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Until Dawn devs shed light on original version of the game

Former Sony London employees reminisce about the Until Dawn that almost was before Sony killed it.

Justin Carter, Contributing Editor

January 4, 2024

2 Min Read
Key art for Supermassive's Until Dawn.
Image via Supermassive Games/PlayStation.

At a Glance

  • In another life, Until Dawn would be a Sony London game that launched for the then-upcoming PlayStation Move controller.

2015's Until Dawn was a breakout game for developer Supermassive Games, but the initial version once belonged to Sony's London studio.

Anonymous ex-staff speaking to Time Extension about how the title was once a launch game for the PlayStation Move. That report also gives a glimpse at its sudden cancellation and changing hands.

"We were meant to be leading the charge for the Move controller," a former employee revealed. Sony invested "a lot of resources" into London back then, hoping the developer would give the Move a flagship game.

Sony London began work on Until Dawn in 2008. While its version has the same core premise as Supermassive's game, it diverged in key ways, such as being first-person and including two-player co-op.

The latter feature was explicitly aimed at "early to mid-20s couples," said another former dev. "People would be playing, and they'd pass it to their partner. [...] Think Scream meets I Know What You Did Last Summer."

Death of the original Until Dawn

London's Until Dawn was never formally announced, though it was featured in a 2010 PS Move sizzle reel. Sony killed the project in 2011 as it was being whipped into shape after earlier production troubles.

Before then, Climax Studios alum Mark Simmons was brought on as its director. He previously worked on Silent Hill: Origins and Silent Hill: Shattered Memories, and was described as a proper guiding hand.

"[Simmons'] methods were...what the team needed," a third source revealed. "He cut some of the things out that we were trying to jostle with internally. [...] Having him onboard really made a difference."

Another developer called it "soul-destroying" to have things played out that way, but harbors no ill will towards Supermassive. "I think if there was ever a final product of something you worked on, I couldn’t have asked for a better job to have been done of it."

Until Dawn would go on to become a critical darling and surprise commercial success. Along with spawning two spinoffs, it lead to Supermassive making other interactive games like 2022's The Quarry.

The studio's next projects include Little Nightmares 3 and the Dead by Daylight spinoff, The Casting of Frank Stone. It's also continuing its Dark Pictures anthology with Directive 8020.

Time Extension's full report on Until Dawn also includes narrative changes and further insight into its Move mechanics, and can be read here.

About the Author(s)

Justin Carter

Contributing Editor, GameDeveloper.com

A Kansas City, MO native, Justin Carter has written for numerous sites including IGN, Polygon, and SyFy Wire. In addition to Game Developer, his writing can be found at io9 over on Gizmodo. Don't ask him about how much gum he's had, because the answer will be more than he's willing to admit.

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