A new rumor claims that Ghost of Tsushima developer Sucker Punch Productions is preparing a small sequel titled Ghost of Ikishima.
This is all coming from Twitter user and Xboxera cofounder Shpeshal_Nick, who's accurately leaked a few projects in the past. Over a series of tweets and replies, Nick claimed that Ghost of Ikishima is "an expandalone type game" roughly the size of Spider-Man: Miles Morales aiming for a 2021 release, presumably on PS5 and likely also PS4 given Sony's redoubled plans for cross-gen releases.
Altogether, this is a wild and unsupported claim, and it should be treated as such. However, a game of this description would make sense for a few reasons. Firstly, it's very plausible that Sony and Sucker Punch would push out a smaller game bearing the Ghost of Tsushima name to beef up the PS5's library in its first year, just as Insomniac Games did with Spider-Man: Miles Morales for the PS5 launch. The rumored Ghost of Ikishima would in theory introduce the IP to the PS5 and, assuming it's a cross-gen release, give the game's large PS4 audience something else to bite. It would also tide the PS5 over while it waits on sequels to other PS4 big-hitters, like God of War: Ragnarok, which was recently delayed to 2022.
We also know that Sucker Punch is by no means done with the Ghost of Tsushima IP. It released a full-fat multiplayer mode called Legends not long after the game came out, and there's already a Ghost of Tsushima movie in development. Clearly, Sony and Sucker Punch want to build on its success. This comes as no surprise given how well the game reviewed and sold, not to mention Sucker Punch's history of sequelizing Sly Cooper and Infamous.
This isn't the first time we've heard whispers of Ghost of Tsushima coming to the PS5 in some form, either. At the start of the year, one cinematic director's LinkedIn profile page briefly stated that they were working on "a Ghost of Tsushima game for Sony PS5." The PS5 mention was quickly removed from the page after this news made the rounds, but the original text has been preserved in plenty of screenshots.
Several job listings at Sucker Punch have also hinted at additional Ghost of Tsushima projects over the past year. In October 2020, the studio put out a call for a narrative writer capable of telling stories in feudal Japan, the same setting as the original game (this listing has been pulled, presumably because the position was filled). In January 2021, a listing for a combat designer familiar with Ghost of Tsushima's combat mechanics was spotted, with the "pluses" section of the listing mentioning "experience working on progression and investment systems."
The latter listing is still live today, and stands out from the studio's other jobs since it uses an older format missing some of the boilerplate text used in newer listings. It's also one of the few job listings that directly references Ghost of Tsushima in the context of job requirements. And crucially, its page data shows that it was posted on December 19, 2020 – longer after the release of Ghost of Tsushima, and two months after the release of Legends.
In other words, Sucker Punch was actively seeking a combat designer well-versed in Ghost of Tsushima's mechanics and systems after both of its official Ghost of Tsushima projects were already out in the wild. There's a world where the copy for this job listing was recycled, or where the studio is hiring for a new project looking to build on the work done in Ghost of Tsushima, but the timing and wording again imply that a sequel is in the works.
Let's also not forget that all of this is coming to a head now, on the heels of an E3 from which Sony was conspicuously absent. There's little doubt that the publisher will host an event of its own sometime in the next few months – that is, an E3 stand-in State of Play – and that would be the perfect time to announce this kind of game, especially if it is indeed planned for 2021. We've had a State of Play every May for the last three years, and while this year May was dedicated to Horizon Forbidden West, in 2020, the May State of Play was all about Ghost of Tsushima. There's room for another State of Play in the next few months too, with last year's August 2020 show offering a big, E3-like round-up of many upcoming games.
This is all to say that while we have no proof Sucker Punch is working on another Ghost of Tsushima something, there's plenty of evidence that suggests it might be. Whether it is indeed a mini-sequel called Ghost of Ikishima remains to be seen.
One thing we do know is that 2D samurai story Trek to Yomi is channeling Ghost of Tsushima in amazing ways.