Last week, Bloomberg reported that a number of key staff had left Sony Bend following an unsuccessful pitch for Days Gone 2.
The Director of the first game, Jeff Ross, has now appeared on a live stream with God of War creator David Jaffe in which he's discussed some elements of the story, including the fact that the pitch for the game apparently contained co-op multiplayer.
Read More: Everything We Know About Days Gone
Rejected Days Gone 2 Pitch Included 'Shared World' Co-Op Multiplayer
Whilst, due to an NDA, Ross couldn't confirm that Sony had indeed rejected the pitch, he did speak fairly candidly about the fact he had worked on it, and about some of the ideas him and the rest of the team had cooked up.
Specifically, he discussed the desire to introduce a multiplayer element in the first game could well have played a key part in the sequel:
"We wanted co-op from the beginning [in the first game], but obviously you have to make concessions for what you’re not going to be able to do,” he said. “It would’ve been a secondary mode if we’d have done it in the first one, or even in another one. I wouldn’t have complicated the main narrative… because that’s really what we’re good at. That was the strength of the first title, so build on that and make it better.
“But then take this world that you’ve built, and all these assets and systems, and repurpose them for some sort of similarly themed multiplayer version of this universe. So [it] would be with guys like Deacon trying to survive, building up a clubhouse or a crew. I think it would be fun to be in that world cooperatively and see what horde battles could be like.”
When asked if that desire for multiplayer would have manifested in a sequel, Ross said: “It’s one of the things that we had in our pitch, yeah. It was the idea of a shared universe with co-op play.”
According to VGC, Ross, who now works for Mortal Kombat studio NetherRealm, reiterated that his leaving Bend "had nothing to do with the status of the sequel" and was instead due to "personal reasons."
Whilst it seems fairly certain that Days Gone 2 has indeed been canned, Ross also made it clear that he had no idea what the current status of the game is, saying "I don’t think it’s publicly confirmed what the status of [Days Gone 2] is. I don’t want to be the guy who’s the official source for whatever that is."