Sony spent a decade trying to save Japan Studio

Kerotan

Member
I mean all Bloodborne needs is a port running 4K60. Not sure if there is value is remaking the game.

As for Dreams being on nintendo and mobile, it should be on whatever can run it. I'm sure Sony is looking at everything for it.
There's massive value and there's a reason Sony haven't done this simple remaster. They'd rather cash in on a remake. It would do big numbers on both ps5 and pc especially.
 
There's massive value and there's a reason Sony haven't done this simple remaster. They'd rather cash in on a remake. It would do big numbers on both ps5 and pc especially.

I think the word you're forgetting is yet. Sony can't do EVERYTHING. That's like saying there's a reason why they haven't released the Last of Us Part 1 on PC. Well, they're working on it.

Sony hasn't announced any games yet for 2023 aside from Spider-Man. Are we to expect that none of these games are coming? There's a reason they haven't announced anything, but should we come to the conclusion that it's because they don't have anything to announce? Seems a bit premature.

Not sure why they wouldn't be able to cash in (and more easily) from a port/remaster.
 
I think the word you're forgetting is yet. Sony can't do EVERYTHING. That's like saying there's a reason why they haven't released the Last of Us Part 1 on PC. Well, they're working on it.

Sony hasn't announced any games yet for 2023 aside from Spider-Man. Are we to expect that none of these games are coming? There's a reason they haven't announced anything, but should we come to the conclusion that it's because they don't have anything to announce? Seems a bit premature.

Not sure why they wouldn't be able to cash in (and more easily) from a port/remaster.

Sony could have prioritized a BloodBorne remaster over a needless remake of a game that was already widely accessible on their platform that ran in fluid 60 FPS and barely looked its age.

Sony can’t do anything right these days It feels like.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Isa
Dreams is sitting on an 89 on Metacritic with an 8.7 user score. It literally just came out at the beginning of the pandemic.

I would not be surprised since Sony has changed their tune on PC that Dreams will be ported to PC, where it will almost certainly be more popular. It's not something that you can just do overnight, especially if that wasn't the original plan.

The game won a ton of awards which actually matters in the industry, especially when it comes to culture and recruitment and again MediaMolecule doesn't cost you anything. A large studio in the middle of Tokyo who doesn't make games that sell at all... costs you a lot.

Tearaway unfolded another game that costs nothing had an 87 on metacritic.

Media Molecule has consistent quality. Their rolling average across 4 games that they primarily developed is an 90.5.

“It’s about sales number.”

*argument falls apart*

“Wait no actually it’s about meta scores.”

Uses the phrase “rolling average” for a studio that put out one major release in a decade that nobody plays.

What a terrible argument.
 
I call them timed exclusives that launched day and date on PC. I don’t regard a single one of these as a “PlayStation” game.

A handful of indies is not a substitute for the unique titles Sony developed internally with their own studios. It’s not the same and you know that.

I think you have to adjust your definition going forward.

Sony funding these games either promotionally or via timed exclusivity is in large part why they even exist.

And again, the vast majority of these games weren't developed internally by Sony.

I'd love for you to put together a top 10 list of internally developed games by Japan Studios over the last 10 years and then suggest that these games Sony has funded aren't just as good if not better.
 
Sony could have prioritized a BloodBorne remaster over a needless remake of a game that was already widely accessible on their platform that ran in fluid 60 FPS and barely looked its age.

Sony can’t do anything right these days It feels like.

I take it you're referring to The Last of Us Part 1 and obviously the focus there was timing it to be ready for the tv show and a new audience who would be more apt to play the game remade than even the PS4 remaster.

So to judge whether sony can do anything "right" will come down to the demand for TLOUP1 on PS5 and PC after the show runs vs remastering Bloodborne that only sold 2 million copies in its initial run.

Think you need to separate your own personal preference and look at the bigger picture when analyzing whether Sony is making the "right" moves for their business.

Also it's not a zero sum game here, which is kind of the humorous part of people like you making comments like this. It's not as though Naughty Dog was going to do a Bloodborne remaster. For the most part it's either up to FromSoftware to do it (and they've been busy with Elden Ring) or maybe Bluepoint if they have access to the code base, but Bluepoint could have their own priorities other than Bloodborne.
 
