Posted 30 December

The year in review: PlayStation developers look back at a busy 2013

And so 2013 draws to a close. And what a year it’s been in the world of videogames. Of course, you couldn’t move for top drawer titles, no matter where your specific tastes lay. But beyond that, we also welcomed PS4 into the world, ushering in a thrilling new era of play.

As perhaps you can imagine, it’s been an incredibly busy year here at PlayStation. Duly, just before everyone signed off for a few days of well-earned festive respite, I spoke to a number of key figures from SCEE, Sony Worldwide Studios and our partners in the indie world, to find out what their highlights of the past 12 months were, and what they have planned for 2014.

Read on below, and please do chime in with your own picks in the comments below. And whatever your plans for New Year’s Eve are, have a great night and a prosperous 2014. Normal service will resume here on PlayStation Blog from 6th January. See you all then!

Massimo Guarini, Director, Ovosonico (Murasaki Baby)

What game did you play more than any other in 2013?
I guess that would be Murasaki Baby. That’s the game I’m playing every day since we started prototyping. And you know what? I really dig that game!

Which game did you really want to play in 2013, but never found the time?
Besides Muramasa Rebirth for PlayStation Vita, I really wanted to spare some time to sit down and play Beyond: Two Souls. I guess I am naturally attracted by games that don’t shy away from trying something new.

What was the single best thing you did in 2013?
I think the single best thing I did this year was to turn off my phone, disconnect from the internet, take some time off from videogames and refresh my mind away from technology. That’s the kind of quality time when my mind and imagination actually work best. That’s when I usually come up with ideas.

What was the single worst thing you did in 2013?
I inflated my neighbour’s noisy dog with helium and gave it to my daughter so she could play with it. Or at least I thought I would do so, that night at 3.00am.

Who was the most interesting person you met in 2013?
Undoubtedly myself.

What was your favourite book and/or movie of 2013?
Once again I’ve been blown away by another Kim Ki-Duk masterpiece: Pieta.

What’s your top tip for a fun New Year’s Eve?
Spend time with the ones you love, eat healthy, tasty food and, of course, run naked in the snow at 2.00am for at least 10 minutes without stopping.

What are you most looking forward to doing in 2014?
I very much look forward to releasing Murasaki Baby. I feel like I’m becoming a father again. And that’s just wonderful.

Mike Bithell, Creator, Volume & Thomas Was Alone

Which game did you play more than any other in 2013?
Assassin’s Creed IV Black Flag has taken over my life. I’ve always been a bit of a fanboy of the series, but this one… ahem.. blew it out the water. That was a nautical pun. I’m rather proud of it.

Which game did you really want to play in 2013, but never found the time?
I’ve not played The Stanley Parable yet – it’s been glaring at me for a while. I’m dying to play, but just haven’t had time. Mainly because of Assassin’s Creed IV.

What was the single best thing you did in 2013?
This sounds like I’m lying because I’m being asked by PlayStation Blog, but being at the Gamescom Sony press event, sat next to Shuhei Yoshida, as Volume was being shown on stage by Shahid Ahmad. That was sort of a big deal for someone who makes games in their living room.

What was the single worst thing you did in 2013?
I got lost in the carpark of my local supermarket. I’d nipped off to buy myself and my girlfriend coffee, and came back, unable to find the car. I was lost for about 10 minutes. It was the worst thing that I did this year.

Who was the most interesting person you met in 2013?
Warren Spector. A childhood hero who turned out to be a lovely chap with lots of patience for dumb questions asked by fanboys who somehow managed to be talking at the same event as him.

What was your favourite book and/or movie of 2013?
I’m a little embarrassed to say, but I loved Pacific Rim. I had a lot of fun seeing that on the big screen, and I’ve already watched the Blu-ray a fair few times.

What’s your top tip for a fun New Year’s Eve?
Don’t be forced into fun, spend it with special people. The scale of the party, and the quality of the location, is irrelevant.

What are you most looking forward to doing in 2014?
Releasing Volume. PLUG!

Gavin Moore, Creative Director, Japan Studio (Puppeteer)

Which game did you really want to play in 2013, but never found the time?
That would have to be the awesome Dragon’s Crown. Brilliant artwork and amazing setting and made by a great developer, VanillaWare. A real throw back to the games I used to play as a kid. I just can’t get enough of sprite based games when they are done this well. In fact thanks for reminding me, I’m off to download it now before I forget.

