PlayStation may be making a bold move in its operations. According to sources on the Video Game Chronicle (VGC) website, Sony’s electronic gaming division is said to be closing studios in Japan to transfer power to offices in the United States.
Actions in this regard are already underway. Several producers and developers have recently announced their shutdowns. The last case was that of Masaaki Yamagiwa, who worked on Bloodborne. Besides him, Ryo Siogabe, Teruyuki Toriyama and others have already announced their exits.
Yamagiwa worked for Japan Studio, is being closed according to VGC sources. PlayStation is making this decision because the studio would not be making the expected profit in recent years.
VGC: Sony is winding down original game development at Japan Studio (Ape Escape, Gravity Rush & more)
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In this restructuring process, the Asobi Team, for example, does not appear to have been affected. The team, which was responsible for the development of Astro Bot, must continue working as a “standalone”, that is, independent.
The Asobi Team should receive professionals who were at Japan Studio. Another part of the dismissed employees is expected to join Keiichiro Toyama, director of Silent Hill and Gravity Rush who opened a new company called “Bokeh”.
VGC sources also said that this major commercial operation began in 2016, when PlayStation moved its headquarters from Tokyo to California. At that point, the goal was to integrate hardware and software operations.
PlayStation’s decision to shut down people and close studios in Japan has several justifications. The VGC explains that Japanese developers have focused on games that please the Japanese market first. On the other hand, Sony would like the titles to have a worldwide appeal.
The creative decision to create games with a local appeal would be causing financial problems, mainly for Japan Studio. Created in 1993, the studio was Sony’s first first-party and created iconic franchises such as Ape Scape, Patapon, LocoRoco and Knack. The company also played a key role for other companies like From Software (Dark Souls) and Bluepoint (Demon’s Souls).