“It’s about sales number.”

*argument falls apart*

“Wait no actually it’s about meta scores.”

Uses the phrase “rolling average” for a studio that put out one major release in a decade that nobody plays.

What a terrible argument.

Another straw man. It's about a lot of things, not just sales. I brought up metacritic, because Sony absolutely looks at metacritic scores. We know this from interviews with developers who work for Sony. They care about critical acclaim.

Media Molecule has consistently brought Sony critical acclaim for very little cost and to top it off LBP and LBP2 sold VERY well and the money from those games can probably fund Media Molecule for another decade.

You might not care about critical acclaim or sales, but you're not Sony... nor are you interested in the business side of Sony, which means you really shouldn't be arguing which studios they should keep open or not.
 
I take it you're referring to The Last of Us Part 1 and obviously the focus there was timing it to be ready for the tv show and a new audience who would be more apt to play the game remade than even the PS4 remaster.

So to judge whether sony can do anything "right" will come down to the demand for TLOUP1 on PS5 and PC after the show runs vs remastering Bloodborne that only sold 2 million copies in its initial run.

Think you need to separate your own personal preference and look at the bigger picture when analyzing whether Sony is making the "right" moves for their business.

Also it's not a zero sum game here, which is kind of the humorous part of people like you making comments like this. It's not as though Naughty Dog was going to do a Bloodborne remaster. For the most part it's either up to FromSoftware to do it (and they've been busy with Elden Ring) or maybe Bluepoint if they have access to the code base, but Bluepoint could have their own priorities other than Bloodborne.

You need to defend every little thing Sony does is telling.

Naughty Dog could have remade a game that actually warranted it. Maybe Jak and Daxter? Even Uncharted 1? But no, instead we get a pointless remake. And it was absolutely pointless.
 
You need to defend every little thing Sony does is telling.

Naughty Dog could have remade a game that actually warranted it. Maybe Jak and Daxter? Even Uncharted 1? But no, instead we get a pointless remake. And it was absolutely pointless.

I've received two temporary bans for rightfully criticizing Sony but sure keep that energy.

There is no market for Jak and Daxter. Uncharted 1 would have required a lot more to remake it than Last of Us, that's why they ported UC4 + Lost Legacy instead.

Again, it wasn't for you. It not being for you doesn't make it pointless.
 
I've received two temporary bans for rightfully criticizing Sony but sure keep that energy.

There is no market for Jak and Daxter. Uncharted 1 would have required a lot more to remake it than Last of Us, that's why they ported UC4 + Lost Legacy instead.

Again, it wasn't for you. It not being for you doesn't make it pointless.

No, it was absolutely pointless. You just admitted that it required very little effort! XD
 

SlimeGooGoo

Party Gooper

Gambit2483

Member
 

S0ULZB0URNE

Member
I keep hearing so many people on this board claim that Sony has given up on Japan and has given up on its roots, but it's been well documented that Sony tried time after time to try and save Japan studio and it just didn't work out.

The market has shifted significantly there to mobile and handheld and the games they were making were taking too long to make and weren't selling enough. This includes games like Bloodborne.

I always thought Sony should have invested more in acquiring Japanese studios because their internal studio in Japan left a lot to be desired. Sony has worked with a lot of studios in Japan over the years and some of these acquisitions really could have paid off like getting FromSoftware earlier, though ironically had this happened, maybe they wouldn't be as popular as they are now.

When you look at Tokyo Studio's big-ticket flops or underperformers, it's no surprise that Sony had to pull the plug on them.

Knack
Bloodborne
Last Guardian
Gravity Rush

Honestly, the Last Guardian probably sank Japan Studio. They didn't have many developers left after Team ICO left anyways and Gravity Rush was not a commercial success.

Sony even tried to get into mobile gaming in Japan by creating ForwardWorks before transferring ownership of the company to Sony Music Entertainment which has more experience managing mobile gaming with Aniplex. I think ultimately Sony isn't quite sure what to do in the mobile space, especially as it pertains to Japan, but they created a mobile game company in the same year they spun off ForwardWorks and bought Savage Game Studios out of Germany. Sony Music through Aniplex also purchased Delightworks.

