• Hey, guest user. Hope you're enjoying NeoGAF! Have you considered registering for an account? Come join us and add your take to the daily discourse.
  • The Politics forum has been nuked. Please do not bring political discussion to the rest of the site, or you will be removed. Thanks.

VGC: Sony is winding down Japan Studio

SlimySnake

Member
Feb 5, 2013
11,968
33,590
1,260
So in the last ten years Sony has shut down the following studios:

  1. Japan Studios
  2. Evolution Studios
  3. Guerrilla Cambridge
  4. Manchester Studio (VR studio that never released a game)
  5. BigBig Studios (Pursuit force, Motorstorm Arctic Edge)
  6. Sony Liverpool (Wipeout studio)
  7. Zipper Interactive
  8. Incognito Studio (Warhawk)
  9. Team Ico
All while posting record profits. I guess they bought Insomniac and started a new studio in San Diego so yay?
 

Hypereides

Member
Jan 19, 2009
8,099
943
1,155
Denmark
Fuck yeah more 3rd person cinematic experiences!
WOOHOO!!!

john c. mcginley laughing GIF
 

Papacheeks

Member
Jan 30, 2013
7,474
3,344
780
Watertown, NY
Yeah but wasn't the silent hill rumor going to be done in house?
Collaboration. The rumors pointed to it being a co-joint venture. ANd the MGS remake is also in the same boat. Notice the people who have left are high profile people mostly. Director's/Producer's, lead designers. Right now Japan studio is doing more collab projects and overseeing instead of making things like Gravity rush. They are producing better results doing what they are doing right now.

So in the last ten years Sony has shut down the following studios:

  1. Japan Studios
  2. Evolution Studios
  3. Guerrilla Cambridge
  4. Manchester Studio (VR studio that never released a game)
  5. BigBig Studios (Pursuit force, Motorstorm Arctic Edge)
  6. Sony Liverpool (Wipeout studio)
  7. Zipper Interactive
  8. Incognito Studio (Warhawk)
  9. Team Ico
All while posting record profits. I guess they bought Insomniac and started a new studio in San Diego so yay?

Manchester was incorporated into London Studio.
 
Last edited:

Karonoth

Member
Dec 9, 2020
433
875
295
Japan Studio has been a mess for a really long time (that studio is huge, and their output really isn't what it should be). The problem is Sony doesn't have any other studio in Japan apart from Polyphony. Microsoft is going to end up having more first party studios in Japan than Sony at this point, which is ridiculous.

For all their talk of organic growth all they seem to do there is buying temporary exclusives.
 
D

Deleted member 17706

Unconfirmed Member
I've said it probably like 3 or 4 times already on this forum, but betting PlayStation turn into some woke western studio over the last decade has been profoundly disappointing.

This is what it means for Japan to go global, I fear. Maybe they're making more profits now, I don't know, but it certainly just kills whatever identity they once had.
 

SaturnSaturn

Member
Oct 30, 2018
762
1,825
435
How long until we are going to hear "lol only nerds play japanese games, only blockbusters count now, naughty dog was always the king, fuck japan studios!"

Still not suprising given what direction Sony has taken the last few years, as i have said the over the years.
 
Last edited:

michaelius

Member
Jan 5, 2012
16,240
2,126
935
That's really stupid imho.

Even if those games weren't super sellers they were often well reviewed (apart from Knack) and formed a part of Sony has something for everyone charm.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Tier2
May 22, 2018
3,127
7,326
540
I've said it probably like 3 or 4 times already on this forum, but betting PlayStation turn into some woke western studio over the last decade has been profoundly disappointing.

This is what it means for Japan to go global, I fear. Maybe they're making more profits now, I don't know, but it certainly just kills whatever identity they once had.

But....there has been tons of incredible games released by western first party studios the past decade? No wonder they are selling, these studios are making games people want to play. These underperforming Japanese studios were pumping out niche titles that a relatively small group of people were buying.

Weird that you would turn it into a woke thing, doesn't it get tiring constantly being on edge looking for the boogeyman woke in everything? It's a business decision, nothing more. The majority dont want these niche Japanese games anymore.
 

Danjin44

The nicest person on this forum
Mar 22, 2017
17,929
28,984
1,075
The majority dont want these niche Japanese games anymore.
If Sony only makes games that sell big numbers then this generation we are going to have boring ass game selection. One thing I liked about PlayStation 2, it had nice selection of both Japanese games and western games. I don’t need PlayStation turn in to Xbox.
 

