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Sony is confirmed to be winding down internal game development at Japan Studio

Astros Playroom Last Of Us Ps
Astros Playroom Last Of Us Ps (Image credit: Android Central)

What you need to know

  • Japan Studio is the oldest first-party team at Sony Worldwide Studios.
  • According to VGC, this team is being downsized due to a lack of financial success, with internal game development slowing.
  • Asobi Team, a group within Japan Studio that make the Astro games, are reportedly not affected.

Update, Feb. 25 (7:45 pm ET): Sony has confirmed that Japan Studio is being downsized and reorganized around Team Asobi.

According to a report from VGC, Sony is winding down internal game development at Japan Studio, the oldest first-party studio at Sony Worldwide Studios. The "vast majority" of the developers at the studio have reportedly been let go, though Asobi Team, the developers of the Astrobot games, will continue to function as normal.

Several key veterans from the studio left earlier in 2021 to begin Bokeh Game Studio, a new team working on a multiplatform horror game. It's not clear if this downsizing also extends to the external development team, which has partnered on titles like the Demon's Souls PS5 remake, which is widely considered one of the best PS5 games available.

Per VGC, this shift is because Japan Studio has not been profitable enough over the past few years, with the studio wanting to produce games locally for a Japanese audience while Sony wanted bigger games like its other first-party teams create.

Some of the other games that Japan Studio developed or supported development of in its history include the Siren franchise, Shadow of the Colossus, The Last Guardian, the Gravity Rush games, Bloodborne and more.

Update, Feb. 25 (7:45 pm ET) — Sony confirms the report

In a statement to IGN, Sony confirmed that Japan Studio is being downsized and refocused around Team Asobi, allowing to the team to focus on the success of Astro's Playroom.

"In addition, the roles of external production, software localization, and IP management of JAPAN Studio titles will be concentrated within the global functions of PlayStation Studios," essentially stating that Japan Studio as it was will longer exist.

Samuel Tolbert is a freelance writer covering gaming news, previews, reviews, interviews and different aspects of the gaming industry, specifically focusing on PlayStation on Android Central. You can find him on Twitter @SamuelTolbert