For the two years that PlayStation VR has been known to the world, it’s always been backed up by tech demos from Sony Computer Entertainment’s (SCE’s) London Studio. The developer supported the reveal of the device back at the 2014 Game Developers Conference (GDC) with software like The Deep, and has since launched one of the head-mounted display’s (HMD’s) more impressive showcases in The London Heist. The team is seeing a big shake up today, however, as studio head Dave Ranyard has announced that he is leaving the company to pursue other opportunities in virtual reality (VR).
Ranyard worked at SCE London Studio for some 17 years, over which time the company has developed full titles like The Getaway for PlayStation 2 – which has clearly influenced The London Heist itself – as well as party titles such as Singstar. The team was even one of the first to experiment with augmented reality (AR) videogames with the Eyetoy peripheral. Ranyard himself has also spent much of the past few years giving talks about developing for VR, famously even showing a video of his mother reacting to The Deep demo, in which the player is subject to a close encounter with a shark.
“It was a tough decision to leave Sony as I have really enjoyed my time there, working on some amazing games and making some lifelong friends,” Ranyard said of his departure. I’m also a huge PlayStation fanboy at heart so am looking forward to working on Sony’s VR platform in addition to others that will be available.” The developer hasn’t yet announced what his next project will be, though, as stated above, this departure will enable him to work with other HMDs outside of PlayStation VR such as the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive.
For the latest on SCE and Ranyard’s work with VR, keep reading VRFocus.