Insomniac Games Cannot Develop Sunset Overdrive 2 Because Of Microsoft

Microsoft owns exclusivity rights for the next two sequels of the IP.

Story Highlights

  • Insomniac Games is likely unable to develop Sunset Overdrive 2 because of Microsoft’s exclusivity rights.
  • Microsoft owns the publishing rights for the next two sequels in the series, making it complex for the devs.
  • The sequel was allegedly in development at one point but got canceled because of the team’s focus on Spider-Man.

The highly beloved Sunset Overdrive franchise has been dormant for a long time, and silence from Insomniac Games has only given fans hope until recently. We may not be getting a new sequel anytime soon. As spotted by the industry insider and eXputer writer eXtas1stv on Twitter, Microsoft still apparently owns the exclusive publishing rights to the series. It is likely preventing the studio from developing anything in the franchise.

The tidbit was allegedly dug out from an internal doc related to the recent Insomniac Games leak situation. And it only adds a new layer of complexity to the already-troubled franchise. Microsoft currently owns the rights to publish the following two sequels, DLCs, or any other releases connected with Sunset Overdrive. It could explain the silence of Sony and Insomniac regarding the popular IP.

Fans also suspect the publishing rights held by Microsoft are the justification behind no remasters or sequels over the years. It is worth noting that Insomniac Games still holds the IP rights for the series. It can develop Sunset Overdrive 2 or a remaster but cannot publish on Sony consoles. And as a first-party Sony studio, that move would not be viable for the team or the publisher. The duration of the publishing rights is also unknown for now.

Sunset Overdrive is a nostalgic game for many fans despite performing poorly for Insomniac Games.
Sunset Overdrive is a nostalgic game for many fans despite performing poorly for Insomniac Games.

It seems like having IP rights will not come in handy for Insomniac anytime soon. It is unclear whether the studio actually wants to work on the game. The same barrage of leaks also hinted that a sequel was once in development but got canned soon because Insomniac wanted to focus on 2018’s Marvel’s Spider-Man. 

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Another reason behind the lack of a Sunset Overdrive sequel could be the poor profits of the game. Apparently, it only made about $567 worth of profit for the studio, which is almost a flop. Microsoft was going through particularly tough times during the Xbox One days, which likely played a role in the game’s poor performance. Fans argue it may have discouraged the studio from giving the IP another chance.

Insomniac Games recently fell victim to a ransomware attack, causing details about its future projects to be leaked. Unfortunately, Sunset Overdrive 2 is nowhere on its timeline for the current decade. The devs are apparently developing many of the Spider-Man and X-Man games over the next ten years. A Rachet and Clank title and a new IP are also intended to come out towards the end of the decade.

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Shameer Sarfaraz is a Senior News Writer on eXputer who loves to keep up with the gaming and entertainment industries devoutly. He has a Bachelor's Degree in Computer Science and several years of experience reporting on games. Besides his passion for breaking news stories, Shahmeer loves spending his leisure time farming away in Stardew Valley. VGC, IGN, GameSpot, Game Rant, TheGamer, GamingBolt, The Verge, NME, Metro, Dot Esports, GameByte, Kotaku Australia, PC Gamer, and more have cited his articles.

Experience: 4+ Years || Education: Bachelor in Computer Science.

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