It reminds me a lot of the late 90s early 2000s when Sony didn't have a PC strategy so Sony Pictures owned and ran Sony Online Entertainment, before being absorbed by then SCE, but then later being sold off.

Basically, they don't want to taint the PlayStation brand with failures, but they don't really know what they're doing yet with Japan and mobile. Others have been quick to confirm they haven't given up on Japan. They've purchased a lot of Kadokawa and FromSoftware. They've invested in exclusivity deals with Square Enix. They seem somewhat involved in the Silent Hill 2 remake as it will be a timed exclusive.

Not many companies are focusing on Japanese-centric AAA games and it probably makes even less sense to cater to the Japanese market as a first party if that market is focused on moba.
Don't forget Demon's Souls.
 

SmokedMeat

Gamer™
I think you have to adjust your definition going forward.

Sony funding these games either promotionally or via timed exclusivity is in large part why they even exist.

And again, the vast majority of these games weren't developed internally by Sony.

I'd love for you to put together a top 10 list of internally developed games by Japan Studios over the last 10 years and then suggest that these games Sony has funded aren't just as good if not better.

I would always prefer games coming from studios developed internally versus timed exclusives. I’ve always felt this way from way back when Microsoft was buying up timed exclusivity for so many Xbox 360 games. To me none of that compared to how Sony had their internal studios being the ones creating their exclusives.

Would those particular games you mentioned exist if Sony didn’t pay for exclusivity? Sure they would as they’re all on PC - which is where just about every single indie appears on. Some of those studios already have previous games under their belt. It’s like saying Hades wouldn’t have been made without Epic paying for timed exclusivity.

I will always respect a company greenlighting unique, internally developed games, over paying for timed exclusivity. 🤷🏼
 
I would always prefer games coming from studios developed internally versus timed exclusives. I’ve always felt this way from way back when Microsoft was buying up timed exclusivity for so many Xbox 360 games. To me none of that compared to how Sony had their internal studios being the ones creating their exclusives.

Would those particular games you mentioned exist if Sony didn’t pay for exclusivity? Sure they would as they’re all on PC - which is where just about every single indie appears on. Some of those studios already have previous games under their belt. It’s like saying Hades wouldn’t have been made without Epic paying for timed exclusivity.

I will always respect a company greenlighting unique, internally developed games, over paying for timed exclusivity. 🤷🏼

Please show me all of these JAPANESE games that are on PC only...
 
Sony no longer has the Japanese exclusive portfolio they used to have in the 00s. They have japanese games, but they are multiplatform. What use is your 'japanese identity' when xbox has the same fucking games? Yea sony is dead in japan.

Sony has a bunch of Japanese exclusives in the pipeline and many of the studios like Clan Hanz, Pyramid, etc who've only made games in the past for PS will very likely continue to do so.

Regardless, if some of their exclusive 3rd party games eventually end up on PC or other platforms, I'm not seeing how that somehow takes away from their identity as a place to play awesome Japanese games.

Like, how is your access to and fun with Japanese games on PS somehow predicated upon other platforms' gamers not being able to play the same game in the future?

That's just fucking bizarre, dude.

You named Bloodborne.
From Software and them made both.

No. FromSoftware made it. Sony Japan's input was attaching a producer to the project. A producer is a glorified project manager.
 
Last edited:
Sony has a bunch of Japanese exclusives in the pipeline and many of the studios like Clan Hanz, Pyramid, etc who've only made games in the past for PS will very likely continue to do so.

Regardless, if some of their exclusive 3rd party games eventually end up on PC or other platforms, I'm not seeing how that somehow takes away from their identity as a place to play awesome Japanese games.

Like, how is your access to and fun with Japanese games on PS somehow predicated upon other platforms' gamers not being able to play the same game in the future?

That's just fucking bizarre, dude.



No. FromSoftware made it. Sony Japan's input was attaching a producer to the project. A producer is a glorified project manager.

