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VGC: Sony is winding down Japan Studio

Keihart

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i find the irony some shrug this off as business. Sony wws has long reputed as more than just business. just because SCEJ did not make a profit hit then, dont mean they wont this gen. every gen has always given birth to new flavors.

Jim herman basically shut the doors to them.

in the article, it was almost mentioned that SCE high ups impressed upon scej to follow their west teams and design similar narrative block busters to get the funding...

idk, some how Sony wws wants to focus deep into 'business'....

dollar bet Shu will be the next high value target to 'retire' from his post at Sony. he is the only SCE guy still around, i know and i respect. i can feel the hurt he's going through.

also i wonder how cerny feels seeing his knack friends getting downsized by the 'business'..

who the f is herman guy anyway, what a huge promo he gotten
In the Bokeh studio video, Toyama pretty much implies this. Watching the time line and interviews i think Toyama was pitching a horror game in Japan Studio and couldn't get the approval after pre production, the time lines match perfectly with GR2, interviews, his departure and his wishes for the new studio outlined in the interview.

I hope Shu keeps it up at WWS until management wakes up, he is doing good moves with the indies being brought to PS5 in the meantime.
 
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Papacheeks

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I only NEED to stop myself from verbally destroying you and risk getting banned.

I know that. From Software and others were involved. I didn't think I had to mention it. It doesn't diminish their role nor the tragedy of this "winding down". Saying it's happening to everybody is more alarming...not less.

It gives you perspective on what has been going on development wise with that studio. Majority of games over the past couple years have been developed by external studios with Japan studio overseeing them. Their last one they full made WAS Gravity Rush 2 and loco roco remastered.

Someone else responded to me to correct me in what is happening with external production which is continuing but the larger part of world wide studios what ever you want to call that umbrella is overseeing all those with external developers like Housemarque, Bluepoint who supposedly is making more for Sony as we speak.

But please unleash on me verbally for pointing out what Yurinka backs up with links with what Japan studio has done and oversaw. Why have Japan studio if they are not making any games? Why have them if you still are using external partners to make big IP titles that are of the caliber people crave?

You are being too emotional on this.

Team Asobi is in full swing, external development if anything has grown and if rumors are true lots of people are going to be happy. Possibly including you.

Lol, no. They aren't done with Japan.

-They will continue making 1st party Japanese games at Japan Studio and Polyphony.
-They will continue making 2nd party Japanese games as the ones they had in PS4 developed by studios like From Software, Clap Hanz, Acquire or Q-Games.
-They will continue having 3rd party Japanese exclusives as the ones they had in PS4 from Square-Enix, Sega, Capcom, Atlus, Konami, SNK, Bandai-Namco, Koei-Tecmo, Platinum and basically any meaningful Japanese console publisher or developer who isn't Nintendo.
-They will continue having 3rd party Japanese multiplatform games from basically any meaningful Japanese console publisher or developer who isn't Nintendo, and in many cases will have marketing deals or similar.

In fact, they recently signed a deal with Kadokawa Games (Japanese developer with a long tradition of PlayStation exclusive games and owner of From Software and Spike Chunsoft) and CyGames (the Granblue Fantasy Versus and Relink, in addition to Project Awakening) to help them reach a bigger global gaming market.

They just restructured an almost 30 years old studio who wasn't profitable with many games sizing it down to focus on its team that was more successful (Team Asobi), which became bigger with this change.

They are also centralizing publishing related divisions like external production, software localization, and IP management were repeated in several studios to avoid being redundant and to optimize work by handling it globally in the same way for all the studios.







No. Sony said to IGN (read the updated OP) they re-organized (yes, scaling it down instead of shutting down) Japan Studio to focus its internal development around Team Asobi, which now will be bigger.

External production, software localization, and IP management now will be centralized as part of global functions of PlayStation Studios as happened in the other studios like Sony Santa Monica, instead of -as they were doing until now- being handled separatedly at each studio. Basically they optimize and avoid redundancy on these global operations.


Here you have the (complete?) list of Japan Studio (both 1st and 2nd party): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japan_Studio

And here you have the (complete?) list of PS4 exclusives, featuring a ton of Japanese 3rd party exclusives:


Since then they became the best performing console platform holder in gaming history, which means they now do a better job on communicating to the players and offering more appealing products and services with a better, more successful strategy.

Thanks for the correction.

Yea that list shows a lot of the development work being external studios mostly. Really looks like their last big project internally by Siren team was GR2.
 
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Jigsaah

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It gives you perspective on what has been going on development wise with that studio. Majority of games over the past couple years have been developed by external studios with Japan studio overseeing them. Their last one they full made WAS Gravity Rush 2 and loco roco remastered.

Someone else responded to me to correct me in what is happening with external production which is continuing but the larger part of world wide studios what ever you want to call that umbrella is overseeing all those with external developers like Housemarque, Bluepoint who supposedly is making more for Sony as we speak.

But please unleash on me verbally for pointing out what Yurinka backs up with links with what Japan studio has done and oversaw. Why have Japan studio if they are not making any games? Why have them if you still are using external partners to make big IP titles that are of the caliber people crave?

You are being too emotional on this.

