Housemarque has been very active in promoting Returnal lately, which is not surprising, as it is a successful game that they are still working on.
As we reported, Housemarque recently said that it hopes new PS Plus subscribers will “dare to try” Returnal after Sony Interactive Entertainment announced that the game would be included in the revamped service. The company has not yet revealed the entire library of games included in each tier but confirmed that Premium and Extra levels would include Returnal, God of War, Marvel’s Spider-Man and Miles Morales, Death Stranding and Mortal Kombat 11.
Housemarque is delighted that Returnal has been included in the new PS Plus.
Ilari Kuittinen, an executive at the company, also suggested that the success of Returnal was key to Housemarque’s change of direction. While the studio is not ready to part with its arcade roots, it is keen to move forward using the lessons learned from the successful game. “Gameplay always comes first,” says lead designer Henri Mustonen. “So we always want to put gameplay and focus on systems first. Obviously, we want to have an even better marriage between the two going forward.”
At the same time, boosting promotion is also an important aspect, as the game provides the perfect platform to attract the interest of as many people as possible. And Sony’s new service will deliver the backdrop for as many people as possible to try Returnal and decide for themselves whether it’s as good as the critics have made it out to be.
The game’s success is particularly commendable given how difficult it has been to develop.
Harry Krueger, the director of Returnal, recently said that using Unreal Engine 4 was a leap in the dark for him, as the developers had to “sprout wings” in the fall. He said it was no exaggeration to say that Returnal was not playable for nearly half of the development cycle. They had to learn how to use the engine, but they kept breaking things and depending on things they didn’t understand.