Clap Hanz literally stopped making games for Sony and made one for Apple, and it is now on multiple other platforms. Because sony pushed them away.
 

lachesis

Gold Member
Sony's own Japanese 1st party is one thing, but what bothers me more is that Sony doesn't do as much of collabo-exclusive publishing like they used to with Japanese devs.

For PS5 exclusive(ish) one that Sony published from a Japanese dev is Nioh. Maybe missing some, but it's pathetic compared to what they used to be.
Like Arc The Lad series or Jumping Flash or Dark Cloud or IQ or Parappa/Unjammy/Vib-Ribbon, or Doko demo issyo etc - I think many of old memorable PS1 and PS2 games (and some were quite innovative too) were developed by now Japanese devs and were published by Sony. It just seems like those type of efforts on Japanese market is entirely gone now.

I wonder why? Perhaps the dev cost or many Japanese smaller devs went down or whatnot... but those titles were often quite unique/fun/special as well.

Their western 1st party devs are indeed quite amazing when it comes down to cinematic experience and all - but as a fan of a lot of quirky, often experimental games with some good 1st party gloss/finish - it's pretty sad of what has happened on Sony's support in Japan and still claim.
 

S0ULZB0URNE

Member
Sony has a bunch of Japanese exclusives in the pipeline and many of the studios like Clan Hanz, Pyramid, etc who've only made games in the past for PS will very likely continue to do so.

Regardless, if some of their exclusive 3rd party games eventually end up on PC or other platforms, I'm not seeing how that somehow takes away from their identity as a place to play awesome Japanese games.

Like, how is your access to and fun with Japanese games on PS somehow predicated upon other platforms' gamers not being able to play the same game in the future?

That's just fucking bizarre, dude.



No. FromSoftware made it. Sony Japan's input was attaching a producer to the project. A producer is a glorified project manager.
Both made it... https://bloodborne.fandom.com/wiki/Bloodborne

Director(s)Hidetaka Miyazaki
Producer(s)Masaaki Yamagiwa,
Jun Yoshino
Composer(s)Ryan Amon, Tsukasa Saitoh, Cris Velasco, Yuka Kitamura, Michael Wandmacher, Nobuyoshi Suzuki
 
Last edited:

Methos#1975

Member
The fact that the mentioned games were commercial failures says more about the modern gaming community than it does Japan Studios, because those games were all critically acclaimed and acknowledged as great. They didn't fail, we did.
 

CamHostage

Member
Sony's own Japanese 1st party is one thing, but what bothers me more is that Sony doesn't do as much of collabo-exclusive publishing like they used to with Japanese devs.

For PS5 exclusive(ish) one that Sony published from a Japanese dev is Nioh. Maybe missing some, but it's pathetic compared to what they used to be.
Like Arc The Lad series or Jumping Flash or Dark Cloud or IQ or Parappa/Unjammy/Vib-Ribbon, or Doko demo issyo etc - I think many of old memorable PS1 and PS2 games (and some were quite innovative too) were developed by now Japanese devs and were published by Sony. It just seems like those type of efforts on Japanese market is entirely gone now.

You are missing some (for example, Sony is currently contracting Team Ninja for Rise of the Ronin, and Deracine and Bloodborne would fall into that category.) It depends on how much a timeline you use to say Sony "doesn't do as much collabo-exclusive publishing", but they certainly are doing some.

Either way, though, you can't look back as far as 30 years ago and wonder why things aren't exactly the same still...

Look around at the game publishing landscape, is anybody putting out the types of efforts they used to in the PlayStation 1 or PlayStation 2 days? Look at Activision, they are down to 1 brand now. Every publisher has slowed down (even THQ Nordic, which owns all the old THQ or EA or other brands that used to be spit out once a year, they're still only putting out so much product at a time. And meanwhile, a lot of the the hungry independent developers who took contract jobs to produce 2nd Party titles now are making a lot of their games on their own, controlling the IP and marketing on their own (to their own peril, but the old publishing system could be tough on developers, now there are options.)