What was the single best thing you did in 2013?
I would have to say get Puppeteer out the door and sent it out into the big wide world. Although Puppeteer may have flown under some people’s radar, the response I’ve had from people around the world has been very heart-warming. It goes to show that people do want games that are not just shooters and that there is a place for imagination and creativity in the gaming industry.

What was the single worst thing you did in 2013?
That would be travelling. Not the places I travelled to and the people I met, but the actual travelling. I managed to clock over 100,000 miles on planes this year. I don’t want to see the inside of an airport or a plane for quite some time. Surely someone somewhere in the world is making a teleporter. I shouldn’t complain but travelling sucks.

Who was the most interesting person you met in 2013?
That is a hard one, especially as I have met so many creative people this year. Not only great game developers but people outside the industry. If I was forced to pick one it would have to be the composer on Puppeteer, Patrick Doyle. Such a nice man who has real passion for what he does. A true genius in his field.

What was your favourite book and/or movie of 2013?
Even though it wasn’t published in 2013, I finally got round to reading American Gods by Neil Gaiman. Actually, I only have time to read on planes, so at least there is one good thing about travelling!

I’m an avid movie fan and spend a lot of my spare time watching movies – any movies. This year I would have to say that I stumbled across a Japanese movie called Ju San Nin No Shikaku or “13 Assassins”. Actually, I’m cheating again because this movie came out in 2010. It’s about 13 samurai who are employed to kill an evil lord. You need to check it out just for the final battle sequence. Chanbarra at its best!

For 2013 I’m going to say The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. I haven’t seen it yet but I just know it will be amazing.

What’s your top tip for a fun New Year’s Eve?
I always do the same thing every year – I visit the local shrine at midnight and pray to the gods for a happy new year, head back for soba and some hot sake. This is a tradition in Japan and I feel that it really marks the closing of the past year and the opening of a new one.

What are you most looking forward to doing in 2014?
Maybe taking a holiday and relaxing for a bit. Actually, what I’m most looking forward to is getting my teeth into the next project. I really want to muck around and see what I can do on the PS4.

Graham Smith, Co-Founder, Drinkbox (Guacamelee!)

Which game did you play more than any other in 2013?
GTA V on PS3 probably got the most hours from me this year. That game is enormous, and somehow I never got tired of exploring that game world. It was not my favourite game of the year though! That honour would probably have to go to Antichamber, which really blew my mind in a way that has not happened since Portal was released back in 2007.

Which game did you really want to play in 2013, but never found the time?
I recently picked up Tearaway on the PS Vita, but have not had a chance to seriously sit down with it yet. I’m only about 10 minutes in at this point, but the game absolutely oozes with charm. I can’t wait to see everything I can do as a “You”.

What was the single best thing you did in 2013?
I got engaged while travelling in Chile! I proposed to my fiancé while overlooking Glacier Grey at the start of a five-day trek in Torres Del Paine National Park. Trekking in Patagonia was one of most amazing experiences of our lives. It was also a really interesting (and slightly uncomfortable) feeling not having an internet connection or TV/cell phone for five whole days. The world could have been ending and we would have had no idea.

What was the single worst thing you did in 2013?
Not calling my mother enough. I think that will be my New Year’s resolution for 2014.

Who was the most interesting person you met in 2013?
There was a Christmas party in the lobby of my building last week, where I started chatting with a random elderly lady. She’s 62 years old, retired, and absolutely fascinating. Having been married to a successful BBC video producer (who has now passed away), she had a lot of amazing stories to tell about her life with him. She spent one New Year’s Eve on a ship with the Queen of England, and regularly rubbed elbows at parties with The Beatles and David Bowie in her younger years.

What was your favourite book and/or movie of 2013?
My favourite movie this year was Gravity. The set-pieces, cinematography, and acting all really blew me away. Before seeing it, I never would have guessed that I would become a fan of Sandra Bullock in my life, but she really won me over with this performance!

What’s your top tip for a fun New Year’s Eve?
Mix good friends with liberal amounts of alcohol.

