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Sony Is Winding Down Its Oldest First-Party PlayStation Developer, Japan Studio - Report

Japan Studio is winding down its operations, according to a new report.


Sony Japan Studio is winding down, according to a report from VGC. The studio that made Ape Escape, Knack, and Gravity Rush did not renew the contracts for a "vast majority" of its developers for the next financial year, which starts April 1, the report said.

The site reported that Japan Studio's localization and business staff are staying on board, while the Asobi Team--which made the Astro Bot games--will exist within Sony Japan as a standalone studio. Some affected Japan Studio developers will take new positions at Asobi and others are joining former Japan Studio employee and Gravity Rush director Keiichiro Toyama's new Bokeh studio.

The decision to wind down Japan Studio reportedly came down to money. Simply put, the studio wasn't profitable enough over recent years, the report said. Another reported reason was that PlayStation is now centralizing power to its US headquarters and away from Japan. The site also backed up a Bloomberg report from November 2020 that claimed PlayStation's studios in Japan were being "sidelined."

Established in 1993, Japan Studio is Sony Interactive Entertainment's longest-running first-party studio. In addition to developing its own games, the studio collaborated with other Sony studios on projects like The Last Guardian, Everybody's Golf, and Bloodborne.

You can read the full report at VGC to get all the specifics about what's going down.

Next up for PlayStation is a big State of Play showcase scheduled for 2 PM PT / 5 PM ET today, February 25, where Sony will discuss new developments for 10 PS4 and PS5 games.

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