Team Asobi is in full swing, external development if anything has grown and if rumors are true lots of people are going to be happy. Possibly including you.
That's the problem though. It seems there is less room for the smaller games that I really enjoyed. I want Japan Studio to keep making games.

I don't want Sony to only cater to these huge AAA games that most people crave. I understand the business logic, but as a consumer, I really like the smaller, sometimes more risky games Sony has attempted in the past.
 

DForce

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i find the irony some shrug this off as business. Sony wws has long reputed as more than just business. just because SCEJ did not make a profit hit then, dont mean they wont this gen. every gen has always given birth to new flavors.

Jim herman basically shut the doors to them.

in the article, it was almost mentioned that SCE high ups impressed upon scej to follow their west teams and design similar narrative block busters to get the funding...

idk, some how Sony wws wants to focus deep into 'business'....

dollar bet Shu will be the next high value target to 'retire' from his post at Sony. he is the only SCE guy still around, i know and i respect. i can feel the hurt he's going through.

also i wonder how cerny feels seeing his knack friends getting downsized by the 'business'..

who the f is herman guy anyway, what a huge promo he gotten

You're an Xbox fanboy, so you're going to exaggerate everything.


Gravity Rush 2 and The Last Guardian were few of the games that they released within the past 10 years and they were all unsuccessful.

Their most successful titles in recent years has been Astro Bot. This of course doesn't count for games such as bloodborne which was co-developed. The studio will still make games and it's not like they have stopped.
 

Keihart

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Death Stranding it's somehow and indie game with a huge ass production just like TLG was, i hope we can have that back, maybe Kojipro can fill the void in the meantime...if there is an after when this gen is over, the ripples won't be seen until a couple of years in the gen and it will probably be already too late to save face if things go south.

First gen with cross gen first party games, first gen with first party games going to PC, first gen without Japan Studios, lot's of first and none of them sound good somehow.
 

Zekra Dezivad

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You're an Xbox fanboy, so you're going to exaggerate everything.


Gravity Rush 2 and The Last Guardian were few of the games that they released within the past 10 years and they were all unsuccessful.

Their most successful titles in recent years has been Astro Bot. This of course doesn't count for games such as bloodborne which was co-developed. The studio will still make games and it's not like they have stopped.
I find really strange that Japan Studio released Puppeteer, Knack, Knack 2, Astro VR, Astro Playroom in 2013-2020. I can't understand why they bet so much on platforming titles, a genre that is pretty distant from PS audience and global market. Basically every top man in Japan put his resorces in platforming titles. System Architect Cerny, former Studio Head Allan Becker and now the new Studio Head responsible of Astrobot. Maybe it's just the desire and ambition of the team, they just want to make these kind of titles first. Too bad that they were totally disconnected from their own market and audience. To me it's baffling to think that a big first party japanese developer went through the whole ps3-ps4 era without trying something big on their home systems. They weren't capable of building any know how in popular genres.
 
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Papacheeks

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That's the problem though. It seems there is less room for the smaller games that I really enjoyed. I want Japan Studio to keep making games.

I don't want Sony to only cater to these huge AAA games that most people crave. I understand the business logic, but as a consumer, I really like the smaller, sometimes more risky games Sony has attempted in the past.

AND with team Asobi you still will get that. Also nothing is set in stone in terms of indie developers who are contracted to get bought into the Playstation studio family. Grooming a external developer for purchase is a smarter way of doing business then trying to keep pumping money into a studio that could not adapt. Siren teams wanted to make more things like Gravity rush, they dont sell. So what do you do? Keep giving 30 Million dollar or so budgets? Though that may not seem like a lot when you compare sony's financials each quarter. Look at all projects that they made, how long it took them, and how many actually made money.

Japan studio felt like it was expression painter working for a graphics studio. The painter makes amazing pieces that when they sell everyone's on a high, but issue is the frequency of that output and the demand for said paintings.
 
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Zekra Dezivad

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Death Stranding it's somehow and indie game with a huge ass production just like TLG was, i hope we can have that back, maybe Kojipro can fill the void in the meantime...if there is an after when this gen is over, the ripples won't be seen until a couple of years in the gen and it will probably be already too late to save face if things go south.

First gen with cross gen first party games, first gen with first party games going to PC, first gen without Japan Studios, lot's of first and none of them sound good somehow.
Actually early cross gen would have helped some titles like GT6, Beyond and Puppeteer that were sent to die on a dead platform, leaving the newest one with an horrible first year. It just sucks when they go cross gen a year or two after the launch, like Horizon2.
 

Woopah

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Just that as a country that has pioneered so much and been so dominant in consoles and their software for decades and still are, that they don't really like playing them anymore and now prefer to play mobile games of all things...I don't get them!

Maybe that whole thing about Japanese people live in small homes and they don't want to clutter their living room with big piece of plastic is true after all.

But consoles dominated because the quality is so much better than a Gameboy or DS.

But with Switch and cellphones having games with "good enough quality", it got to a breaking point where Japanese gamers can live with mobile at the expense of higher quality console version??????
The whole "Japan is going mobile" thing has been blown way out of proportion.

Yes Japan has a large mobile gaming market, but so does every other developed country. Japan is still the 2nd biggest market in the world for dedicated video devices and it's growing year on year.

