaway 3, Eight Days NOT abandoned !!

For fans of the 'The Getaway' series, June 4th 2008 was a black day. After all, it was on that day the makers of the franchise, Sony, announced that the work on the sequel to the popular action game will "cease immediately."

"It has been agreed that production of both 8 Days and The Getaway will cease immediately due to the redistribution of resources and budget. This decision was made following an internal review of all games and it was deemed that with the incredibly strong list of exclusive first party titles coming up both this year and in the near future, resource should be reallocated to enhance those projects closer to completion."
Both games were originally announced in tech demo form at Sony's 2005 E3 press conference and footage, allegedly "game footage", was released including a highly suspicious trailer of the new game Eight Days. Since then, virtually no news about it came out with the ambiguously worded statement suggesting the hiatus was only temporary while contradictory statements implied Sony "will not resume production."

Online petitions were set up to garner support for the redevelopment of games with more than 2600 people signing it. For most fans like me, Youtube was the source for the discussion though very little info of credibility came out of it.

Finally however, Nicolas Doucet, producer and creative art director at Sony Computer Entertainment's London Studio became the first official voice to confirm that the game hasn't been canned. In an interview mainly about 'Eyepet' (which were Sony's priorities and possibly the development for which the TG budget must have been allocated) reaffirmed that The Getaway 3 and Eight Days were "not abandoned, but put on hold".

GK: Before EyePet, the teams at Sony London were working on two projects that have since fallen by the wayside: Eight Days and The Getaway 3. Can you confirm that both of these have indeed been abandoned?

ND: I would not say they have been abandoned, just put to one side. Much work had been done. The studio just wanted to focus on its strengths, EyeToy and SingStar. Given the potential of EyePet, priorities have been changed, but the other projects aren't dead yet. Ultimately, the decision [to put those games to one side] has benefited everyone.
GK: How far through production were they?
ND: It depends. I think they were just over halfway through. They had a plan, everything was ready…
GK: How have you dealt internally with these strategic decisions from Sony?
ND: Many recruits to the EyePet team came from these projects, and contrary to popular belief, they are rather popular. First, because it was a much smaller team, they were able to integrate differently, but also with a different challenge.
Most importantly, The Getaway and Eight Days are still there. So, no, there haven't really been any regrets. This decision was welcome. And then everyone likes change, as is the culture of this community. There were no bad feelings.
GK: I guess you have another game currently under development…
ND: (Smiling) Yes.
GK: Is it linked to EyePet or is it unrelated to this franchise?
ND: No, it's a different concept, in addition to EyePet.
GK: So will you continue to be Sony's brand ambassador for social and casual gaming?
ND: While the whole studio won't, our group will, I think. There is a lot of interest around augmented reality. It surprised me to come to the Festival du Jeu Video (a gaming show held Paris in September) and see the number of magazines that want to do an article on this subject, as I thought it was too geeky. It is now very much part of the casual gaming space.

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