Sony's mysterious San Diego studio "was assembled to expand upon existing franchises"

(Image credit: Naughty Dog)

Sony's mysterious San Diego studio appears to be working on some of the company's existing franchises. As spotted on Reddit, the LinkedIn profile of one Sony veteran offers some more clues as to the existence of the team, and what games it's focused on.

The new information comes via the LinkedIn profile of Michael Mumbauer, who left Sony Worldwide Studios in November 2020 after more than 13 years with the company, where he worked as a studio head and the senior director of visual arts. Towards the bottom of his bio, one paragraph reads that Mumbauer's "latest achievement is having built a brand new, all-star, AAA action/adventure development team for PlayStation," which "was assembled to expand upon existing franchises and craft all-new stories for the next generation of gamers."

The kicker is that that team is "based in San Diego," where rumours of a second Sony studio (distinct from Sony San Diego, which was founded in 2001) have been circulating since 2018. Those rumours were most recently fanned by former Sony senior designer John Bautista, who appeared to announce his departure in November 2020.

Sony has never officially announced a new studio in San Diego, but rumours of its existence have been doing the rounds for a few years now, with some suggesting that it will be taking over the development of the Uncharted series from The Last of Us Part II developer Naughty Dog. That would line up with Mumbauer's claim that his team was working on a "AAA, action/adventure" game within one of Sony's "existing franchises." With the PS5 now available worldwide, it's not unrealistic to assume that Sony would be looking to secure another console exclusive from one of its most successful properties (especially with Naughty Dog staffers moving to San Diego), although without official confirmation, we'll have to wait and see if Nathan Drake will be making his next-gen debut.

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Ali Jones
News Editor

I'm GamesRadar's news editor, working with the team to deliver breaking news from across the industry. I started my journalistic career while getting my degree in English Literature at the University of Warwick, where I also worked as Games Editor on the student newspaper, The Boar. Since then, I've run the news sections at PCGamesN and Kotaku UK, and also regularly contributed to PC Gamer. As you might be able to tell, PC is my platform of choice, so you can regularly find me playing League of Legends or Steam's latest indie hit.