Sony Interactive Entertainment Bend Studio creative director John Garvin and game director Jeff Ross have left the Oregon studio, the pair announced.
Garvin has been with Bend Studio since 1997, when it was still known as Eidetic and before it was acquired by Sony Interactive Entertainment in 2000, while Ross has been with Sony Interactive Entertainment since 2006 and Bend Studio specifically since 2015.
According to the Twitter thread announcing his departure, Garvin left Bend Studio over a year ago. Here is his message in full:
“Hi all, a quick announcement: I haven’t spoken about this before for various reasons, but I’m no longer with Bend Studio and haven’t been for over a year. Since Days Gone shipped, I’ve been focusing on personal projects: painting, writing, publishing and generally, enjoying a break from the game industry. For those that don’t know, I moved to Bend, Oregon in 1997, and began work as art director for Eidetic, a tiny 12-person studio headed by the legendary Marc Blank (creator of Zork</em.).
“Over the past two decades, I helped the studio grow into a major developer, now part of the Sony family. Along the way, I wrote and directed every game from Syphon Filter through Days Gone, including two of my favorites, Resistance: Retribution and Uncharted Golden Abyss.
“The past 20 years were an amazing journey. I want to thank [Shuei Yoshida], [Scott Rohde], and [Connie Booth] for the opportunities they gave me; studio director [Christopher Reese] who was at Eidetic from the start!; the entire Sony family that provided so much support throughout the world; game director [Jeff Ross] who I’ve worked with off and on for all that time, and who is one of the most game-savvy designers I know; and the entire Days Gone team. The studio was like a family to me and I wish them all the very best.
“Finally, I want to thank the fans of Days Gone, Syphon Filter, [Resistance: Retribution], and [Uncharted Golden Abyss]. You are the best. For me, these weren’t just game projects, they were labors of love and you made all the hours it took us to create them worthwhile. Thank you!”
Unlike Garvin who has not been at Bend Studio for some time now, Ross will exit the studio this week. His Twitter message reads, “This week is my last at PlayStation and [Sony Interactive Entertainment] Bend Studio. I’m incredibly proud of all the games I got to make, but also looking forward to new challenges ahead. I’ll post about my plans later, but I’ll be moving to Chicago once COVID calms down.”
Sony Interactive Entertainment Bend Studio released Days Gone for PlayStation 4 in April 2019. According to the LinkedIn profiles of senior writers Laurel Williams Dibble and Tom Dibble, the studio is currently working on an unannounced “AAA open-world title.” The partners noted that they created the “mythology, world rules, characters, and complete story” for the title. When a fan asked for a Days Gone sequel on Twitter back in January, Ross simply responded, “Stay tuned.”