These unique games that flourished on PS1, sort of PS2, and then real well on PSP and sort of the early PSN, these products aren't being made by big publishers anymore, for whatever reason. MS allowed one of its biggest names to put a team together for his tiny Pentiment project, and even that happened essentially as a marketing strategy for Xbox Game Pass. The $15-20 game isn't being made by big publishers very much anymore, not even the downloadable side-games which used to be associated with name brands. There are lots of reasons why (not all of them make sense...), but the basic situation is that indies have carved out a market of their own (and have pretty much over-saturated it,) and so publishers have largely let them have it while they do the big games that pretty much only they can produce.
 
Last edited:

CamHostage

Member
Clap Hanz literally stopped making games for Sony and made one for Apple, and it is now on multiple other platforms. Because sony pushed them away.

That's one theory of how it went. Another is that they let them go away instead of keeping them in a franchise which was continuously disappointing both developer and publisher. The reboot didn't open the brand up big again, and meanwhile Clap Hanz was in this partnership with a company that didn't have the range of platforms or the audience anymore that could keep the novelty going of "every PlayStation platform gets a new Hot Shots"; not at the increasing scale needed for these productions. Now independently, Clap Hanz has been able to take its cute golf game specialty to markets that are into its style (the youth markets of Apple and Nintendo) at a smaller scale than Everybody's Golf. (Even though all the diehards complained about it "needlessly" being open-world, a new HSG would have had to have been as big as Everybody's Golf 2017 or it would have been seen as a setback.) Heck, they even got to market their own brand name on their new product. I don't know how well the game did for them ("Clap Hanz Golf" has already changed names to "Easy Come Easy Golf", so maybe their brand didn't work the first time...) but they've got options now that would have been hard to expand upon under Sony.

Similarly, Millennium Kitchen could have kept making new Boku No Natsuyasumi games for eternity and been content with that series' Japanese game sales, but having gone out on their own with a bigger game attached to a license, their Shin-Chan Summer Vacation game has actually gotten worldwide distribution for the first time.

Were these harsh cuts by a cruel corporation sending its trusted companions out to fend for themselves?

Or were these necessary measures for both sides to meet their future potential in a market that has veered away from what formed their original partnership?


Maybe a little of both. Or maybe there are complications or relationships that we don't know about. But you've got to check in with your partner sometimes to see how much of your bond is of "loyalty" or "co-dependence"...
 

CamHostage

Member
I always find it sad when fans try to rationalize the homogenization of gaming and the disappearance of certain types of games with references to sales and revenue like some sort of armchair internet financial analysts. I thought games were supposed to be art?

I mean, that's a dreamy way to think about it, but...

Games can be evaluated for their artistic merits and ambitions, but they are entertainment. It's not like Pac-Man or Space Invaders were created as commentary on the human condition. These are products, made for a market, and the consumer base supports qualities it enjoys or appreciates with its patronage, same as pretty much every other artform. (BTW, every artist has got to eat...)

I think you're setting yourself up for nothing but disappointment if you pretend that there's no money involved in making and getting games. There's a ton of money spent on making games, and these game makers are rewarded with a ton of money spent in the market on these products. (In the best of cases, the top quality games get the most money, but of course there's much more to it than that...) It's almost a $200 billion industry.

...That doesn't mean that game makers need to be mercenary, to just make games that are guaranteed to sell. (And BTW, games that are "guaranteed to sell" sometimes stop selling, which is one reason why smart publishers diversify.) The audience appreciates heart and craftsmanship. They remember you if you did something bold or unique that hit a special spot for them. They buy your console or attend your fanfests or collect your merch if they believe your brand speaks to them. They fill up a message board with 180 posts when your corporate handlers make business decisions about their product line.

If Japan Studio was still the Japan Studio of 1996 or 2001 or 2006, there would have been good reason to keep it going. But they were not. Their output has slowed drastically, and their popularity with gamers has fallen even moreso. Sony tried many times with Japan Studio to elevate the legacy with big new titles, and it kept falling way short as well as not getting award or audience support which would have justified the studio as a prestige label. At some point, they had to admit that they were holding onto a legacy "for the fans" and yet the fans weren't all that interested like they used to be.
 
