- Mar 14, 2020
Except that was 15+ years ago. Of course MGS5 and FF15 sold well on PS4, as did GT Sport, Tekken, and Street Fighter. But..When you look at what made the Playstation brand. I bet most think of Japanese series, like Metal Gear Solid, Final Fantasy, Shadow of the Colossus, Gran Turismo, Tekken and so on. And these california guys don't get it and come of as anti Japanese.
The core of the PS4 was GTA 5, Call of Duty, Battlefield, Fortnite, Destiny, NBA2K, FIFA, Minecraft, Uncharted, The Last of Us, God of War, Spider-man, Horizon, Witcher 3, Red Dead Redemption 2, Assassin's Creed, Rocket League, etc. Those are the best sellers over the gen. Not Persona 5, Gravity Rush 2, and The Last Guardian. Japanese centric games sold fine on PS4, but Japan has lost a lot of interest in TV home consoles. They prefer mobile gaming and handhelds, hence why the Switch sells. That's why Sony set up an entire division outside of PlayStation to just make mobile games, mainly for Japanese audiences.
And Japan Studio had nothing to do with MGS or Final Fantasy, or Tekken, or Gran Turismo. Sony gladly gave Kojima a fuck ton of money to make Death Stranding because they know his games sell. They just announced FF16 is a timed exclusive on PS5, as was FF7 remake. They gladly promoted Persona 5, but thats of course Atlus's game. Japan Studio tho.. made Knack and Patapon remastered... They helped on Bloodborne sure, but From Software made that game. And Bluepoint remade Shadow of the Colossus. Sony doesn't give a fuck anymore about giving Ueda 10 years to make another game that will go on to sell ~ 1 million units.
The best "Japanese centric" game that Sony has made in the last 7 years is Ghost of Tsushima, made in the US by Americans. Insomniac's Spider-Man sold more copies in 2 years than every game Japan Studio made in the last 7 years combined. That's why they're being downsized to focus on making Astro Bot games, the one successful and profitable game series they've made in the last gen.
Toyama and Ueda both left to make their own studios. And guess what they will do when they make their games? Sell them on PlayStation, Steam, and Switch. Sony doesn't need to employ them to get their games on their system. Just like Sony did not make (and is not making) games like FF7, Persona 5 or P5 Strikers, Montster Hunter World, Genshin Impact, Hades, Cuphead, Inside, Kena, Little Devil Inside, Pathless, Abzu, Bugsnax, Maquette, Solar Ash, or Oddworld. But they'll all end up or already are on PlayStation.
And this reorg move of Japan Studio has nothing to do with Polyphony Digital btw. They're an entirely different studio, quite a large one, with offices in Japan, USA, and EU.
Not surprising. Japan Studio has not itself produced much of anything in the way of a big hit in a long time. Maybe 16 years ago when Shadow of the Colossus released. Team Asobi was the only part of that studio creating any kind of conversation about PlayStation and that was thanks largely to the VR game they made that got really high reviews and was actually the highest rated VR game until Half-Life: Alyx came out. It's still the highest rated PSVR game. Then they dropped Astro's Playroom as a PS5 pack-in and it was more well received than anything Japan Studio, outside of Asobi, had done since LocoRoco 2 about 12 years ago.