Thursday, 12 May 2011

Is Sony Santa Monica's new IP 'Heartland'?

Sony's new rumoured PS3 exclusive from Santa Monica may very well be the revival of a previously canned PSP title: Heartland.

Recent rumours have pointed towards Sony Santa Monica working on a new IP that requires personnel with experience in 1st or 3rd person shooters, experience in vehicle combat and open-world development. On top of this, David Cage of Quantic Dream made mention that he was asked to advise on a modern FPS for the PS3. Presumably, this title is an exclusive and since Sony 1st party developers share tech, chances are this exclusive is from a 1st party studio.

It is quite possible that this title is the cancelled PSP game 'Heartland' which David Jaffe, of God of War fame, was spearheading with Incognito (now LightBox Interactive) until development was stopped. Jaffe described the title as an emotional FPS which involved the Chinese invasion of the USA, and that it was a response to the Bush administration of the time. Jaffe explained that the level design was going to be large in scale but not quite an open-world affair, and that QTE's would be used in some capacity. Lastly, Jaffe was being pressed by Sony to make the title for the PS3 as opposed to the PSP .

With this considered, here are the following reasons why Sony Santa Monica's new IP may very well be the revival of Heartland:

1) Heartland was a FPS and the new IP requires FPS experience.
2) Vehicle combat is likely considering Heartland was based on modern warfare and because:
3) Jaffe originally stated that Heartland would involve large levels, and Santa Monica is looking for open-world development.
4) Cage was asked to aid in a modern FPS for the PS3: since the story of Heartland was meant to be quite poignant it is possible that Cage was asked to offer his opinion on the narrative. Additionally:
5) Heartland was originally going to make use of QTE's, something both Santa Monica and Cage have experience with.
6) Sony Santa Monica helped co-develop Warhawk, a prominent PS3 exclusive from Incognito. Considering Heartland was going to be developed by Incognito, it is possible that Santa Monica's relationship to Incognito has allowed the title to fall into Santa Monica's hands.
7) Sony wanted the title on the PS3, which is the very platform the new IP appears to be heading to for.