Reports began to surface yesterday that PlayStation’s Japan Studio, their oldest first-party studio, was being shut-down. PlayStation has now confirmed the reports with some added context.
Sony confirmed that the resources for Japan Studio will be “re-centered” around Team Asobi (Astro’s Playroom). Additionally, aspects such as localization, production, and IP management will fold under the umbrella of PlayStation Studios. In a formal statement, Sony said the following:
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 is sad to hear, especially as Japan Studio has been a staple in game development since the original PlayStation. Obviously we’re unsure of the specific details about individual positions, but as always we wish the teams all the best and hope they will continue to work under the larger PlayStation Studios umbrella.