RIP, Sly Cooper: Facebook Acquires Sanzaru Games

Any hopes of seeing a Sly Cooper sequel have been crushed by the news that Facebook has acquired Sanzaru Games. Sanzaru was the first developer to partner with the Facebook-owned Oculus Studios in 2016, and have since developed four games for them. Sanzaru was acquired for an undisclosed sum but will remain independently operated.

Sanzaru Studios started in 2007 and is behind titles like the Sly Cooper series, Sonic Boom, and Spyro 3 Reignited. Since then they have built up a successful partnership with Oculus Studios to make games like VR Sports Challenge, Ripcoil, Marvel Powers United VR, and Asgard’s Wrath. As Oculus Studios is planning on growing its lineup of VR offerings, it makes sense to take over the developers responsible for their best game yet, Asgard’s Wrath.

In their FAQ section,  Oculus states they’re “exploring many ways to accelerate VR,” and that “2020 is going to be an incredible year for VR game launches and announcements.” They go on to say, “We’re not ready to talk about future projects. Sanzaru has exciting plans for future VR titles and we hope to bring those experiences to as many people as possible.”

The rise of VR has been a bit sluggish, but it is finally catching on as the technology becomes more refined and more titles are released. PlayStation VR and Oculus are both steadily expanding their games library and getting more and more players. One of the initial drawbacks was the high prices of the hardware. Oculus has managed to counter this by releasing the cheaper Oculus Go to add to the more expensive Oculus Quest, and Oculus Rift s.

Facebook has been investing billions of dollars into its VR division and the acquisition of Sanzaru shows that they are committed and mean business. This acquisition is the second in the space of just a few months after taking over Beats Games in November. This is great news for gamers, as they can expect more titles and hopefully wider adoption of VR.

So where does that leave Sly Cooper? Vocal fans have been clamoring for a sequel for ages, especially as Thieves of Time ended with a cliffhanger. With Sly apparently stranded in Egypt, the story was ripe for a sequel. Because of being a Sony-exclusive property, the developers weren’t able to make it happen without Sony’s approval.

From the looks of things, that boat has now sailed and it’s unlikely that Sanzaru will be involved in any more PlayStation games. We can only hope that Sony will give the go-ahead to another studio to make the long-awaited sequel.

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