It’s been six years since Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time came to PlayStation 3 and Vita, reviving the dormant Sony franchise after its eight year hiatus. While the original trilogy of games on the PS2 were pretty succinctly wrapped up with a nice bow, Thieves in Time ended on a cliffhanger that stranded its hero in ancient Egypt through some time travel shenanigans. Since then, developer Sanzaru Games, who took over the series after original creators Sucker Punch Productions moved on to the Infamous series, has gone on to work on other projects like the Sonic Boom video games and helping with the Spyro: Reignited Trilogy. But what about the beloved PlayStation mascot they left in a dire situation with seemingly no hope of getting out? As it turns out, the studio has no real update to give, but it sounds like it had a plan to resolve this cliffhanger through a piece of DLC.
Mat Kraemer, creative director at the studio, made an appearance on the Kinda Funny Games Daily show earlier this week, where he was asked by a viewer for an update on the series, especially in light of its cliffhanger. While Kraemer said they ultimately had no say in whether or not they’d get to return to Sly Cooper in the future, he did reveal there was a plan to rescue Sly from his fate in a DLC episode, which was written and ready to begin development within Sanzaru. But from the sound of it, Sony pulled the plug before what was on paper could truly begin development in-game.
“Egypt was going to be a DLC episode,” Kraemer said. “That was always the intention, then we never got to finish that out. The team at Sanzaru, we have the story, the whole episode done on paper form, but we would love to come back to that world. I hate leaving him there. It’s the question we get the most.”
Kraemer recommended fans let Sony know they want more from the franchise, as the studio is ready and waiting to get that call again.
“All I can say is if you guys want more Sly Cooper let Sony know,” Kraemer said. “We’re always ready to dig into that. It was a great franchise to work on and we really miss it.”
So, per these instructions, I will now make my case for more Sly Cooper:
Hey Sony. You’re doing pretty well right now. The PlayStation 4 has sold over 100 million units around the world and you’re ramping up development on the PlayStation 5, which should probably be a hit as long as you don’t tell people to get a second job to afford it. That system is no doubt gonna have some huge games like a God of War or Horizon Zero Dawn sequel. Not to mention you’ve still got The Last of Us: Part II and Ghost of Tsushima coming out next year. You’re set on big, money-making games that everyone is gonna fawn over for the next few years.
What if, follow me here, you used all that money you’ve accumulated to fund a game that might sell fewer copies, but would have a smaller budget and be an act of good will to fans of your IP, especially fans who had to watch in horror as their beloved mascot character was stranding in a different time period with seemingly no way out?
That would be real swell, y’all. Especially since you apparently actively cancelled the DLC that would have shut me up for the past six years.
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Sly Cooper as a franchise has been in a weird state these past few years since the release of Thieves in Time, as an animated film was also planned to launch in 2016, but was cancelled in favor of an animated series developed by Technicolor Animation Productions. The series was originally set to air in October of 2019, but has since been removed from Technicolor Animation Productions’ website. Whether the series has been cancelled, quietly moved to Sony’s new PlayStation Productions studios like the Uncharted movie, or handed over to another production company is currently unknown.
While it’s coming up on fifteen years since Sly Cooper was a mainstay in the PlayStation line-up, if Ratchet & Clank’s success in 2016 has proven anything it’s that there’s still a place for the mascot platformer in PlayStation’s ecosystem. Sony has shown a willingness recently to revisit even older properties as well, like with this year’s MediEvil remake, so hope might not be lost for Sly Cooper’s return yet.
And I mean, they made a fucking Knack sequel.