A new rumor suggests that Sony Interactive Entertainment is letting go of the original game development of its oldest first-party developer Japan Studio.
Multiple sources have told media outlet VGC that majority of its development staff has been let go by SIE. It seems their annual contracts have not been renewed ahead of the company’s next business year, April 1.
The only ones that will remain are the localization and business staff, and ASOBI Team. They will now remain as a standalone studio within Sony Japan, the sources claim. They also said that some of the Japan Studio staff will join ASOBI studio. Others have joined Director Keiichiro Toyama, who has established his own studio Bokeh.
The sources shared that Japan Studio and SIE had contradicting goals. The prior wanted to make games that appealed to the Japanese audience first and hopefully getting attention to the global market. The latter wanted the opposite: they wanted to gain as much global appeal that their other first-party studios have done in the past.
Another source said that the fate of Japan Studio was already set in stone after its long-time President Allan Becker left them. He was replaced by Director Nicolas Doucet, the guy from Astro Bot: Rescue Mission.
There is also another rumor that states this was the result of shifting power from Japan to the new US headquarters.
All of these rumors, take them with a grain of salt for now. No official confirmation from SIE, but these are interesting details.