If we look at the franchises that are doing well in Japan, most of them are the ones that have done well for years (Mario, Pokémon, Dragon Quest, Final Fantasy, Monster Hunter, Smash Bros etc.) There's not been a move away from traditional gaming franchises.
 
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DForce

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I find really strange that Japan Studio released Puppeteer, Knack, Knack 2, Astro VR, Astro Playroom in 2013-2020. I can't understand why they bet so much on platforming titles, a genre that is pretty distant from PS audience and global market. Basically every top man in Japan put his resorces in platforming titles. System Architect Cerny, former Studio Head Allan Becker and now the new Studio Head responsible of Astrobot. Maybe it's just the desire and ambition of the team, they just want to make these kind of titles first. Too bad that they were totally disconnected from their own market and audience. To me it's baffling to think that a big first party japanese developer went through the whole ps3-ps4 era without trying something big on their home systems. They weren't capable of building any know how in popular genres.
Co-developing seems to be one of the best fits for Japan studio. If Astro Bot for the PS5 has done anything, it might help generate more sales for the next installment in the Astro Bot series.
 
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Keihart

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Actually early cross gen would have helped some titles like GT6, Beyond and Puppeteer that were sent to die on a dead platform, leaving the newest one with an horrible first year. It just sucks when they go cross gen a year or two after the launch, like Horizon2.
PS4 wasn't a thing at the time for those games, what are you talking about? delaying them to release as launch cross gen games for PS4? i guess they could have...but since those games were announced before the PS4 and targeting PS3 i don't think it's the same if it had happened, not to mention, PS3 was the console with humongous player base not PS4, at the time.
 

CamHostage

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That's the problem though. It seems there is less room for the smaller games that I really enjoyed. I want Japan Studio to keep making games.

I do too.

But when I look at what Japan Studio has been doing for years and years now, they have not been making those games very much. For the entire run of PS4, for most of the run of PS3, for any platform that wasn't a portable (and BTW, that's where this news hits me hardest, that I have to come to terms all over again with the fact that there is no third PlayStation Portable to enjoy all those smaller PlayStation games that thrived in the handheld space,) Sony Japan has been making very few games. And even fewer if you remove the titles it produced with external developers.

I'm sad, I'm angry, but I also understanding in that even I had lost interest in Sony Japan. I had high hopes for Sony Japan making a comeback after a dismal PS3 era, but that never worked out IMO, and their rumored PS5 space FPS seemed like another turn for the worse. I didn't see a bright future ahead for the studio, and I'm not very surprised that it now has no future.

This is a painful time with everybody being loaded into lifeboats and jettisoned to survive on their own, but hopefully once they've escaped the sinking ship, some of these designers will find a way to prosper independently in a way they couldn't anymore while inside the mothership. That's the hope I have to cling to.

Nothing is set in stone in terms of indie developers who are contracted to get bought into the Playstation studio family. Grooming a external developer for purchase is a smarter way of doing business then trying to keep pumping money into a studio that could not adapt.

I feel like maybe Sony's best PR move here is to set something up like PlayStation C.A.M.P., where they establish a PlayStation label specifically for Japanese indie games. (Thus including new works from some of these upstart teams.)

Exclusive PS games, made by Japanese game makers and small studios, endorsed by Sony as games you should check out.

It'd still be more affordable than running a studio, by setting up seeds but not taking responsibility for raising the whole product, and it'd do something good for the Japanese indie game scene (which has not flowered the way I would have expected; I've played a number of doujin games but unless I'm missing a hidden trove of titles, I feel like there's been fewer self-made games from Japanese creatives, especially outside mobile - naturally, than in the rest of the world.) PS JP Indies could be something promotive for everybody injured by this closure, including Sony.
 
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Zekra Dezivad

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PS4 wasn't a thing at the time for those games, what are you talking about? delaying them to release as launch cross gen games for PS4? i guess they could have...but since those games were announced before the PS4 and targeting PS3 i don't think it's the same if it had happened, not to mention, PS3 was the console with humongous player base not PS4, at the time.
They released basically at the same time of PS4, and all of them underperformed. It was an obvious bad call from their part, it's easy to tell now. Numbers don't lie my friend.
Keeping a mainline GT on PS3 only and betting on Driveclub was a big mistake too, even without knowing the disaster of Driveclub's development and launch fiasco.
WWS developed those PS3 titles simultaneously with games like Shadowfall, Second Son, Knack and Driveclub.
 

YeulEmeralda

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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.

And none of those except SOTC were made by this studio- or Sony.
 
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Jigsaah

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I do too.

But when I look at what Japan Studio has been doing for years and years now, they have not been making those games very much. For the entire run of PS4, for most of the run of PS3, for any platform that wasn't a portable (and BTW, that's where this news hits me hardest, that I have to come to terms all over again with the fact that there is no third PlayStation Portable to enjoy all those smaller PlayStation games that thrived in the handheld space,) Sony Japan has been making very few games. And even fewer if you remove the titles it produced with external developers.

I'm sad, I'm angry, but I also understanding in that even I had lost interest in Sony Japan. I had high hopes for Sony Japan making a comeback after a dismal PS3 era, but that never worked out IMO, and their rumored PS5 space FPS seemed like another turn for the worse. I didn't see a bright future ahead for the studio, and I'm not very surprised that it now has no future.

