It was meant to be one of the biggest games of 2019. An ambitious open-world game set in a post-apocalyptic US, Days Gone had generated plenty of interest before its launch, being one of the major games previewed at events like the Tokyo Game Show.
However, Sony Bend studio’s zombie game got a mostly tepid response from reviewers (its Metacritic score stands at 71), while it likely didn’t sell as well as Sony was hoping for. Evidence of this is that the Japanese company never greenlighted a sequel, even if rumors doing the rounds online a couple of years ago claimed a Days Gone sequel was in development.
This must not have pleased Sony Bend Studio’s (the developer behind the game) former creative director, who recently lashed out on Twitter. In a controversial tweet, director John Gavin laid out his reasons why the game was not the success many expected it to be, saying that amongst these was that “it had reviewers who couldn’t be bothered to actually play the game”.
Also, Gavin criticized the game’s “tech issues”, including “bugs, streaming and frame rate”.
He also suggested that the game’s perceived racism had to do with its low review scores, claiming Days Gone “had woke reviewers who couldn’t handle a gruff white biker looking at his date’s ass” (Gavin’s tweet has seen been deleted, but can be seen here).
This has led to Bend Studio issuing a statement on Twitter (via Eurogamer), in which it says that Gavin’s opinion does not “reflect the views of our team”, and is “thankful to every developer who poured their heart and soul into it”.
— Bend Studio (@BendStudio) December 8, 2022
Furthermore, another former Bend Studio director also responded to Gavin’s comments about the game on Twitter.
Jeff Ross (who’s know at Tomb Raider outfit Crystal Dynamics and who co-directed Days Gone) said that Bend Studio’s team is “small but incredibly talented”, and that “it punched way above their weight class” in order to see the game to completion.
He cited the example of one developer who did “all sound, music, weapon, melee combat, and localization systems” on his own – although this is definitely proof that Bend Studio’s team was overstretched and maybe did not have the resources to produce such a massive game as Days Gone.
I want everyone to know that Bend Studio has a small but incredibly talented engineering team who punched way above their weight class to finish Days Gone.
— Jeff Ross (@JakeRocket) December 9, 2022
Because it’s clear that the open world zombie game did have a lot of potential, but felt derivate and its different elements never coalesced into a satisfying whole.
It’s clear many people were hoping that Bend Studio would be able to deliver their true vision for the game in a sequel, but that is not to be now… At least Days Gone fans can look forward to the movie adaptation, even if the upcoming post-apocalyptic zombie flick currently has no release date attached to it.