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Sony Shuts Down Its Japan Studio & Keeps Team Asobi

Sony Shuts Down Its Japan Studio and Keeps Team Asobi

Sony has recently confirmed that it is going to shut down its Japan studio and only keep Team Asobi from the group. As per the statement provided by the company, the Japan Studio will be “re-centered to Team Asobi, the creative team behind Astro’s Playroom, allowing the team to focus on a single vision and build on the popularity of the Astro’s Playroom.” The Japan Studio will shift on April 1st.

The Team Asobi is famous for the “Astro’s Playroom,” which is one of the best games on PlayStation. This particular game shows off the features of the new DualSense controller. However, with the whole Japan studio being shut down, you can expect more Astro games on your PlayStation. Sony says that the Japan branch must focus more on Astro games, as it is one of the most famous games from the company. 

When asked about the sudden shutdown, we got to know that Sony did not renew the majority of the staff members for the fiscal year from March 31st. Due to this reason, most of the important members have left the company. While some of the members will work on Team Asobi and Bokeh, most of the majority heads, like Ryo Sogabe and Masaaki Yamagiwa, are leaving the company.

The Bloodborne video producer posted an image on Twitter and stated his departure in the tweet. “I’m leaving Sony Interactive Entertainment at the end of this month. I’m going to continue working hard on creating games. Many thanks to everyone!” stated Masaaki Yamagiwa. The video manager, Ryo Sogabe, also tweeted about his departure at the end of the month. He states that he played with PlayStation for the last 14 years rather than working and would like some new challenges ahead. While we wish them all the best for their new journey, we are even a bit concerned about the Sony Japan studio for now.

However, some may say that the departure was not so sudden as Sony Japan Studio was not quite profitable in recent years. The company declined to renew the contracts of its staff members, which forced them to leave the company.

Moreover, when Allan Becker let down his throne of Director from Sony Japan, the company met its downfall. The lack of hit games from the director as a result of last year’s downfall. Though the company now has Nicolas Doucet, the director of Astro Bot: Rescue Mission, we are yet to see what new surprises are to come.

There are even talks that since PlayStation is giving more power to the US headquarters, the Japan headquarters is suffering. We know how powerful and strong Japanese technology is, and this shutdown of Japan studios will be harsh on the people. 

Besides that, Jim Ryan, the PlayStation head, has stated that SIE (Sony Interactive Entertainment) values Japan as its most important market and Japan studio is important. However, the US office has some other opinions on this. When asked about the situation, an insider stated that PlayStation doesn’t need games that will only do well in Japan. 

For now, we can say that the fate of Japan Studio is no more in the hands of the staff members as Sony is going to shut it down. The only studios that will work are Team Asobi and Bokeh. Bokeh is a new studio that the director of Silent Hill and Gravity Rush, Keiichiro Toyama, has founded. Meanwhile, you can expect new Astro games on your PlayStation soon.

Image Source: TheVerge

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