This news is a follow-up to our prior news of Masaaki Yamagiwa leaving Japan Studio as it seems more departures (2) have been revealed. According to various sources and VGC, a majority of Japan Studio’s development staff have been let go. PlayStation is beginning to cease original game development at Japan Studio with only the localization, business and ASOBI Team staff remaining. For those wondering, ASOBI Team is in charge of the Astro Bot series of games including Astro’s Playroom for PS5. ASOBI Team remains to create games as a standalone studio. Staff from Japan Studio may transition into ASOBI Team immediately.
Japan Studio’s staff have been leaving the company gradually since late 2020 with Silent Hill creator Keiichiro Toyama beginning the departures. Many prominent staff including those who worked on Bloodborne, Gravity Rush and Tokyo Jungle at Japan Studio are no longer working at Sony. It’s a shame to see Japan Studio decline by PlayStation’s own command and hopefully these developers find new fulfilling jobs elsewhere in the industry.
*Update* Sony has confirmed via IGN that Japan Studio is being re-organized into ASOBI Team as the original report does hold true. Here’s the statement provided:
In an effort to further strengthen business operations, SIE can confirm PlayStation Studios JAPAN Studio will be re-organized into a new organization on April 1. JAPAN Studio will be re-centered to Team ASOBI, the creative team behind Astro’s PLAYROOM, allowing the team to focus on a single vision and build on the popularity of Astro’s PLAYROOM.
In addition, the roles of external production, software localization, and IP management of JAPAN Studio titles will be concentrated within the global functions of PlayStation Studios.
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