SaturnSaturn

Member
Oct 30, 2018
762
1,825
435
So in the last ten years Sony has shut down the following studios:

  1. Japan Studios
  2. Evolution Studios
  3. Guerrilla Cambridge
  4. Manchester Studio (VR studio that never released a game)
  5. BigBig Studios (Pursuit force, Motorstorm Arctic Edge)
  6. Sony Liverpool (Wipeout studio)
  7. Zipper Interactive
  8. Incognito Studio (Warhawk)
  9. Team Ico
All while posting record profits. I guess they bought Insomniac and started a new studio in San Diego so yay?

I guess it depends on what kind of Sony fan you are, really loved them during the ps2-ps3 era and had every single handheld they released, so for me it sucks, i loved the niche games they released, and experimental stuff, not really into what they are doing now, but i know most people are so thats fine, not a shock they are going in that direction. i can always game on other platforms. But still Sony for me was always "Japanese games, Weird games".

I just feel that this forum sometimes calls everyone "trolls" or dismises everyone as a "xbot" if they dont like sonys current offering. So not much discussion to be had. (not refering to you)
 
Last edited:

bitbydeath

Member
Nov 25, 2015
15,953
27,494
1,200
Guess we can stop the monthly Silent Hill reports.

They kept that part alive in the article.
It’s not entirely clear if the restructure has affected the studio’s External Development Department, which collaborated on games such as last year’s Demon’s Souls, but one person VGC spoke to suggested it would continue.
 
May 22, 2018
3,127
7,326
540
If Sony only makes games that sell big numbers then this generation we are going to have boring ass game selection. One thing I liked about PlayStation 2, it had nice selection of both Japanese games and western games. I don’t need PlayStation turn in to Xbox.

Fair enough, hopefully other studios out there can fill the niche for all the fans out there.
 
Dec 7, 2020
80
81
255
Does this mean no hope for a bloodborne 2? I know From Software was the main developer for it but Japan Studios did help out some way or another
 

Carter Burke

Member
May 3, 2014
52
138
525
Nintendo selling 30 millions of Animal Crossing. A quality game with japanese seal. It sells worldwide.
Sony investing exponentially more in The Last of Us 2, sells 5-10 millions, but not a single copy in Japan.
Sony's logic is invest more in US, to not sell PlayStations in Japan, letting Nintendo to absorb all Japan development.
Now Microsoft buys Bethesda, being capable to deal directly Sony's videogames.
And the users have less reasons to buy PlayStation.
 

bitbydeath

Member
Nov 25, 2015
15,953
27,494
1,200
Does this mean no hope for a bloodborne 2? I know From Software was the main developer for it but Japan Studios did help out some way or another
That part of the business is said to still be alive.
It’s not entirely clear if the restructure has affected the studio’s External Development Department, which collaborated on games such as last year’s Demon’s Souls, but one person VGC spoke to suggested it would continue.
 
May 22, 2018
3,127
7,326
540
Nintendo selling 30 millions of Animal Crossing. A quality game with japanese seal. It sells worldwide.
Sony investing exponentially more in The Last of Us 2, sells 5-10 millions, but not a single copy in Japan.
Sony's logic is invest more in US, to not sell PlayStations in Japan, letting Nintendo to absorb all Japan development.
Now Microsoft buys Bethesda, being capable to deal directly Sony's videogames.
And the users have less reasons to buy PlayStation.

That's a terrible example, Animal Crossing is as mainstream of a game as you can get. What game has Japan Studios come up with that's as easily digestible and mainstream worldwide like Animal Crossing? Hot Shots Golf is the closest thing I can think of? And even then, it's still just golf.
 
Jul 3, 2019
972
2,474
405
so they they should keep paying for them not release anything right?

And how do you know they weren't releasing anything? or that the fact they might have internal projects that never saw the light of day. Just because they are winding down this studio. Doesn’t mean they didn't have anything in the pipeline. There is a reason why the creator of silent hill and gravity rush left.
 

DForce

Member
Nov 23, 2017
5,222
10,143
575
Nintendo selling 30 millions of Animal Crossing. A quality game with japanese seal. It sells worldwide.
Sony investing exponentially more in The Last of Us 2, sells 5-10 millions, but not a single copy in Japan.
Sony's logic is invest more in US, to not sell PlayStations in Japan, letting Nintendo to absorb all Japan development.
Now Microsoft buys Bethesda, being capable to deal directly Sony's videogames.
And the users have less reasons to buy PlayStation.
Sony's logic is to have a profitable studio. If the games they released didn't even well in Japan, then you have to make changes.

