In the interview, Ross stated that a Days Gone sequel would have allowed him to “create the definitive version,” of the game, one where he “didn’t have to necessarily apologize for so much.”
“We have to be able to crawl before you can walk, and walk before you can run,” Ross continued, alluding to the jump in quality that many sequels see once they’ve found their feet and have ground to build upon.
“You create the minimum viable entry and then hope you get to build the second one,” Ross explained. “Because you’re not arguing over the foundations, you’re arguing over the epic new ideas that you’re gonna be putting into it.”
For the scrapped Days Gone sequel, Ross wanted to keep the narrative focus of the first game, while exploring the relationship between the protagonist Deacon St. John and his wife Sarah as they navigate their relationship in the apocalypse.
“We would have kept the heavy, strong narrative. We would have kept the bike, obviously. And I think we would have expanded the tone a little bit in a more technical direction, kind of like, ‘Alright, now we have all this NERO tech – what can we do with it?’,” Ross explained.
Beyond the narrative of the scrapped sequel, Ross also had Bend Studio’s sights set on improving the systems and depths of Days Gone. “I would add more systems. Systems are very simple. And if they’re simple, they can be elegant and very rich for the player,” Ross said.
“I knew adding one or two more layers to the systemic elements of it would have been something that we could have wrapped our heads around, it would have led to a ton of richness for the players and a ton of unique open-world moments.”
Ross detailed in the interview that swimming, bears digging through trash cans, and wolves that could roam and hunt were all possibilities for the sequel which we’ll likely never get to see.
With Sony’s Bend Studio now working on a “very exciting new IP that they’re very, very passionate about,” according to PlayStation Studios head Herman Hulst, it’s highly unlikely that we’ll see a sequel to Days Gone in the future, especially since Ross is no longer with the developer.