The start of 2017 was marked with sad news for PlayStation fans, as Sony announced that it was shutting down Guerrilla Cambridge, a UK-based studio that had just recently released RIGS: Mechanized Combat League for PlayStation VR (PSVR). The news was sudden for everyone including, it seems, the developers.
Three months on and two former members of the team, Alex Kanaris and Tom Jones, have started a new indie studio named Polygon Treehouse and are working on their first game, a non-VR title named Röki. Revealing the game to Eurogamer, however, Jones took a bit of time to reflect on the closure of Guerrilla Cambridge, noting that RIGS “never got the chance to grow and go to where we wanted it to be”.
While positive about the game and understanding of Sony’s decision to close the studio, Jones described working on RIGS as “challenging”.
“I think we made a great game which is why it was sad the studio shut,” Jones said. “We were still working on more stuff for it, getting more levels and more DLC out for the community.”
RIGS was a multiplayer first-person shooter (FPS) set in a futuristic mech combat event. Players climbed into different classes of Rigs and met in arenas across the world to do battle. It used DualShock 4 controls and was one of the few full FPS games available for PSVR when it launched in October. Following Guerrilla Cambridge’s closure Sony confirmed that future DLC would not be released, though a free content drop did hit in late 2016.
“The thing that’s the saddest, perhaps, is that RIGS never got the chance to grow and go to where we wanted it to be, but it did a good job of pushing VR and setting a benchmark, perhaps, for other developers to follow,” Jones added. He said that, while the decision to close the studio was “surprising”, he didn’t think that Sony took it lightly.
“Fortunately, most of the people there have gone on to other things now, but these things happen,” Jones concluded.
We were saddened to hear of Cambridge’s closure given the important work it had done in VR, and the fact that RIGS was a great game in its own right. Sony still has more UK studios working on PSVR though, including a new game from Sony London and the first project out of the newly-formed North West Studio.