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Inside Bend Studio – The Team Creating Days Gone

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Inside Bend Studio – The Team Creating Days Gone

Learn more about the team that has been making PlayStation games for 25 years, with Days Gone being their most significant release yet.

When you decide to make a post-apocalyptic survival action game, you’re choosing to live in that brutal world for years. Developing something so ambitious — that balances challenging, surprise encounters with cannibalistic foes and rewarding exploration — is a little crazy. We sat down with Jeff Ross and John Garvin, Creative Director / Writer and Game Director on Days Gone to get into their headspace on the road to the April 26 launch. What we discovered was a crew of talented, time-tested devs that are absolutely driven by their open-world vision.

Bend, Oregon — Where the Magic Happens


“Initially, we really wanted to make something that was beautiful to look at but dangerous to play in. If you’ve been to Central Oregon, you know what I’m talking about. It’s amazing with the snowcapped mountains and these amazing forests. It’s fun to explore, but you’re always looking over your shoulder.”
– John Garvin


“Living in Central Oregon, it’s a beautiful, diverse landscape, and it’s got all of the elements of a good open-world terrain space. We’re in the high desert, but we’ve got mountains. We’ve got snow. We’ve got forests. We’ve got rocky badlands.

“John and I would be in his office and I would look out the window and say, ‘What if the zombie apocalypse happened, and we were right down there. What would we do?’ I think asking that question — ‘Well, if I was here in this part of town when the apocalypse hit, what would I do?’ — people had some pretty dark ideas about what they would do and how awesome they would be at surviving.”

– Jeff Ross

The Bikers of Bend


“We had this core concept of an open world set in the Pacific Northwest — in the high desert specifically — and this core concept percolated throughout the team and we were like, ‘Well, you know, if you have an open world, it should have a way of getting around.’

“And we thought, ‘Okay, the motorcycle, that hasn’t really been a focus of games in the past.’ And we have a bunch of guys in the studio who ride bikes. So that became our original pitch: ‘Hey, an open-world game with a bike and the undead.’ Except they weren’t the undead, they were Freakers.”

– John Garvin


“The reason we went with a biker is because Deacon St. John sort of epitomizes everything we wanted to explore on the human side of this. So, yeah, he’s a badass and he can use a baseball bat and he knows how to ride a bike. But also the brotherhood and camaraderie that comes with being a member of the MC, that’s something we knew right from the beginning.”
– John Garvin

The Drive to Create Days Gone


“We’re still a relatively small developer, and I think that we realized somewhere, to compete in this generation of games, you need to set a high mark and you gotta go for it. We’re just crazy enough to bite that off and try to chew it.”
– Jeff Ross


“I think people in the studio were always looking at some of the choices we were making about being an open-world action survival game. We really made a lot of counterintuitive choices, things that went against the grain of what we do in conventional action games.”
– Jeff Ross


“I think survival games are really big right now because it goes to a darker fantasy that we all have — not a fantasy where we want our families to be killed and taken from us, but we all watch this media and say, ‘Well, here’s what I would do,’ right? I think the survival genre gives people the chance to answer that once and for all in an interactive world. I think that’s why these games are so enthralling and so captivating to players.”
– Jeff Ross


“I think it would take a Bend Studio to make a game like Days Gone, because we were crazy. We were crazy when we started building this game to think that 50 people could make a game this expansive. And we just went for it anyway. My first notes on the game are from 2013, and at the time it probably was crazy, but here we are, six years later, and this thing’s about to hit the streets.”
– John Garvin


You don’t have to wait long to experience the fruits of Bend Studio’s labor of love — Days Gone hits PS4 on April 26. Keep a watchful eye out for more Days Gone Countdown to Launch insights coming all week.

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13 Comments

  • besantesteras

    Pre order Deluxe Edition… Release exactly on Christmas Friday at Julian calendar (orthodox Christian knows what I’m talking about) and there is more than significant!!!
    p.s. I have 4Tb external HDD for my PS4Pro and I’m believe that my new WD HDD USB 3.1 will be work with PS5

  • txshurricane

    A huge congratulations to Bend Studio, and I hope this game is crazy successful.

    That said…Bend’s talents have been largely wasted on a single-player, by-the-numbers game.

    Another co-op Syphon Filter would be a dream come true.

    • princegroove

      Although the premise for this game has been revisited many times over I cannot help but feel really excited, and optimistic about Bend Studio’s entry into this genre. I’m eagerly awaiting my delivery of the game this Friday, I got the collector’s edition, too.

    • How have their talents been wasted when they’re coming out with a game a lot of people are excited for and also the fact that they’ve never released an online game?

  • m2mania2040

    I’m calling it now. 2019 platinum game of the year.

  • Please make a new Syphon Filter for PS5.

  • The game looks like it might be cool, but too bad that Prude-Sony ruined all the fun by censoring some of my favorite niche Japanese games, like the upcoming Super Neptunia RPG. If you guys truly cared about being consumer-friendly, you wouldn’t be censoring these games. See here for details: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J5dW-axV-fc

  • Já reservei o meu , não vejo a hora de jogar

  • superiorlunch300

    This game was the biggest let down. I just paid $60 and waited months just to find out I have an unplayable game if I don’t download a 20 GB update. Constant crashes, dialogue is out of sync, and environmental textures won’t load. I have literally waited in 45 minutes of load screens to get 5 minutes of gameplay and then the crash comes. I’m fixing to drop Sony all together. This is ridiculous. FINISH YOUR GAMES BEFORE YOU RELEASE THEM. Biggest let down since trump got elected.

    • superiorlunch300

      Ive been using Sony since PS1. These past 2 years have been worst and most filled with disappointment. Unfinished or just down right atrocious games. If something doesn’t change, Microsoft here I come.

  • superiorlunch300

    I am a consumer not a tester. I pay you for a finished product not to test your product.

  • princegroove

    I just got my collector’s edition today and it’s absolutely premium in all facets. Game-wise, I’ve been impressed with the visuals; however, I could use a patch or two to it on out the bugs and that horrendous load screen. I love all PlayStation first party studios’ releases but extended load screens of that degree shouldn’t be tolerated this generation.

  • Tazerface13

    They should be embarrassed for putting this glitchy, generic money grab piece of crap out for sale. Never played such a terrible game. He kick starts his bike in ever cut scene but it’s electric while playing. Very small thing but just goes to show they don’t give a ****

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