Sony closes its first-party game developer Japan Studio

Sony is closing its first-party game developer Japan Studio. The gamemaker will become part of Team Asobi, another first-party studio from Sony. Many Japan Studio employees have reportedly been laid off as a result of this transition.

Sony says the closure and partial merger are part of an “effort to strengthen Sony Interactive Entertainment’s business operations,” the company said in a response to Video Games Chronicle, among others. The new strategy would go into effect on April 1, the new business year.

According to VGC sources, Japan Studio has “simply not been profitable enough” for the parent company in recent years. In addition, Japan Studio preferred to make games that were mainly interesting for the Japanese market, while Sony wants games that are interesting internationally.

Team Asobi started as a division of Japan Studio. It was founded in 2012 and to date has The Playroom, The Playroom VR, Astro Bot Rescue Mission and Astro’s Playroom to its name.

Japan Studio is Sony’s oldest first-party studio; his first game came on the market in 1994. That was Crime Crackers for the first PlayStation. That game, like many other games, made it in collaboration with another game studio. Examples of prominent games that Japan Studio is co-responsible for include Demon’s Souls, Bloodborne, Shadow of the Colossus, and The Last Guardian. Games that made it from scratch include Knack II, LocoRoco, Kung Fu Rider, and Ape Escape.