Japan Studio has been officially removed from Sony’s list of studios.
As of last month (as spotted by PushSquare and captured by the Internet Archive), the page included Japan Studio in the list, referring to it as “the long-standing talent behind some of PlayStation’s most original titles”.
Sony reorganised Japan Studio into “a new organisation” on April 1, and the vast majority of its development staff was let go, VGC exclusively reported in February.
The iconic developer behind Ape Escape, Gravity Rush and Knack saw the vast majority of its development staff leave after their annual contracts were not renewed ahead of the company’s next business year starting on April 1.
Localisation and business staff remain in place and Team Asobi will continue as a standalone studio within Sony Japan.
People with knowledge of the matter told VGC that Sony Japan Studio simply hasn’t been profitable enough in recent years; the developer wanted to create games that appealed to the Japanese market first with hopes of having global appeal, while PlayStation wants the kind of global hits that its other first-party studios produce.
VGC’s reporting corroborated a Bloomberg article from November of last year, which said that Sony Japan had been “sidelined” and its development teams had been cut.
Famitsu later published an interview with Ryan in which he said he considered all of SIE’s studios to be important and that he continued to support Japanese game development for PS5.
Japan Studio was Sony Interactive Entertainment‘s oldest first-party studio, with a focus on introducing new styles of gameplay.
The developer was known for games such as Knack, LocoRoco and Ape Escape, as well as its collaborations on the likes of Bloodborne, The Last Guardian and Everybody’s Golf. It most recently worked on PS5’s Demon’s Souls with US studio Bluepoint.