This is a painful time with everybody being loaded into lifeboats and jettisoned to survive on their own, but hopefully once they've escaped the sinking ship, some of these designers will find a way to prosper independently in a way they couldn't anymore while inside the mothership. That's the hope I have to cling to.



I feel like maybe Sony's best PR move here is to set something up like C.A.M.P., where they establish a PlayStation label specifically for Japanese indie games. (Thus including new works from some of these upstart teams.)

It'd still be more affordable than running a studio, by setting up seeds but not taking responsibility for raising the whole product, and it'd do something good for the Japanese indie game scene (which has not flowered the way I would have expected; I've played a number of doujin games but unless I'm missing a hidden trove of titles, I feel like there's been fewer self-made games from Japanese creatives, especially outside mobile - naturally, than in the rest of the world.) PS JP Indies could be something promotive for everybody injured by this closure, including Sony.
Ok, I can accept that Japan Studio has not been making games for some time. Does it mean they no longer are capable? Are they just a shell of their former self at this point? If that's the case then I get it. However, if the studio is still largely intact, and they just need clearance to make some of these more non-traditional games, then doesn't the blame fall on Sony for not approving them?

I'm being a bit selfish here, I'll admit. Gimme the games I want and forget about your bottom line. That's my mentality right now.

It just sucks that I've supported these games and am thankful they exist, but it feels like there may be less of them this gen.

I like the C.A.M.P. idea. It's kinda like ID@Xbox. Without ID we may not have ever seen Ori. Ori is an amazing game. Games like Inside, Hades, Little Nightmares. While these games are great, I think there's still space for indies with the Sony's flare.
 

Papacheeks

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I do too.

But when I look at what Japan Studio has been doing for years and years now, they have not been making those games very much. For the entire run of PS4, for most of the run of PS3, for any platform that wasn't a portable (and BTW, that's where this news hits me hardest, that I have to come to terms all over again with the fact that there is no third PlayStation Portable to enjoy all those smaller PlayStation games that thrived in the handheld space,) Sony Japan has been making very few games. And even fewer if you remove the titles it produced with external developers.

I'm sad, I'm angry, but I also understanding in that even I had lost interest in Sony Japan. I had high hopes for Sony Japan making a comeback after a dismal PS3 era, but that never worked out IMO, and their rumored PS5 space FPS seemed like another turn for the worse. I didn't see a bright future ahead for the studio, and I'm not very surprised that it now has no future.

This is a painful time with everybody being loaded into lifeboats and jettisoned to survive on their own, but hopefully once they've escaped the sinking ship, some of these designers will find a way to prosper independently in a way they couldn't anymore while inside the mothership. That's the hope I have to cling to.



I feel like maybe Sony's best PR move here is to set something up like PlayStation C.A.M.P., where they establish a PlayStation label specifically for Japanese indie games. (Thus including new works from some of these upstart teams.)

Exclusive PS games, made by Japanese game makers and small studios, endorsed by Sony as games you should check out.

It'd still be more affordable than running a studio, by setting up seeds but not taking responsibility for raising the whole product, and it'd do something good for the Japanese indie game scene (which has not flowered the way I would have expected; I've played a number of doujin games but unless I'm missing a hidden trove of titles, I feel like there's been fewer self-made games from Japanese creatives, especially outside mobile - naturally, than in the rest of the world.) PS JP Indies could be something promotive for everybody injured by this closure, including Sony.

Isn't that what shue does currently? Isn't he the one putting alight on those Korean and Chinese developers?
 
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yurinka

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Thanks for the correction.

Yea that list shows a lot of the development work being external studios mostly. Really looks like their last big project internally by Siren team was GR2.
You're welcome.

Yes, if we don't count both Astrobot games, the last games fully developed inside Japan Studio were Knack 2 and Gravity Rush 2, both published back in 2017. Japan Studio published a ton of games, but most of them were totally or partially developed by external studios (From Software etc).

The full list can be seen here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japan_Studio
 
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Varteras

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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.

Team Gravity (aka Project Siren, former members of the Silent Hill team) never managed to bring to the table for Sony what they did with Silent Hill. Siren didn't even remotely achieve the success that Silent Hill had and Gravity Rush was neat but, again, it never went beyond just being some Japanese action RPG with a twist. Team Ico was largely gone a long time ago and even then when they helped finish The Last Guardian it ended the "trilogy" on a much weaker note than what was expected after Ico and Shadow of the Colossus. The rest of the studio was giving us gems like Knack and.... Knack 2. A lot of the time when I hear people talk about Japan Studio and what they bring to the table, they list games that weren't even actually developed by them. Japan Studio has done a TON of collaborative efforts with third parties. The vast majority of games released with their name on it were just that. Collaborative efforts where the bulk of the work was done by someone else.

What Sony is doing is busting down Japan Studio to what they deserve to be right now. A Japanese developer that makes smaller scale projects and assists third parties. It's a similar situation to what they did with Santa Monica when Asmussen's project couldn't deliver. They downsized it and refocused the studio around a team they felt a lot more confident in. Refocusing Japan Studio and getting all that chaos under control should allow them to regrow into something better, more efficient, and ultimately more profitable for the company. Asobi has proven they have the talent the other teams lacked to produce the results so everything is in their hands now. All of the budget and resources.

