Rumor: SEGA’s Hardlight studio shifting from Vita to iOS

In January we reported on a new SEGA studio called Hardlight, whose goal was to develop “high quality and innovative experiences for both current and future platforms”. Hardlight’s first game was, and may still be, a “unique action adventure” for the Playstation Vita. However, since SEGA’s recent changes, some SEGA fans questioned what was to become of Hardlight’s project. After the break, speculation as to what the status of the game is and why it might be heading to iOS.

After SEGA announced their unfortunate changes, the story writer for Hardlight’s Vita game, Tom Jubert (whose resume includes Binary Domain) spoke up:

Of most interest, though, is probably the secret project that’s taking up most of my time. I’m currently narrative designer for a major new Sega IP for Playstation Vita being developed up at Sega’s new ’boutique’ studio outside of Birmingham. Boutique, for once, is actually being applied quite fairly – this is a bunch of around 15 highly talented chaps and chapesses producing what Sega sorely needs: new, ambitious, home-grown intellectual property. The studio’s creative team is headed by Simon Woodroffe of Simon the Sorceror and Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth fame, and we’re working on what is probably only the second game I’ve worked on which I felt might really do something great with its writing. (The first was the ill-fated Hydravision zombie game.)

The game’s being designed from the ground up with narrative as its focus, and right now myself and another designer are knee deep in fleshing out the gameplay scenarios and producing a vertical slice. We’re hoping to be able to announce details Q1 next year. Story development is actually in large part being informed by the aesthetics and philosophy of mind that I’m researching at King’s, and I’ll probably bore you to tears with some details on the latter some time soon.

Sounds positive, until it was announced that creative team head Simon Woodroffe was leaving Hardlight, and the Vita project, to work for Rare. Since this unfortunate announcement, Tom Jubert updated his resume to include the following:

Unannounced Game (iOS)
Sega Hardlight

Could it be that Woodroffe’s departure, coupled with SEGA putting more of a focus on digital titles when it comes to new and risky IPs, meant that the platform for Hardlight’s game shifted from Vita to iOS? Sure Vita is capable of digital titles, but considering how much larger the iOS in in terms of users, an iOS shift is both possible and would make sense. As always, more on the story if we hear anything.

Super special thanks to SEGAbits forum member Pao for keeping us up to date on Hardlight.


11 responses to “Rumor: SEGA’s Hardlight studio shifting from Vita to iOS

  1. sth88 says:

    Sad to hear, but honestly it’s probably for the best, since the Vita is bombing so terribly right now.

  2. DCGX says:

    Well damn. I wanted some more, new SEGA games on my Vita.

  3. Centrale says:

    Things aren’t looking good for the Vita, but I think it will pick up over the next year and ultimately do about as well as the PSP did.

  4. pso2love says:

    I say wait a year, and you’ll find at least one title worth getting the Vita for 😉

  5. DCGX says:

    No doubt there should be a lot of Vita announcements at E3 next month.

  6. Shigs says:

    I’m really starting to think Vita is the portable Dreamcast of this generation. Great graphics, a great launch library, but no one gives a crap and it’s failing miserably.

    • radrappy says:

      what great launch games does it have? As near as I can tell the Dreamcast didn’t launch with ports/remakes of games. Don’t you slander the Dreamcast’s legacy with a comparison like this. A better comparison would be to the original psp.

  7. Crazytails says:

    I think sony fails what the apeal is of handheld games and instead they try to emulate consOle experiences on it. Which isnt smart since it will always make one wish it came out on a console, like golden abyss for example

  8. -nSega54- says:

    lol I think people cared about the DC at first; its launch set records, something the Vita’s sure as hell didn’t.

    Anyway. I don’t get how a team of 15 would ever have been able to develop a Vita game unless it was digital-only to begin with, I’d think.

    I guess switching to iOS was a good decision, though it means I won’t ever be playing this game.

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