What are you most looking forward to doing in 2014?
I’m really looking forward to travelling and seeing more of the world with my new wife :)

Shahid Ahmad, Senior Business Development Manager, SCEE

Which game did you play more than any other in 2013?
Hotline Miami.

Which game did you really want to play in 2013, but never found the time?
Guacamelee!, but I’ll be catching up with my pile of shame over Christmas.

What was the single best thing you did in 2013?
Gamescom. In more detail, announcing 25 new PS Vita games from our tiny team, including PS4 versions of almost half of them, getting to announce several new titles at our press event, and the showfloor’s PS Vitas being packed with our games.

What was the single worst thing you did in 2013?
Not sign even more games than we did!

Who was the most interesting person you met in 2013?
Shuhei Yoshida.

What was your favourite book and/or movie of 2013?
Book: The Authentic Swing by Steven Pressfield. Movie: I haven’t found the time to go to the cinema, but Skyfall on Blu-ray because I love Bond.

What’s your top tip for a fun New Year’s Eve?
Every day can be as fun as New Year’s Eve. Once you realise that, the pressure is off and you can just relax and enjoy it.

What are you most looking forward to doing in 2014?
Working with my colleagues and our partners to create memorable games for our players.

Paul Rustchynsky, Design Director, Evolution Studios (DRIVECLUB)

Which game did you play more than any other in 2013?
This year I finally took the opportunity to play through The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. I held off playing it when it first came out because I knew I’d need to find 100 or so hours to play it. I don’t like to chip away at big games over an extended period of time, so it wasn’t until this year that I found a clear window to get into the game.

I managed to rock through the entire main quest and still wanted more, so I played through all of the expansions straight after. The breadth and depth of the game is just astounding, and it’s made me very excited about what we might see from Bethesda on PlayStation 4!

Which game did you really want to play in 2013, but never found the time?
Similar in some ways to Skyrim, with Ni No Kuni I know that I will have to set time aside to get the most out of it, so I’ve put this on hold until next year. I love the sublime Studio Ghibili art style and the story intrigues me, plus I haven’t sunk my teeth into a JRPG for some time, so it’s right at the top of my playlist for 2014.

What was the single best thing you did in 2013?
With the amount of travelling I’ve done and incredible places I’ve seen it’s hard to choose one! I honeymooned in Thailand, went to E3 in LA, visited New York for the first time to showcase DRIVECLUB and went to Germany for Gamescom. In Germany I was driven around in a Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Black Series which is most definitely one of my stand-out moments of 2013.

What was the single worst thing you did in 2013?
I had a collection of over 2,000 games and 30 consoles, but to make room in the house for my newborn son I’ve had to sell my collection. It’s been a long, painful and nostalgic experience but my son’s worth the heartache and hopefully I’m passing on the joy of these games to others.

Who was the most interesting person you met in 2013?
I actually met one of my childhood heroes at E3 this year – creator of Earthworm Jim and MDK, David Perry. He was so enthusiastic about what he was working on and it was cool to see that he’s still as passionate about the industry that he helped to define as he was when he first set out making games all those years ago. It was inspiring and I hope that in 20 years I’ll still be as passionate as he is about making games.

What was your favourite book and/or movie of 2013?
With all of the travelling this year I managed to read quite a few books, but by far the best was Ready Player One by Ernest Cline. I won’t spoil anything, but I will say it’s perfect for any child of the ’80s, any videogame fans or anyone even remotely interested in sci-fi.

Choosing a favourite film is more difficult. I haven’t watched as many films this year as I normally would unfortunately, because I’ve spent more time watching TV series than anything else (Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead, Mad Men, Breaking Bad). Actually, I’m going to go with Star Trek: Into Darkness because it was great and I’m a bit of a Trekky.

What’s your top tip for a fun New Year’s Eve?
Spend it with family and friends!

What are you most looking forward to doing in 2014?
Releasing DRIVECLUB, obviously! :)

James Marsden, Managing Director, Futurlab (Velocity Ultra)

Which game did you play more than any other in 2013?
Hotline Miami on PS Vita.

Which game did you really want to play in 2013, but never found the time?
Thomas Was Alone.

