Chances of another Sly Cooper game happening are looking pretty slim. Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time developer Sanzaru Games was acquired by Facebook, more specifically Oculus Studios. Sanzaru will still continue to operate independently, bringing over a “vast majority” of the current employees in the acquisition. Some employees, however, will become redundant as specific projects no longer require them. Facebook did not give any additional comments on future Sanzaru projects or how many employees would be let go because of the acquisition.
Sanzaru Games has a history of picking up work for other publishers. It gained fame for PlayStation owners with its PS2 port of the PSP’s Secret Agent Clank, a spinoff of the Ratchet and Clank series. Later it remastered the first three Sly Cooper games as the Sly Cooper Collection on PS3 and Vita. It took over the series from original developer Sucker Punch—who went on to focus on inFamous—and developed 2013’s wholly original Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time, the fourth game in the series.
The studio has been putting a lot of effort into work with VR and has released a number of Oculus VR games since 2016. Sanzaru was also the developer behind Spyro 3 (Spyro: Year of the Dragon) in Activision and Toys for Bob’s Spyro Reignited Trilogy. Now under the ownership of Oculus Studios, it’s expected that Sanzaru will shift to focus wholly on original VR projects. Whether any of those will make it to PSVR remains to be seen, however, Facebook’s previous acquisition of Beat Saber developer Beat Games has not stopped console development and updates for that game.
Sly Cooper and his thieving buddies haven’t been seen since Sanzaru’s 2013 entry, though an animated TV series was supposed to be in production. In 2018 it was revealed that the Sonic Boom creators would be making the TV show (interestingly, Sanzaru Games also did work on a couple of Sonic Boom games), but the originally scheduled release date of October 2019 came and passed without any additional word. Earlier this year, reports arose that Sony had reacquired the rights to the Sly Cooper TV show, though nothing additional has been announced at this time. If Sony is in fact working on breathing new life into the Sly Cooper series, Sanzaru Games won’t be involved. They’ll have to hand development back to Sucker Punch—who is currently working on Ghost of Tsushima—or tap another studio to take over development of Sly.