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News video games 26 February 2021, 11:18

author: Bart Swiatek

Sony Japan Studio Disbanded. Bloodborne Co-creators Without Job

Sony Interactive Entertainment decided to close one of its Japanese development studios, Sony Japan Studio. Most of the employees were laid off.

IN A NUTSHELL:

  1. Sony Interactive Entertainment shut down developer Sony Japan Studio;
  2. The team was responsible for, among other things, the Gravity Rush series, and also co-developed Bloodborne with FromSoftware.

Video Game Chronicle reports that Sony Interactive Entertainment has just shut down the devteam at Sony Japan Studio, responsible for the Ape Escape and Gravity Rush series, among others (it also oversaw work on Bloodborne and co-created that title with FromSoftware). Most of the employees have already been laid off, and the rest will join the developers from ASOBI Team. The reason is supposed to be the lack of faith of the current president of SIE - Jim Ryan - in Japanese games, which in his opinion do not bring enough profit.

The closing of the studio has been confirmed by Sony Interactive Entertainment. Among those leaving the company was Masaaki Yamagiwa - a well-known developer whose portfolio includes such titles as Bloodborne or Tokyo Jungle. The Japanese developer announced on Twitter that at the end of the month he is leaving the company, but intends to continue to develop games.

A similar post was published by a little less known developer Ryo Sogabe, who helped in the work on Ghost of Tsushima and the Uncharted series.

Looking at this situation, it's hard not to get the impression that, although in the short term and from a purely financial point of view, SIE's decision may seem justified (the company has been gradually losing its home market for years, and most of the games created by its Japanese studios do not sell as well as they could), in the long run the company will lose out.

One of the things that many PlayStation fans (including the writer of these words) really appreciate about the brand is the fact that Sony's platforms feature both big-budget blockbusters and things that are more niche and charming. Japanese developers play an important role in creating the latter, with works such as The Last Guardian and Shadow of the Colossus being great examples. So far Sony has found the perfect balance between these two extremes, but it looks like that's about to change. Let's hope PlayStation manages to retain some of its identity and soul in the process.

  1. Sony Interactive Entertainment - official website
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