Dylan Cuthbert can’t get the intellectual property (the IP) of The Tomorrow Children out of Sony’s hands at all.
Sony announced The Tomorrow Children for PlayStation 4 at Gamescom 2014. Q-Games and the now-dead Sony Interactive Entertainment Japan Studio were working on the game that felt like a mixture of Minecraft-like social building and a post-apocalyptic dystopian world, all in a Soviet Union theme. The game ran on a proprietary engine, with an art style that could resemble Pixar’s work.
The game launched on September 6, 2016, in early access (The Tomorrow Children: Founder’s Pack), but despite being ahead of its time, it barely lived for more than a year. On July 6, 2017, Sony announced it would cease its operations on November 1, leading it to be a lost product altogether. However, Dylan Cuthbert, The Tomorrow’s Children’s director, fights tooth and nail to get the game back up and running.
“Unfortunately, right now, the IP is Sony’s. So I’ll keep trying to get the IP back, and if I do get the IP back, then I’ll think about ways to kind of relaunch it, but without a server, I think. Because it was running costs of the server that brought it down, if it didn’t have that, we probably just could have left it running, and people could have kept playing it, right?” he said in an IGN Japan video.
However, we rarely saw a console manufacturer handing back an exclusive IP’s rights to the developer. PlatinumGames managed to make a multiplatform remaster for the Wii U-exclusive The Wonderful 101, thanks to Nintendo’s permission, but the same studio couldn’t continue work on the Xbox-exclusive Scalebound due to Microsoft owning that game’s rights. (We don’t see Phil Spencer’s team do anything with that idea.)