Sony isn't going to let a studio exist and continue to drain them of money just for the sake of it. At some point you have to produce and make yourself worth it by either being a commercial success or a critical darling. If not, you either end up getting closed or restructured and told to try harder. Given time, and assuming this team succeeds, we'll likely see Japan Studio expand again but it won't be what it was. They'll likely focus on big projects the likes of which most of Sony's studios do today. Not like you'd be missing out on much if that happened based on the last decade. Besides, your best shot at a Legend of Dragoon remake or sequel was probably more likely to come from Bluepoint as it is.
 

assurdum

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I don't know how to feel about it. It has perfectly sense from a business perspective, but I think Sony should find a way to use it this studio before to shut it down. I understand there isn't nothing left about the Japanese culture but something should be untouchable, or the way to become another Konami is not too far off.
 
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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.
Fun fact: California teams have been a huge part of PlayStation's legacy since PS1 launch. Sony Interactive Studios America, 989 Studios, Naughty Dog, Crystal Dynamics just to name some.

Also, those Japanese-developed games you listed have/or had branch offices here. I used to work in one of them.

There was also a huge ass Sony mall with a Playstation store in SF.

 
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paypay88

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They should have closed way earlier. Kaz hirai was easy on them. There are many talented studios that deserve that money & support from Sony unlike those hacks at Sony Japan.

Rather invest on more different territories. Ukranie,China,Turkey,Bulgaria,Romania has great indie teams that would rise with support. They did buy that studio made action game for PC I think from china. For example they could scoop Mount Blade dudes
 
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Fake

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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.

'I don't understand why people hate so much ND games'

ALSO

'Nothing of valor was missed'
 
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yurinka

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Ok, I can accept that Japan Studio has not been making games for some time.
They made a lot of games: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japan_Studio

Does it mean they no longer are capable?
They are capable and will continue making games. They just downsized the studio and focused the internal development on the Asobi Team, and moved the production of external development and localization (as did in the other PS Studios like Santa Monica) to handle these divisions centralized with the other PlayStation Studios.

Other than that, as global Sony strategy all the PS Studios (not only Japan Studio) seems that will focus on games with a global appeal instead of making games targeting specific countries as they did in the past (as happened with titles like Invizimals for Spain or some Japanese only games).

I'm being a bit selfish here, I'll admit. Gimme the games I want and forget about your bottom line. That's my mentality right now.

It just sucks that I've supported these games and am thankful they exist, but it feels like there may be less of them this gen.

I like the C.A.M.P. idea. It's kinda like ID@Xbox. Without ID we may not have ever seen Ori. Ori is an amazing game. Games like Inside, Hades, Little Nightmares. While these games are great, I think there's still space for indies with the Sony's flare.
They have or had some country specific indie programs like C.A.M.P., in the case of Spain they have PlayStation talents, where they support small indies from mostly students, bring them to some local industry events and include them in the Spanish PS Plus accounts.

Recently Shuhei Yoshida joined a new position in charge of something related to indies. Who knows, maybe they create now some kind of worldwide indie program merging all these country specific initiatives. Jim Ryan recently hinted something related to indies in the recent GQ interview, maybe he was talking about something similar:

'Yep, Play At Home is back starting with 2016’s Ratchet & Clank and a three-month trial to anime subscription service Funimation with “some cool stuff with indie games” to follow. ' https://www.gq-magazine.co.uk/culture/article/playstation-vr-jim-ryan-interview-2021

In the recent State of Play they also announced Sifu, an indie game that mentioned in the trailer to be made "with the support of Sony Interactive Entertainment, Epic and Kowloon Nights (an investor).", but showing in the copyright that the IP belongs to the indie studio, who also seems to be selfpublishing it.

Who knows, maybe now Sony funds more indie games in exchange of console exclusivity, in order to fill that market niche of small and special exclusive games.

If you're curious, this is the current (complete?) list of announced or released exclusive PS4 and PS5 games. There are a ton of them, and many of the upcoming ones are Japanese:

You can click there the Series X, XBO or Switch tabs to compare.
 
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paypay88

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When people think Japan support on playstation

they think
dragon quest final fantasy tekken street fighter resident evil monster hunter persona nier nioh ninja gaiden platinum's games etc


they dont think
gravity rush knack siren or astrobot for matter
 
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Varteras

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Jesus, we need a big disclaimer or something on this title that Japan Studio is not being shut down. Seeing way too many people claiming this is a studio closure.
 

BabyYoda

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Maybe that whole thing about Japanese people live in small homes and they don't want to clutter their living room with big piece of plastic is true after all.

But consoles dominated because the quality is so much better than a Gameboy or DS.

But with Switch and cellphones having games with "good enough quality", it got to a breaking point where Japanese gamers can live with mobile at the expense of higher quality console version??????
It wouldn't surprise me if next gen they'll be playing games on a device that'll need a microscope to see it, the way it's going anyway...personally I can't stand even surfing the Web on my phone, much prefer to be on my giant PC!
 

DrAspirino

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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.
 

BabyYoda

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The whole "Japan is going mobile" thing has been blown way out of proportion.

Yes Japan has a large mobile gaming market, but so does every other developed country. Japan is still the 2nd biggest market in the world for dedicated video devices and it's growing year on year.