What was the single best thing you did in 2013?
Meeting you at Gamescom Fred ;)

Oh, and taking our team to Eurogamer Expo! Oh, and having Shuhei Yoshida and Michael Denny pay a visit to our little studio! Oh, and taking part in the launch of PS4 with Shahid Ahmad & Hollie B. Oh and… etc.

What was the single worst thing you did in 2013?
Tried a gigantic food challenge whilst visiting family in Pembrokeshire. I failed miserably.

Who was the most interesting person you met in 2013?
Ben Andac, our producer at Sony who dazzled me with his knowledge of Street Fighter’s mechanics. We’ve yet to play each other but there will be blood…

What was your favourite book and/or movie of 2013?
Favourite book was Risk: The Science & Politics of Fear by Dan Gardner.

Favourite film was Gravity. No work of art or entertainment has made me value my life more than that film.

What’s your top tip for a fun New Year’s Eve?
Stay in and play Jungle Speed with family and one or two best friends:

What are you most looking forward to doing in 2014?
That’s easy, I absolutely can’t wait to release our two games, Surge Deluxe on PS Vita and Velocity 2X on PSVita and PS4.

After that, continuing to work with PlayStation, as the last few years have been the most thrilling and creatively fulfilling I’ve had to date.

Rami Ismail and Jan Willem Nijman, Vlambeer (LUFTRAUSERS)

Which game did you play more than any other in 2013?
The two of us don’t often agree about things here at Vlambeer, but this year the game we played most was Samurai Gunn. Even with games like Persona 4: Golden, which Rami definitely spent weeks of his life on, Samurai Gunn is the most fun we’ve had with friends and a videogame.

Which game did you really want to play in 2013, but never found the time?
Jan Willem really regrets never having the time to play Kentucky Route Zero and Desktop Dungeons. Rami agrees that Jan should regret that.

What was the single best thing you did in 2013?
We finally finished Ridiculous Fishing, and the response to the launch was something that -no exaggeration- saved Vlambeer from just collapsing. Deciding to launch the Nuclear Throne project has been really rewarding, so maybe that? Maybe the best thing we did this year was finally understanding that we’re allowed to sometimes not work and take a break.

What was the single worst thing you did in 2013?
We watched Prometheus.

Who was the most interesting person you met in 2013?
Rami met Tracy Fullerton at IndieCade this year, and even though it was for a really short moment, that had quite an impact. She is truly a large part of why the context of creating games is such a positive one.

What was your favourite book and/or movie of 2013?
Jan Willem has been reading the Dune novels, but also wanted to point out Old Man’s War by Scalzi. Rami has been reading a lot of terrible science fiction this year, and a bunch of agreeable ones. Karl Schroeders’ Lady of Mazes & Ventus were interesting reads. Computer Chess was a movie both of us quite liked.

What’s your top tip for a fun New Year’s Eve?
Make all your days fun, then make New Year’s Eve like any other day.

What are you most looking forward to doing in 2014?
Everything changes fast enough that we don’t like thinking ahead too far. For now, our focus lays with releasing LUFTRAUSERS for PS3 and PS Vita, and working on Nuclear Throne, which will also release on PS4 and PS Vita eventually. After that, we’ll see what happens.

Steven Ter Heide, Game Director, Guerrilla Games (Killzone: Shadow Fall)

Which game did you play more than any other in 2013?
In frequency, probably Bejeweled on my phone. In time spent, I’d say Minecraft, as I’ve been just wasting so much time doing absolutely pointless things there, and enjoying it immensely. Borderlands 2 has barely left my PS3, that was so enjoyable to just run around with some friends.

Which game did you really want to play in 2013, but never found the time?
The Last of Us is a game that deserved my full attention, but simply didn’t have time for. I still have a huge backlog of games, but I wonder if I can go back, as the new offerings on PS4 are also very enticing. Nice dilemma to have, no shortage of entertainment over Christmas.

What was the single best thing you did in 2013?
Ship a PS4 launch title. This was an all-consuming event that eclipsed all other things I could do.

What was the single worst thing you did in 2013?
That’s a difficult question, I think I managed to disappoint myself by not having the discipline to go the gym, but haven’t done anything to be a terrible person. Some would say that the worst thing I did was not revive them in the midst of a crucial game, but that would be an over-exaggeration on their part and doesn’t make me a terrible person at all.

Who was the most interesting person you met in 2013?
It’s interesting to get to know some people a little better when you’re working so closely with them for a longer period. I say interesting, as some things you really didn’t want to know (Hi Poria!) ;)

What was your favourite book and/or movie of 2013?
I really enjoyed reading Neal Stephenson’s Reamde. Nicely blurred videogames, hacking and Canadian wildlife. The description of the online gameworld was really well done, so much so that I wanted to go and play that game.

What’s your top tip for a fun New Year’s Eve?
Enjoy it like there is no tomorrow! 2000 and 2012 both predicted extinction level events, which made the night so much more enjoyable ;)

What are you most looking forward to doing in 2014?
I am looking forward to new ideas and seeing where the community is going to be taking the game. Mostly looking forward to a quieter time, and find out 2013 was all about.

Did you enjoy this?

Comments

27 Comments 0 Author replies
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chrisboers 30 December, 2013 @ 2:18 pm   1

It’s been an exciting year for everything Playstation, and this (and previous) posts confirm this. It also shows that 2014 may become an even BIGGER year. In part, it will become the year of truth for PS4: will there be a good follow-up to the launch-lineup? Will there be enough to keep everyone happy? For me, I mostly look forward to Watch Dogs and Infamous Second Son.

That, and the zillions of indie-games of course!

 

Looking forward for the next Uncharted game! :D
Sorry for the off-topic but I’m having trouble on the playstation store. I have PS+ and I downloaded Velocity Ultra for Vita back when you offered it, but now when I try to redownload it from my transfer list all I see is the demo! Can you please help me out? I really want to play it :(

 
Project2insanity 30 December, 2013 @ 3:01 pm   3

Play more than any other in 2013- Through just play time, that was probably Virtue’s Last Reward but could have been Okami HD. The latter, I played across the end of 2012 into the start of 2013. I’ve easily played single player more than online multiplayer this year.
I’ve probably played Playstation All-Stars Battle Royale most in terms of frequency.

Want to play in 2013, but never found the time- Not an issue. I always prioritise. ^^

Single best thing you did in 2013- Was voted world’s sexiest man.

Single worst thing you did in 2013- Lied about my last answer. I placed second…

Favourite book and/or movie of 2013- Man of Steel. Arguably best intro in cinematic history.

Most looking forward to doing in 2014- Castlevania:Lords of Shadow 2. Once I complete it, I make the jump to PS4!

 

Never mind 2014 after the latest sale I’ll still be playing the games I have now until halfway through the year.

solarwind12 30 December, 2013 @ 5:23 pm   5

Nice piece, some interesting replies, seems i am not alone in not finding time for TLoU, starting to think i was a little strange… Anyhows hope its a good new year for everyone who makes this playstation world what it is, everyone else as well.. Looking forwards to tomorrow, gonna be Great…

 

Played the most, probably Borderlands 2 or GTA V offline and online, Best thing i did, easy , bought a PS4, Worst thing i did, considered buying an Xbone (Just kidding) Best movie, to many good ones to choose from, maybe MOS, Most looking forward to playing in 2014, Lords of shadow 2, infamous second son and of course the new Uncharted.

 

Hi Fred, I want to get cracking on some of the delayed PS4 titles. I have had my console since launch day UK. I also added a 1 year plus subscription… To be fair the plus stuff is coming up a little short . Contrast is not my kind of gamI have completed black flag battlefield4,killzone, currently on Ghosts.

 

Lol Fred i pressed the post before I finished, I was saying that I have done most of the games since day 1.. I am looking forward to getting the delayed titles, drive club. elder scrolls. destiny but I might have to box my console up for a while to stop the dust getting on it lol. I kinda wished I did not get my years subscription i should have waited… Anyway I am PS

 
Tech__Visionz 31 December, 2013 @ 1:56 am   9

I just really hope you could play playstation 3 games on playstaion 4 because I really want to play the last of us I never got to play the game yet.

DayDr3emrs 31 December, 2013 @ 7:36 am   10

2013 was a great year. So many good titles. finally got my hands on gta5 and it was amazing and recently picked up The Last of Us after I heard everyone throwing around “game of the year” and I’m only early into it, but man, great game and an amazing experience.

Excited to see what the ps4 offers in 2014 and beyond. To be honest I’m glad ps4 has limted titles at the moment, just so I can clear some of my ps3 backlog as well. :D

 

Hi Fred. I was just wondering if you could provide us all with an update on when the PS4 Servers for the European PlayStation Store as I was only able to download periodically on Christmas Day and I have not been able to download anything since. I have bought a full one-year subscription to PlayStation Plus for £34 and yet I can’t download Contrast or any games for that matter or even updates for the likes of Killzone: Shadow Fall or FIFA 14, resulting in me being unable to play games online. Can you please address this problem on the European PlayStation Blog as I would like some clarification on the status of the PS4 Servers and when the PS4 owners can expect an improvement?

 

Hey, can somebody please finally explain how to play Grid 2 in English? All the moderators are ignoring the December PS+ thread and apparently don’t care about the users.

 
residentSteve 31 December, 2013 @ 11:08 am   13

@11 it must be your ISP my ps3 & ps4 are working fine on the store I’ve not had one problem so far, mines sky they are pretty good normally.

 

2013= great game jear ( only some good games go to 2014 )
2014= gone be great buth very diferent to games = lesser time + mony ( almoast mi own appart +- 2 weeks )
if i wait untile cheaper i wil have stil many games i like .

fred = why cod goast makes 2 folders in mi library ?
+ download every dlc 2 x
also if i download team leader pack ith starts to dowload season pass.

also on ad on = ith say i have 3 ad ons of 4 ( buth i have al 4 )
somting realy mest up ( psn maintenace /store team can look in the problem , please ) .

also to blog + al other peopel hapy new jear .+ great game jear 2014.

 

residentSteve

no servers have very big problems on some moments ( if u then play ps3 you have 0 problems = very intresting to see ).

-try other hour + normal day of the week
-try after holiday = done ( when kids back to school )

i have friends from the Nederlands ( them have very good internet ) them have same problems .

i find sony need to solve isue of bad psn very fast ( ps+ = paying service on ps4)

 

Uncharted 4 on ps4 in 2014!!!

 

Really enjoyed reading this post! Love hearing from the devs and other industry insiders.

 

Happy New Year to all the Devs and Chris Howe, Jawad Ashraf and Fred Dutton have a good night and see you on 6th January 2014

cristianos64 1 January, 2014 @ 9:42 pm   20

gggh

 
redmattuk 2 January, 2014 @ 1:48 pm   21

Happy New Year to all the staff.

Hope you’ve had a good one.

Loving this blog and your responsiveness.

Best wishes,

 
naples25039579 2 January, 2014 @ 8:44 pm   22

2013 was clearly busy. Ps4 going back in its box and ill go back to ps3 until the developers arent to busy to bring its multimedia capabilities and video apps up to scratch so far so underwhelmed with ps4!

 
naples25039579 2 January, 2014 @ 8:56 pm   23

Even have to use a workround for youtube!!!

 
captain57boots 2 January, 2014 @ 10:33 pm   24

Hi, I am having an issue upgrading the PS3 version of ACIV to the PS4 version. I have entered the redemption code and clicked on the upgrade option provided, but only get a message saying “We’re sorry this product is not available at this time. (E-82000113)”

I am in the Australian region.

Please help Sony. I have searched but can’t find anywhere on the website to email tech issues to. A simple and obvious email address would be nice. Thanks in advance.

 
FRAZZ2010 3 January, 2014 @ 2:59 am   25

@Comment 23 , I remember reading in the Christmas sale post when someone was asking if AC IV was upgradeable to the PS4, and Fred replied with yes it is, until the 1st of January, but he was, at the time obviously talking about the digital version, so i don’t know wether that date applies to the disc version or not.

 
FRAZZ2010 4 January, 2014 @ 4:30 pm   26

Meant comment 24

 
xscapeguy2007 5 January, 2014 @ 11:42 pm   27

Fred,

I got a vita for xmas. love it but i got a message saying to register before 31st december to get free month of plus and chance to win a ps4. This was supposed to come in an email voucher. Had many emails for vita and ps3 but nothing regarding this. Can you please investigate and get a voucher to me please. Many regards

Terry