Last edited:

Salem

Member
From a business sense, Sony was smart to shift its focus, but it lost some of that PlayStation “je ne sais quoi” in the process.
 

hyperbertha

Member
Sony has a bunch of Japanese exclusives in the pipeline and many of the studios like Clan Hanz, Pyramid, etc who've only made games in the past for PS will very likely continue to do so.

Regardless, if some of their exclusive 3rd party games eventually end up on PC or other platforms, I'm not seeing how that somehow takes away from their identity as a place to play awesome Japanese games.

Like, how is your access to and fun with Japanese games on PS somehow predicated upon other platforms' gamers not being able to play the same game in the future?

That's just fucking bizarre, dude.



No. FromSoftware made it. Sony Japan's input was attaching a producer to the project. A producer is a glorified project manager.
What exclusive japanese games do they have in the pipeline? valkyrie elysium, pragmata are all third party games also on pc/xbox. You don't seem to get the diference. Sony was an investor in japanese games. They created top tier japanese games that never would have been their without them. Japan studio was a good example. Now I can't think of any games other than bloodborne in recent times.
Now, most japanese games we have are third party games that would exist without sony. And yes, games being available on pc/xbox absolutely takes away from sony being a place to play japanese games. Because those games would still be there without sony. There is no benefit to getting a sony system over others.
 

Rac3r

Member
Do you mean FromSoftware made it?
No. FromSoftware made it. Sony Japan's input was attaching a producer to the project. A producer is a glorified project manager.
You mean the producer, Takeshi Kajii (RIP), who conceived the idea before From was even involved? The guy who worked for Sony's Japan Studio and literally pitched Demon's Souls to FromSoftware.

Yes, FromSoftware lead on development, but Japan Studio supported Demon's Souls and Bloodborne, both creatively and technically. Sony's input wasn't just "attaching a producer to the project". They also came up with the vision for Bloodborne before approaching FromSoftware.

If it weren't for Japan Studio, Miyazaki would probably be directing some shitty Armored Core spinoff right now.
 
Clap Hanz literally stopped making games for Sony and made one for Apple, and it is now on multiple other platforms. Because sony pushed them away.

See this is how you come to your own conclusions.


Japanese developers want to develop for mobile, but somehow that is Sony pushing them away...? That's the market. Revenue is limited on console in Japan, so devs have to look elsewhere. Mobile, crossplatform e.t.c.

Your bias is revealed entirely.
 
The fact that the mentioned games were commercial failures says more about the modern gaming community than it does Japan Studios, because those games were all critically acclaimed and acknowledged as great. They didn't fail, we did.

Well Done Clapping GIF by MOODMAN


Well put. But, no, let's shift the blame onto the studio in question instead.

Modern day PS5 fans will get exactly what they've been asking for. A barrage of upcoming live services. That's obviously a step up from Studio Japan.
 
Sony's own Japanese 1st party is one thing, but what bothers me more is that Sony doesn't do as much of collabo-exclusive publishing like they used to with Japanese devs.

For PS5 exclusive(ish) one that Sony published from a Japanese dev is Nioh. Maybe missing some, but it's pathetic compared to what they used to be.
Like Arc The Lad series or Jumping Flash or Dark Cloud or IQ or Parappa/Unjammy/Vib-Ribbon, or Doko demo issyo etc - I think many of old memorable PS1 and PS2 games (and some were quite innovative too) were developed by now Japanese devs and were published by Sony. It just seems like those type of efforts on Japanese market is entirely gone now.

I wonder why? Perhaps the dev cost or many Japanese smaller devs went down or whatnot... but those titles were often quite unique/fun/special as well.

Their western 1st party devs are indeed quite amazing when it comes down to cinematic experience and all - but as a fan of a lot of quirky, often experimental games with some good 1st party gloss/finish - it's pretty sad of what has happened on Sony's support in Japan and still claim.

Look up the companies you're referring to and whether they still exist, whether they're still making console games or if they've moved to mobile.