If we look at the franchises that are doing well in Japan, most of them are the ones that have done well for years (Mario, Pokémon, Dragon Quest, Final Fantasy, Monster Hunter, Smash Bros etc.) There's not been a move away from traditional gaming franchises.
I'm sure I remember when the UK overtook Japan in Videogame sales (consumed, not sold), if we're even close that's insane, they have well over double our population!

But I appreciate most countries are going nuts over mobile gaming, I guess the kids have different habits to boomers like me. Its just a trend that bores me to tears, I cannot see the appeal of gaming on a tiny screen, unless I'm stuck far from home and have no other options!
 

EDMIX

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My point is, they dont have smaller JAPANESE titles anymore

You statement simply bashes the games, it never states anything about them being Japanese or not.

mediocre platformer game and a jamba juice rocketleauge clone that looks like shit


Sooooo yea. Not sure how anyone would get your point is "don't have smaller Japanese titles" by that comment, its just getting triggered and bashing games you don't like. Thats the only point that can be taken from that post... Your own words.

Sony Japan wasn't the only team at Sony that did Japanese games.... sooo I see no evidence that they "don't have smaller Japanese titles anymore" that is factually wrong. Astro Bot is not Japanese? huh? Sir, they stated they are simply restructuring those teams, nothing about no longer making smaller titles in Japan as Sony Japan didn't even make the majority of those titles alone.


ie you can count the "developed with" as evidence that the team SOLELY didn't just EXCLUSIVELY and ONLY make those titles for Sony, many teams did.


And to that, welcome to the ignore list. Have a good one.
 
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EDMIX

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A surprise to nobody keeping track of Playstations divorce from Japan, all the signs were there

Why are they keeping the team that made Astro Bot? Why did they buy Crunchyroll? I mean....they hate Japan right? Sooooo this simply sounds like a underperforming team getting restructured because they can't afford to continue making failures that don't sell... That isn't a Sony, MS etc idea, that is a fucking business idea. Why would they keep putting out failures? Thats reality my friend. Any publisher is going to do that with a underperforming team.

Proof? Simple... can you name 1 fucking major publisher in the last 10 years that has never closed down a or sold a studio or restructured etc?
 

Woopah

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I'm sure I remember when the UK overtook Japan in Videogame sales (consumed, not sold), if we're even close that's insane, they have well over double our population!

But I appreciate most countries are going nuts over mobile gaming, I guess the kids have different habits to boomers like me. Its just a trend that bores me to tears, I cannot see the appeal of gaming on a tiny screen, unless I'm stuck far from home and have no other options!
UK is getting closer at one point but I don't think it has overtaken since Japan has been growing recently (and software wise things are looking good for 2021 and 2022 as well).

I don't play games on mobiles either (did enjoy handheld gaming back when I commuted/travelled). However I don't think one is a threat to other.

PC gaming, mobile gaming and dedicated device gaming can all co-exist and be healthy.
 
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Keihart

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Jesus, we need a big disclaimer or something on this title that Japan Studio is not being shut down. Seeing way too many people claiming this is a studio closure.
The cool part of Japan studio it's being dusted out of the building as we speak, might as well not exist anymore.
 
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CamHostage

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If we don't count both Astrobot games, the last games fully developed inside Japan Studio were Knack 2 and Gravity Rush 2, both published back in 2017. Japan Studio published a ton of games, but most of them were totally or partially developed by external studios (From Software etc).

The full list can be seen here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japan_Studio

I would also include The Last Guardian in there as well as Japan studio's "final" fully developed games? GenDESIGN gets the co-credit, but I don't think they were staffed up much at that time, it was more something like a satellite office for Ueda and technical director Jinji Horagai to finish the game along with Japan Studio (with the help of other SIE companies as well; ) the vast majority of development work on that was done in-house at Sony. Last Guardian squeaked in at the end of 2016, though, so it doesn't fit perfectly alongside the other two on the epitaph...

To find a Japan Studio internal game before that one (minus Astrobot team), you have to go all the way back to 2012/2013, with the release of Knack 1 / Gravity Rush Vita.

I would say though that skipping in the count co-developed games as not being "real" Japan Studio games (which I would do myself in discussion) might be disingenuous. Japanese studios like Sony, like Nintendo, like Capcom and Namco, they usually aren't just moneybags when they contract an external studio to work on a game. There are in-house producers, sometimes even internal directors and staff who work on these games alongside the development team. (I believe that's pretty rare outside Japan; the best example I can think of was when David Jaffe shared lead design work in California with the Incognito team in Utah on the Twisted Metal titles.)

The fact that the Sony producer for Bloodborne Masaaki Yamagiwa has left the Japan Studio offices throws in question this idea that everything is fine with that other side of the company and that Sony Japan will just continue on contracting developers like it used to once the shakeout of in-house creators is over. For our sakes, I hope new projects still find a path forward.

If for some reason you don't consider games the Astrobot games (I think at least the VR one should), then the most recent games completely developed inside Japan Studio are Knack 2 and Gravity Rush 2, both released in 2017.

Ah, agreed, excluded just for discussion's sake. The Astrobot team is surviving, so we're on the same page as far as whether to consider them in an analysis of how the Japan Studio closure/downsizing/restructuring/? affects consumers.
 
