The Japan Studio Sony Interactive Entertainment loses another of its big names. Masaaki Yamagiwa has announced through his personal account on Twitter that at the end of February he will leave the Japanese studio responsible for titles such as Bloodborne, Astro’s Playroom and Knack 2 , among others.
“I will be leaving Sony Interactive Entertainment at the end of the month,” Yamagiwa says on his Twitter account ( Gematsu translation ). “I will continue to work hard on creating games. Thank you all very much!” The producer of Bloodborne, Déraciné and Tokyo Jungle has not specified what his plans are, although the message suggests that he will move to another studio outside of Sony.
2月末でSIE JAPAN Studioを離れることになりました。これまでありがとうございました。次の場所でもゲーム制作を頑張ります。
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! pic.twitter.com/WPpiLpCtoY
— 山際眞晃 Masaaki Yamagiwa (@giwamasa) February 25, 2021
Gravity Rush creator and Demon’s Souls Remake producer also left Sony
Yamagiwa’s departure is part of what appears to be a departure from Japan Studio by some of its more recognizable names. Teruyuki Toriyama, producer of Bloodborne, Demon’s Souls Remake and Soul Sacrifice among others, left Sony Interactive Entertainment in December.
That same month Keiichiro Toyama, creator of Silent Hill, Siren and Gravity Rush, also left the company to found an independent studio, Bokeh Game Studio, to which he brought two other colleagues: Kazunobu Sato (producer of The Last Guardian and designer of Puppeteer ) and Junya Okura (lead designer of the Gravity Rush series ).
The Japan Studio is a team that collaborates in the development of Japanese games released for PlayStation consoles (sometimes with second and third party studios ) while developing their own projects, although that aspect has been stopped for a while. Within the studio, there are two teams: Project Siren (those responsible for said horror saga and Gravity Rush ) and ASOBI Team (responsible for Astro’s Playroom and the rest of the Astro Bot games and programs).
In April of last year, Japan Studio opened an External Development Department whose job, as its name implies, is to produce games developed by independent studios in a manner similar to Sony’s XDEV in Europe. Its main manager is Kazuo Tako, producer of Shadow of the Colossus Remake and Everybody’s Golf .