Sony Japan Studio will be reorganized, according to Sony Interactive Entertainment. A statement from JAPAN Studio said that these changes will take affect on April 1, 2021 and result in a “new organization.” Namely, downsizing and shifts will lead to only Team ASOBI remaining. [Thanks, IGN!]
Team ASOBI developed the free PlayStation 5 launch title Astro’s Playroom. The goal is to allow the development team to further develop on the Astro Bot series’ popularity by focusing on a single vision. The game comes pre-loaded on every PlayStation 5 and is designed to introduce newcomers to the DualSense controller’s features. The Astro Bots themselves first debuted in The Playroom, a PlayStation 4 pre-installed application designed to peripherals like the PlayStation Camera. The developer also worked on the PSVR game Astro Bot Rescue Mission.
Here’s the full statement, which was provided to IGN.
In an effort to further strengthen business operations, SIE can confirm PlayStation Studios JAPAN Studio will be re-organized into a new organization on April 1. 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 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.
This confirmation followed a VGC report that claimed sources said a “vast majority” of developers from Japan Studios were laid off after their annual contracts expired. Multiple developers have also left the studio recently. This includes Silent Hill creator Keiichiro Toyama. Masaaki Yamagiwa, who produced Bloodborne, will also be leaving.