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Returnal’s director is leaving Housemarque

Harry Krueger, the director of Housemarque’s acclaimed PS5 exclusive Returnal, has announced he’s leaving the Helsinki-based developer after 14 years.

Announcing the news on the studio’s website, Krueger said the decision to leave was “very difficult” and that he was confident that the developer’s “brightest chapter” has yet to be written.

“During my 14 years at Housemarque, I’ve been incredibly fortunate to work on one dream project after another, and had the privilege of working alongside some truly talented and wonderful people along the way,” he said.

“It’s been an honor to accompany Housemarque on this journey, witnessing our growth from our smaller arcade-inspired titles to the magnificent heights we reached with Returnal. We really shook the pillars of heaven together, and I will forever be proud of all the amazing things we’ve accomplished as a studio.

“Departing from Housemarque was a very difficult decision for me, but I’m leaving the company with nothing but deep gratitude for the past, and a glowing optimism for the future – with an exciting new project in the works, a fantastic team that’s stronger than ever, and the continuous support of Sony and Playstation Studios, I know that Housemarque’s brightest chapter has yet to be written.”

Commenting on the announcement, Housemarque general manager Ilari Kuittinen said: “Throughout Harry’s tenure, we’ve seen the ‘death of Arcade’, and also achieved growth milestones we once only dreamed of.

“Harry’s passion and direction have been vital in sculpting our studio’s trajectory to the current scale. The rebirth of ‘Arcade’ , defined by Returnal, speaks volumes of his impact and vision, and is a great point for future leaders to take over and keep improving upon”.

Housemarque has said its next game will be a new intellectual property rather than a sequel, although the title will incorporate ideas and narrative systems originally planned for Returnal.

Two months after Returnal’s release, the Finnish studio was acquired by Sony Interactive Entertainment. Speaking to GQ in 2021, Kuittinen suggested joining Sony would allow Housemarque to continue making bigger game experiences like Returnal.