Sony realized that after the sky-high expectations that were created for the PS3 in the press conference, there was no way to not deliver Killzone 2 -- so the company decided to provide Guerrilla with the hardware it needed to make the game a reality on PlayStation 3, and also finally bought it from the Media Republic group in December 2005.
"Since Sony bought us we have become more professional," said Hulst. "As part of Sony's Worldwide Studios, we can get technical expertise from the other studios while maintaining our independence. Part of that is because of this huge pool of talent we have access to, and part because most people here are now on their third or fourth project and grew along with the company."
The first game released under Sony ownership was PSP title Killzone: Liberation, a third person action game within the Killzone universe. "Killzone on PSP allowed us to expand the Killzone universe into a different genre of gameplay; having created this IP ourselves ensures that we can explore and add to it ourselves in the future," de Jonge told me.
Then finally, after four years of developing the graphics engine and underlying technologies, the most expensive Dutch entertainment production -- including movies -- Killzone 2 was released in 2009 to critical acclaim. It currently rests at a 91 on Metacritic.
But the market continues to change. "Since we started making Killzone 3 two years ago, we have to anticipate those changes two years in advance," said de Jong of the developer's most recent release.
"If you look at all Sony first party games, they all have engines purpose-built for them; the technology becomes part of the DNA of your game. Uncharted, God of War, LittleBigPlanet all have aspects that can only be achieved with a custom engine," said Hulst.
With the underlying technology fully developed, Guerrilla managed to create an upgraded third core franchise game in under two years, and also managed to add a 3D TV and Move support.
"For Sony, 3D is a big deal, so for us to create a 3D experience that was strong enough to showcase what was possible in 3D was great -- and it was a great way for us to give back for the confidence Sony had shown in us," Hulst said.
"And it was the same with Move. You know, Move is something that we were excited about and can make the game feel more fluid, potentially, if you are up to it. We showed that off in the design of the Sharp Shooter [Killzone 3 Move gun peripheral] that we instigated here within the studio, and then we worked together with people at other studios and asked them for their input.
"We came up with designs, and asked other teams their input. Then Sony people in the U.S. made us a few prototypes based on our designs -- so within Sony, you are very much free to do that, to tap into the knowledge from the other studios and help each other out."
"If you look at our old games, everything had to be hand-coded; with our engine now, you can write a script and the engine will take care of it," said de Jong. "The shorter development time is because of that, and because the team has increased in size it was not that big of a problem. In the past deadlines sometimes slipped, so we wanted to prove this time that we can meet deadlines and ship at the intended date."
"For Sony this is really important, because they need to plan their titles spread out over the entire year -- so if a title slips, then the marketing plans slip alongside it, and that can then clash with the plans they have for the titles of their other studios. We didn't want that so we did everything we could to meet this deadline."
With the deadline met and the game in stores, it brings us to the end of their stay in the old bank. But the studio is now starting a new chapter that will add to Guerrilla's already rich history.