Rumors are flying that Heavenly Sword 2 has been canceled by Sony, which if true will mark the third major title shut down by Sony in recent weeks.
A Kotaku report quotes an "inside U.K. source" as saying the game has been terminated by Sony Computer Entertainment of Europe because it was no longer considered commercially viable. The news was apparently delivered as part of a meeting at Sony Cambridge, the game's developer.
On a related note, the source also claimed that Ninja Theory, the team behind the original Heavenly Sword, is becoming "increasingly bitter" about its treatment by Sony, and is in the process of moving out of the building it has thus far shared with Sony Cambridge.
Sony has not yet confirmed the cancellation of Heavenly Sword 2, but did attempt to explain the shutdown of Eight Days and The Getaway in a recent interview with GamesIndustry. Shuhei Yoshida, president of Sony Worldwide Studios, said that while starting and canceling projects is a normal part of business, these games were somewhat unique because they weren't necessarily being developed for release in the first place.
"The situation was that because we started talking about the PS3 in 2005-6, the idea concepts that became the Eight Days and The Getaway projects had something very representative of things that we think will define this generation of game development - the particles, the fantastic explosions, and so on," he said.
"So company management decided to show it as an example, as a demo, not necessarily meaning that they were titles to come," he continued. "It could have been a little bit confusing because there were lots of announcements of actual titles, but because of timing we made the unusual decision to announce those two at a very early stage of development."
"It must be disappointing to the people who worked really hard, but they know this is part of what we do," he said. "So I think it looks like big news, but it's really not. It happens, just usually without you knowing."
An employee at Ninja Theory has responded to the rumors of the Heavenly Sword 2 cancellation, as well as its own plans for the future.
"We [Ninja Theory] never started work on HS2 as we wanted to focus on new multiplatform IP," the staffer, named Tameem, wrote in a post on NeoGaf. "Sony owns the IP for HS and we have never been privy to what they would do with it."
"As for moving, we have been planning to move to larger premises for future expansion for the best party of a year. There is nothing bitter about the move," the post continued. "And the rumor that the team has been disbanded is ridiculous. We have had an unbelievably loyal team especially as we went through some difficult times securing a new publishing deal. We have a new publisher and are busy on our new project which is going very well so far."
"HS is far from our thoughts at the moment."