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Kadve

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Thought it was from VG chartz at first and wondered "who the heck uses them as a source?"

Sad, they've produced some great titles over the years. And speaking of which, anyone knows what happened with that big JRPG they've supposedly been developing since like forever?
 

Jigsaah

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They made a lot of games: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japan_Studio


They are capable and will continue making games. They just downsized the studio and focused the internal development on the Asobi Team, and moved the production of external development and localization (as did in the other PS Studios like Santa Monica) to handle these divisions centralized with the other PlayStation Studios.

Other than that, as global Sony strategy all the PS Studios (not only Japan Studio) seems that will focus on games with a global appeal instead of making games targeting specific countries as they did in the past (as happened with titles like Invizimals for Spain or some Japanese only games).


They have or had some country specific indie programs like C.A.M.P., in the case of Spain they have PlayStation talents, where they support small indies from mostly students, bring them to some local industry events and include them in the Spanish PS Plus accounts.

Recently Shuhei Yoshida joined a new position in charge of something related to indies. Who knows, maybe they create now some kind of worldwide indie program merging all these country specific initiatives. Jim Ryan recently hinted something related to indies in the recent GQ interview, maybe he was talking about something similar:

'Yep, Play At Home is back starting with 2016’s Ratchet & Clank and a three-month trial to anime subscription service Funimation with “some cool stuff with indie games” to follow. ' https://www.gq-magazine.co.uk/culture/article/playstation-vr-jim-ryan-interview-2021

In the recent State of Play they also announced Sifu, an indie game that mentioned in the trailer to be made "with the support of Sony Interactive Entertainment, Epic and Kowloon Nights (an investor).", but showing in the copyright that the IP belongs to the indie studio, who also seems to be selfpublishing it.

Who knows, maybe now Sony funds more indie games in exchange of console exclusivity, in order to fill that market niche of small and special exclusive games.

If you're curious, this is the current (complete?) list of announced or released exclusive PS4 and PS5 games. There are a ton of them, and many of the upcoming ones are Japanese:

You can click there the Series X, XBO or Switch tabs to compare.
Ok, you got a point there. They did announce some games at State of Play I was interested in. I didn't know SIFU was indie. Looks damn good. I did see on EGS that SIFU was on PC as well though. Doesn't matter, SIFU reminds me of Absolver, another great indie title.

Maybe they are just restructuring. The way a lot of people have been talking though, it's like they don't care about Japanese games anymore. My favorite game of all time is a Japanese game. Sold like shit and I don't care, Phantom Dust is the best game EVER MADE.
 

Woopah

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Why are they keeping the team that made Astro Bot? Why did they buy Crunchyroll? I mean....they hate Japan right? Sooooo this simply sounds like a underperforming team getting restructured because they can't afford to continue making failures that don't sell... That isn't a Sony, MS etc idea, that is a fucking business idea. Why would they keep putting out failures? Thats reality my friend. Any publisher is going to do that with a underperforming team.

Proof? Simple... can you name 1 fucking major publisher in the last 10 years that has never closed down a or sold a studio or restructured etc?
I don't think Nintendo has shut down any studios or restructured in a way that involves layoffs.
 
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Clear

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I don't think Nintendo has shut down any studios or restructured in a way that involves layoffs.
Nintendo has virtually no first party developers outside of Japan though, certainly nothing close to what Sony has.
 
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EDMIX

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I don't think Nintendo has shut down any studios or restructured in a way that involves layoffs.

You don't think or they never announced such a thing? What they do is simply move around developers to other projects when one is no longer working out. So yes....they have very much "restructured" many, many times. That isn't new in business and would never make sense to really entertain that any major publisher in gaming laid off zero staff, no developer was ever fired, all teams remained 100% intact etc.

It doesn't even make sense, its a claim so wild you'd need to give us the evidence of such a strange thing tbh. Factually, all studios that existed under Nintendo 25 or 30 years ago do not all 100% exist TODAY.




We are not even factoring in them simply outsourcing. You may not see a big ass news article with Nintendo say "we CLOSED down a studio guyz", what you will see is them having Platinum Games, Koei, Ubisoft and many more making games that their inhouse teams USED to make, so those teams get "restructured" when its cheaper to hire Platinum games to put out a Star Fox title....


Really, really think about what you are saying here. You really believe Nintendo has no layoffs or something? All the teams are exactly the same, no change at all or something?

This is one of the issues with gaming media (or really how people take information in), they see this statement and believe NOT seeing the same statement from Nintendo, Ubisoft etc suddenly means they have not "shut down any studios". Sir....think about this one long and hard (that is indeed what she said btw) and understand.....do you really believe no team is shut down, all teams remain exactly the same and no layoffs happen and the only ones that do are the ones people report about?

Its like when someone goes from Sony to MS or MS to Sony etc and you get all theses theories and concern post, its as if the fucking article telling you its happening in their minds means its a rare occurrence or isn't normal or something like that. It takes what is reported as the only reality as if folks don't quit their jobs EVERY SINGLE DAY in the game industry. That issue is what cause people to really believe no team has been shut down by Nintendo. Its a really odd claim that tells me people seem to think only what is reported is reality. Most are not telling you every single day what they do in a company, it doesn't mean nothing is happening.
 