For example Arc the Lad was made by G-Craft. Sony tried to continue the franchise under Cattle Call who seems to have gone under as well. . All that being said Sony brought back the original director as part of ForwardWorks on Mobile and tried to create another Arc game. Didn't perform well, because Japan largely doesn't care about Arc the Lad.

It's very difficult especially in Japan to try to bring a franchise back from obscurity and Japan Studios never really did a great job of franchise management, again largely based on their relationship with studios being mostly of a contract nature.
 
What sank Japan Studio was Gravity rush 2 and their will to do triple AAA open world kind of games. They should have done another kind of project after the failure of the first game. First game was OK but was ultimately shallow and tedious.

They should have kept working on smaller projects focused on gameplay and fun first (what they actually did with Astro bot and Astro's playroom).
 
Last edited:
What sank Japan Studio was Gravity rush 2 and their will to do triple AAA open world kind of games. They should have done another kind of project after the failure of the first game. First game was OK but was ultimately shallow and tedious.

They should have kept working on smaller projects focused on gameplay and fun first (what they actually did with Astro bot and Astro's playroom).
Tried to give GR a chance, couldn't get into it.
 

StreetsofBeige

Gold Member
I mean, that's a dreamy way to think about it, but...

Games can be evaluated for their artistic merits and ambitions, but they are entertainment. It's not like Pac-Man or Space Invaders were created as commentary on the human condition. These are products, made for a market, and the consumer base supports qualities it enjoys or appreciates with its patronage, same as pretty much every other artform. (BTW, every artist has got to eat...)

I think you're setting yourself up for nothing but disappointment if you pretend that there's no money involved in making and getting games. There's a ton of money spent on making games, and these game makers are rewarded with a ton of money spent in the market on these products. (In the best of cases, the top quality games get the most money, but of course there's much more to it than that...) It's almost a $200 billion industry.

...That doesn't mean that game makers need to be mercenary, to just make games that are guaranteed to sell. (And BTW, games that are "guaranteed to sell" sometimes stop selling, which is one reason why smart publishers diversify.) The audience appreciates heart and craftsmanship. They remember you if you did something bold or unique that hit a special spot for them. They fill up a message board with 180 posts when your corporate handlers make business decisions about their product line. If Japan Studio was still the Japan Studio of 1996 or 2001 or 2006, there would have been good reason to keep it going. But they're not. Their output has slowed drastically, and their popularity with gamers has fallen even moreso. Sony tried many times with Japan Studio to elevate the legacy with big new titles, and it kept falling way short and not getting award or audience support which would have justified the studio as a prestige label. At some point, they had to admit that they were holding onto a legacy "for the fans" and yet the fans weren't all that interested like they used to be.
The thing about small scale games is that if indie studios with 10 people can make them and be fine with it, I'm sure any of the big game makers can figure it out too. But the sales and ROI need to be leagues more than an indie studio selling 50,000 copies even if it's profitable.

Also, big game makers pigeon hole themselves where even their smaller scale games are still probably $30 and way bigger than the average indie game. It's like they avoid small scale gaming like the plague. A game like Vampire Survivors shows not every game needs to be giant budgets or $60. But the mindset is go big or go home. And they probably dont want to associate with the likes of VS or Terraria because they think games like that make their game library look like Windows 95 era.
 
I would always prefer games coming from studios developed internally versus timed exclusives. I’ve always felt this way from way back when Microsoft was buying up timed exclusivity for so many Xbox 360 games. To me none of that compared to how Sony had their internal studios being the ones creating their exclusives.

Would those particular games you mentioned exist if Sony didn’t pay for exclusivity? Sure they would as they’re all on PC - which is where just about every single indie appears on. Some of those studios already have previous games under their belt. It’s like saying Hades wouldn’t have been made without Epic paying for timed exclusivity.

I will always respect a company greenlighting unique, internally developed games, over paying for timed exclusivity. 🤷🏼
See the bolded text
 

Ev1L AuRoN

Member
In all honesty, Japan Studio closing isn't something that really bother me, in the other hand, getting rid of Evolution was a real travesty and the single worst move Sony ever did.
 
See this is how you come to your own conclusions.


