Back in May 2015 is was revealed that Sony Computer Entertainment (SCE) was hiring for an ‘ambitious’ new first-party developer named North West Studio. The group is set to work exclusively on the company’s upcoming virtual reality (VR) head-mounted display (HMD), Project Morpheus, creating new experiences for the PlayStation 4 peripheral. It’s a few months on now and it appears that North West Studio is still hiring. In fact, a recent job listing for the developer drops some big hints at what fans can expect from one of its first projects.
The listing, posted over on Develop, is looking for an Environment Artist to come and start work on a ‘brand new IP for Project Morpheus’. The company is looking for individuals with skills in water features, rock formation, flora and fauna modelling and, tellingly, experience with Epic Games’ Unreal Engine 4 development toolset among other aspects. Perhaps the most intriguing part of the listing is looking for experience with ‘Stylised folio similar to Studio Ghibli’. Said studio is of course the celebrated Japanese animation company responsible for beloved classics such as Spirited Away and My Neighbour Totoro.
Studio Ghibli itself is no stranger to videogames. The company recently worked with Level-5 to create a beloved Japanese role-playing game (JRPG) named Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch, which itself is rumoured to be getting a sequel. Several VR enthusiasts have also created tribute experiences to the company’s work using the Oculus Rift HMD. Among them is Fire Panda’s Nick Pittom, who last year created scenes from both Spirited Away and My Neighbour Totoro in VR. It doesn’t sound as if this new project will be directly linked to the studio, then, but will be inspired by it.
VRFocus will continue to follow SCE’s North West Studio closely, reporting back with any further updates from the group.