Demon’s Souls PS5 director confirms Sony exit, on day Japan Studio is dissolved

Gavin Moore, the creative director of PS5’s Demon’s Souls remaster, has confirmed he’s left PlayStation’s Japan Studio.

Moore confirmed the news in a tweet on Thursday, stating: “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!”

Moore’s announcement comes on the day Sony is due to absorb the first-party developer into its Worldwide Studios operation.

Dozens of employees have confirmed their departures over the past months, and VGC understands the majority of its original game developers have left the studio, which is known for the Ape Escape, Gravity Rush and Knack series of games.

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The Demon’s Souls PS5 director is one of the most high profile creatives to announce their exit from Japan Studio.

On Wednesday, Moore had published a dedication to his development team, along with the cryptic inclusion of the This is Fine meme, which features a dog assuring himself that all is OK, despite sitting in a room that is engulfed in flames.

The British artist and designer had moved to Japan nearly 20 years ago. Speaking in a recent GDC talk, he discussed the challenges of working in Japan as a foreigner.

“I think the challenges are the way that the working practices here are different here from in the west,” he said. “It’s very common for any team member in the west to speak up and speak their mind.

“It’s not so common in a Japanese development team, but it is something in Japan Studio that we worked on very heavily to make sure that everyone has a say in the development of the game and to say, ‘it’s OK to speak up and to speak your mind and be creative’.

“Everybody who works in games is very creative and if we’re not listening to them then we’re losing a precious resource.”

VGC sources revealed in February that Sony was planning to wind down the Japan Studio, with the majority of its development staff being let go and the remaining staff being absorbed into Team ASOBI, the creative team behind Astro’s Playroom.

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Sony later confirmed this in a statement, saying: “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.”

Keiichiro Toyama, the director of both Gravity Rush games, the first Silent Hill and the Siren series, announced he had left in December.

Toyama formed a new studio, Bokeh, along with Junya Okura, lead designer on the Gravity Rush series, and Kazunobu Sato, lead designer of 2013’s Puppeteer, who both also left Sony following nearly two decades of service.

VGC’s reporting corroborated a Bloomberg article from November of last year, which said that Sony Japan had been “sidelined” and its development teams had been cut.

PlayStation boss Jim Ryan had downplayed this narrative several times; in December, he claimed that Japan continued to be a hugely important market for Sony Interactive Entertainment.

Last month Famitsu published an interview with Ryan in which he said he considered all of SIE’s studios to be important and that he continued to support Japanese game development for PS5.

This news is republished from another source. You can check the original article here


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