They tried investing in games like Gravity Rush with the hope it would become a success in the US and Japan and that didn't turn out to be the case. One of the games that saw success has been Astro Bot and that team is still intact at Japan studio.

This is just a poor example.
 

Papacheeks

Member
Jan 30, 2013
7,474
3,344
780
Watertown, NY
If Sony only makes games that sell big numbers then this generation we are going to have boring ass game selection. One thing I liked about PlayStation 2, it had nice selection of both Japanese games and western games. I don’t need PlayStation turn in to Xbox.


i hear you, but you also have to understand there are more developers big and small now then there were back then. The indie scene has games like Valheim doing insane numbers for a small studio game. Demons souls is not the only souls like game anymore, there are tons of knock off/spin off genre's on top of new assassins creed that are starting to go into that territory combat wise.

I remember the days of Clover studios who made Okami, God hand, Viewtiful joe. Now they are larger and they are called Platinum games. There are so many indie titles that are filling in all those quirky games. And honestly look at all the games Sony signs? Kena looks like a title that would come out of Japan studio doesn't it? Same with something like Stray.
Ghostwire Tokyo is being made by ex people who were associated with Japan studio and it's a signed exclusive. Games are still being made, just not internally. And I think thats fine, we still are getting astrobot, bloodborne, demons souls remake, SOTC, pretty sure MGS remake is a thing and we will see it soon. Silent hill is a thing but it may not be called silent hill.
I wish we had ape escape. But honestly i think a lot of it's dna is seen in astrobot. ANd i think maybe down the line astrobot team will probably make it if it's on the table. After what happened with past titles from Japan studio that drained tons of money, I think they like the leaner setup they have now.
 
Last edited:

fart town usa

Member
May 31, 2009
3,539
2,562
1,220
That's too bad, seeing Japan Studio attached to anything, at least to me, meant a seal of quality even if it was a type of game I wasn't interested in. I can't think of anything of theirs that I didn't enjoy.
 

KAL2006

Member
Feb 6, 2009
12,233
2,173
1,345
UK
I was mad, then I checked Wikipedia and cannot see any game they made on their own that has been successfull in a long time or a game I enjoyed. I think Sony losing Team ICO was a bigger deal for me personally. Wasn't a fan of Team Siren or Sony Japan other studio, Knack and Gravity Rush didn't do it for me. The last time Sony Japan was decent was back in the PS2/PSP generation. They have had PS3 and PS4 generation to make something that's either is a critical rated high or sells good. But most of their releases since the start of PS3 generation has been average at best.
 
  • Like
Reactions: b6a6es

Danjin44

The nicest person on this forum
Mar 22, 2017
17,929
28,984
1,075
i hear you, but you also have to understand there are more developers big and small than there were back then. The indie scene has games like Valheim doing insane numbers for a small studio game. Demons souls is not the only souls like game anymore, there are tons of knock off/spin off genre's on top of new assassins creed that are starting to go into that territory combat wise.
I enjoy some indie games but my biggest issue with them is they always try to capture nostalgic crowed, this is why I'm bigger fan of AA games more than indie games.
 
Last edited:
  • Thoughtful
Reactions: Shaqazooloo

Dane

Member
Jul 16, 2019
1,434
1,416
520
Japan Studio has been a mess for a really long time (that studio is huge, and their output really isn't what it should be). The problem is Sony doesn't have any other studio in Japan apart from Polyphony. Microsoft is going to end up having more first party studios in Japan than Sony at this point, which is ridiculous.

For all their talk of organic growth all they seem to do there is buying temporary exclusives.
You know what's funny? It happened in UK, Sony was the biggest first party developer there and closed down most of the studios, Microsoft with Rare and the acquisitions of Ninja Theory and Playground games became the biggest one, not even counting the studios expansions after that.
 
Last edited:

JunkerWoland

Member
Jun 29, 2016
1,026
1,021
530
Factoring-out remasters & remakes, the overall diversity in projects attributed to Japan Studio has dwindled over the past 10 years, even more so in the last five. Closing the division likely wouldn't make much difference in how Sony currently operates. The thing to watch is will Sony's ongoing Japanese partnerships primarily focus on blockbuster-style titles or is there money to support smaller and less certain projects.
 
Last edited: