Sony’s Japan Studio Closing Down Today, PS5 Demon’s Souls Director Gavin Moore Departs
No, sadly it’s not a cruel April Fool’s joke…Sony’s Japan Studio, responsible for everything from Ape Escape, to Shadow of the Colossus, to Gravity Rush, is shutting down today. The writing was on the wall for a while, as a number of top Japan Studio creatives, including Silent Hill and Gravity Rush creator Keiichiro Toyama, Demon’s Souls producer Teruyuki Toriyama, and Bloodborne producer Masaaki Yamagiwa have recently struck out on their own, but Sony confirmed it a few weeks back.
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.
It’s seems the last major holdout turning out the lights will be 20-year-veteran Gavin Moore, who most recently directed the PS5 remake of Demon’s Souls…
After 24 years at Sony and 18 of those in Japan, yesterday was my last day at #JAPANStudio. I will miss the great creative spirit and camaraderie of the studio that was a huge part of my life. Time to seek out new and exciting opportunities!! pic.twitter.com/XOW0XytYd4
— gavin moore (@GavinmGavin) April 1, 2021
Other Japan Studio names to announce their departures in recent days are producers Yasutaka Asakura and Kentaro Motomura, and Gravity Rush character designer Shunsuke Saito. Thankfully, it seems most of the talent leaving Sony are remaining in the industry – for instance, Keiichiro Toyama has founded the independent Bokeh Game Studio, which is already at work on a new horror-flavored action title.
Pour one out for Japan Studio folks – what are your favorite games they’ve developed? Personally, I might have to fire up some Shadow of the Colossus this weekend in tribute.