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EDMIX

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Just buy Capcom. Brother Sony Pictures makes anything they release into movies.

lol ikr

I wouldn't be shocked if they are doing this to prepare for some purchase. (likely Bluepoint games).

I think for the next generation and onward you'll see them use Bluepoint games revive some of those classics using Japan Studio to assist like you saw from SoTC remake or Demon Souls remake. They probably have plans for Ico remake, The Last Guardian remaster etc
 
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lol ikr

I wouldn't be shocked if they are doing this to prepare for some purchase. (likely Bluepoint games).

I think for the next generation and onward you'll see them use Bluepoint games revive some of those classics using Japan Studio to assist like you saw from SoTC remake or Demon Souls remake. They probably have plans for Ico remake, The Last Guardian remaster etc
People really are into Bluepoint and Returnal’s Housemarque for some reason. They dont move the needle. If Microsoft bought them. It wouldnt bother Sony at all. Insomniac made total sense even though they had zero IP. They were going to make them into a Spiderman cash cow. There’s no point in getting a zero IP studio. They better of buy IP alone, then Bluepoint.
 
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Woopah

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Nintendo has virtually no first party developers outside of Japan though, certainly nothing close to what Sony has.
What difference does that make? Those studios in Japan are still ones that could potentially be laid off.
You don't think or they never announced such a thing? What they do is simply move around developers to other projects when one is no longer working out. So yes....they have very much "restructured" many, many times. That isn't new in business and would never make sense to really entertain that any major publisher in gaming laid off zero staff, no developer was ever fired, all teams remained 100% intact etc.

It doesn't even make sense, its a claim so wild you'd need to give us the evidence of such a strange thing tbh. Factually, all studios that existed under Nintendo 25 or 30 years ago do not all 100% exist TODAY.




We are not even factoring in them simply outsourcing. You may not see a big ass news article with Nintendo say "we CLOSED down a studio guyz", what you will see is them having Platinum Games, Koei, Ubisoft and many more making games that their inhouse teams USED to make, so those teams get "restructured" when its cheaper to hire Platinum games to put out a Star Fox title....


Really, really think about what you are saying here. You really believe Nintendo has no layoffs or something? All the teams are exactly the same, no change at all or something?

This is one of the issues with gaming media (or really how people take information in), they see this statement and believe NOT seeing the same statement from Nintendo, Ubisoft etc suddenly means they have not "shut down any studios". Sir....think about this one long and hard (that is indeed what she said btw) and understand.....do you really believe no team is shut down, all teams remain exactly the same and no layoffs happen and the only ones that do are the ones people report about?

Its like when someone goes from Sony to MS or MS to Sony etc and you get all theses theories and concern post, its as if the fucking article telling you its happening in their minds means its a rare occurrence or isn't normal or something like that. It takes what is reported as the only reality as if folks don't quit their jobs EVERY SINGLE DAY in the game industry. That issue is what cause people to really believe no team has been shut down by Nintendo. Its a really odd claim that tells me people seem to think only what is reported is reality. Most are not telling you every single day what they do in a company, it doesn't mean nothing is happening.
The Nintendo Europe example would certainly count and that wasn't one I was aware of.

Nintendo has definitely restructured (we know they created the new EPD structure in 2015 out of EAD and SPD) but there's a difference between teams being shut down and moved to new projects and teams being shut down with people being laid off. That's why I specified the later in my post.

Nintendo does work with a lot of external partners, but from the looks of it that's to expand their output rather than replace internal teams (since the company's employee count is going up and not down).

This is all moot though since the Europe example invalidates my argument.
 
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EDMIX

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What difference does that make? Those studios in Japan are still ones that could potentially be laid off.

The Nintendo Europe example would certainly count and that wasn't one I was aware of.

Nintendo has definitely restructured (we know they created the new EPD structure in 2015 out of EAD and SPD) but there's a difference between teams being shut down and moved to new projects and teams being shut down with people being laid off. That's why I specified the later in my post.

Nintendo does work with a lot of external partners, but from the looks of it that's to expand their output rather than replace internal teams (since the company's employee count is going up and not down).

This is all moot though since the Europe example invalidates my argument.

You are simply in love with semantics. You need to see the word "shut down" in print to some how support something.

So when you say

that wasn't one I was aware of.

Consider you are not aware of how many people any major company actually layoff on any given day. Pretending the same thing isn't happening is naïve as fuck.

You simply want to see the word "shut down", them being laidoff and those teams being outsourced for those big projects instead of in house development teams sounds nicer in print and great for PR.

As to why where not aware of many of those layoffs. I see no reason for them to even continue to have the same number of staff if they are just going to pay other studios to handle that work outside of Nintendo like Ubisoft, Koei, Platinum Games etc.
 
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The Pleasure

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The proof is in the pudding, the predication where Sony is going more towards the western audience is becoming more clear
each time something like this happens. I can’t believe PlayStation would be stupid enough to do this. One of the things that always made PlayStation unique was their Japanese games that was in-house. Not good at all.
Americans be thirsty for koro
 
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BigBooper

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Very weird that they are just giving up on Japan. I take this as a sign that they have no interest at all in bringing portable back.