Producers and managers have taken to Twitter to announce their departure from Sony’s Japan Studio, creators of PlayStation 5’s Astro’s Playroom.
From sony Japan Study can have only developers of Astro Game Room left after annual contract reports were not renewed for current staff. Japan Studio is most famous for titles like The monkey escape, Gravity rise, the Astrobot, and the Manna Serie. It is also Sony’s oldest in-house developer since the original PlayStation debut in Japan in 1994.
In 2016, Sony moved its headquarters from Japan to San Mateo, California. While Sony Interactive Entertainment President and CEO Jim Ryan has emphasized that Japan remains a central part of PlayStation, the move appears to be a response to the shift in focus on its Western audiences. All of this comes in conjunction with the departure of Keiichiro Toyama, director of Silent Hill Y Gravity rise, who left Japan Studio last year to start his new studio, Bokeh.
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in a VGC Report, several developers have taken to Twitter to announce their departure from the studio. Bloodborne Producer Masaaki Yamagiwa and Executive Producer Masami Yamamoto announced that they would be leaving the studio. Those who remain in the study appear to be localization and commercial teams. ASOBI will be an independent developer within Sony Japan in the future, and many developers will join the ASOBI team or leave to follow Toyama in his new studio.
While hosting beloved titles around the world, Japan Studio prioritized appeal to Japanese audiences over its broader base in North America and Europe. This approach is nothing new in the industry. However, as the world is increasingly interconnected through games, especially during the pandemic, more people than ever want to play different types of games.
Monster hunter, For example, a series that debuted on PlayStation 2, has seen exponential growth in its fan base since the launch of Monster hunter world in 2018. Yet it took nearly a decade of emphatic fans to convince its developer, Capcom, that the rest of the world would love the once-niche carnage game just like Japan. Sony’s move to a more global audience will make sense if Monster hunter and the success of other games that were previously region-locked are anything to go.
However, such an iconic and storied developer being downsized is an unfortunate fact, as many PlayStation fans grew up with Japan Study. However, many developers will join Bokeh and other studios, so Sony Japan can work with them as a third party. However, it appears that Sony is preparing for the next stage of its development with a global audience in mind rather than a singular region.
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