Japan Studio has been removed from Sony’s list of studios on its website, seemingly sealing the fate of the developer as the company shifts focus to more Western developers.
The removal of the company is recent. PushSquare spotted the fact that as recently as last month, the page featured references to the studio alongside a description that referred to it as “the long-standing talent behind some of PlayStation’s most original titles”.
The fact Japan Studio has been removed now, then, stings. We already knew the studio had been disbanded and that the staff had left Sony, but seeing the fate of the Knack, LocoRoco, and Patapon developer finally sealed is sad.
Localization and business staff have been retained, but it seems like the vast majority of development talent has been let go from the long-standing Sony studio. It seems some key talent from the studio – such as Keiichiro Toyama, who is known for working on Silent Hill, Siren, and the Gravity Rush – managed to jump ship before they were pushed. Toyama formed Bokeh Game Studios last year, and the studio plans to release its first game in 2023.
Team Asobi, the folks behind the wildly popular Astro Bot games, has replaced Japan Studio on the site. We’d previously reported that this team had been ringfenced and will continue making games as a studio in their own right. Shortly afterwards, the Tokyo-based developer became an official PlayStation Studio.
PlayStation Studios boss Hermen Hulst recently said that Team Asobi is currently working on a franchise for all ages.