While Sony is doing its best to establish a strong line of studios to make exclusives for the PlayStation 5, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s keeping all of them operational.
Reports are coming in that the company is closing down its famed Japan Studio, which has made a number of favorites over the years, including the Ape Escape games, the Gravity Rush series and its Knack titles. This comes after a number of employees had their contracts lapse, with no notification for renewal.
That said, there will be some that keep their jobs, particularly in the localization and business departments, but development appears to be no more, leaving a number of the company’s franchises in question – particularly Ape Escape and Knack.
This isn’t affecting all of Sony’s studios surrounding Japan Studio, as it appears that ASOBI, the developers of the Astro Bot games, will still be operational.
A number of famed developers have already left the company with this exodus. This includes Bloodborne producer Masaaki Yamagiwa and executive producer Masami Yamamoto. As for other employees within external development for the studio, they will be relocated in April.
“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,” a spokesperson for the company explained. “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.”
It’ll be interesting to see what Sony does with some of its franchises from here, if anything at all. It’s no stranger to leaving particular fan favorites, like Jak and Daxter, Sly Cooper and Motorstorm, in the dust.
We’ll have to see what the next few years bring in the PS5 era.
Still, pour one out for the studio behind numerous favorites – including Parappa the Rapper. Enjoy the nostalgic clip below.
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