Japanese developers want to develop for mobile, but somehow that is Sony pushing them away...? That's the market. Revenue is limited on console in Japan, so devs have to look elsewhere. Mobile, crossplatform e.t.c.

Your bias is revealed entirely.

The irony of a console warrior talking bias.
 

YCoCg

Member
It would've been nice if some of their late late PS3 era games were ported that never got a real chance, games like rain and Puppeteer which came out when the PS4 was already hitting.
 

lachesis

Gold Member
You are missing some (for example, Sony is currently contracting Team Ninja for Rise of the Ronin, and Deracine and Bloodborne would fall into that category,) but either way, you can't look back as far as 30 years ago and wonder why things aren't exactly the same still...

Look around at the game publishing landscape, is anybody putting out the types of efforts they used to in the PlayStation 1 or PlayStation 2 days? Look at Activision, they are down to 1 brand now. Every publisher has slowed down (even THQ Nordic, which owns all the old THQ or EA or other brands that used to be spit out once a year, they're still only putting out so much product at a time. And meanwhile, a lot of the the hungry independent developers who took contract jobs to produce 2nd Party titles now are making a lot of their games on their own, controlling the IP and marketing on their own (to their own peril, but the old publishing system could be tough on developers, now there are options.)

These unique games that flourished on PS1, sort of PS2, and then real well on PSP and sort of the early PSN, these products aren't being made by big publishers anymore, for whatever reason. MS allowed one of its biggest names to put a team together for his tiny Pentiment project, and even that happened essentially as a marketing strategy for Xbox Game Pass. The $15-20 game isn't being made by big publishers very much anymore, not even the downloadable side-games which used to be associated with name brands. There are lots of reasons why (not all of them make sense...), but the basic situation is that indies have carved out a market of their own (and have pretty much over-saturated it,) and so publishers have largely let them have it while they do the big games that pretty much only they can produce.

Very good analysis. Appreciate your thoughts.

It's true like you said, that how market hasn't stayed the same as I used to enjoy - say... like arcades now being gone, or general trend of gaming has changed etc - and it is giving me somewhat of grief.
Modern market seems very fragmented in a sense, more so than I could really follow, or even anyone to its deep end - and perhaps that's my "personal" grief - not necessarily limited to Sony's business practice.
Indy games over-saturating the small piece of pie and while there are true gems, for a general, casual-ish like consumer like me, it feels like taking a gamble to find something to begin with. They are cheap, sometimes even free - but my time is not.

For something like the recent Record of Lodoss War - my fav genre (metroidvania) - while I enjoyed it, it felt some parts just felt too amateurish, and kinda wished that 1st party or AAA touch.
Older PS1 games PS2 games etc seems to have managed that much better. Probably because market was much better/bigger/vibrant in Japan back then, and if we go down to that whole economy or evolution of games route... there's no end to it to the discussion, I guess. (Heck, look at Japan's current economy staggering like 30 years, and honestly it doesn't seem like they will be able to do a meaningful bounce to where they were back in 80-90s, if not ever. As much as I love what they offer in the past, it's a dying economy heavily burdened with aging population and national debt.)

It's just that from my consumer-centric point of view (Although I love the industry, I care more of the product themselves, not the company) and specific taste of liking Japanese games... and what they have right now for 1st party made/published Japanese game, there aren't much for me from Sony. Thankfully they still have excellent western devs and some core (for me, like Falcom) JP Third party support.

Unless there's a fundamental reduction in dev cost - maybe even in the west, games with AAA quality + experimental properties may die out. That's something I'm also afraid of. While I believe human innovation and creativity, I also am a bit of misanthrope, so... ;)

TL; DR-
(inserting old man yelling cloud pic here)... LOL.
 
Last edited:

CamHostage

Member
It's true like you said, that how market hasn't stayed the same as I used to enjoy...

It's just that from my consumer-centric point of view (Although I love the industry, I care more of the product themselves, not the company) and specific taste of liking Japanese games... and what they have right now for 1st party made/published Japanese game, there aren't much for me from Sony. Thankfully they still have excellent western devs and some core (for me, like Falcom) JP Third party support.

No doubt, the closure of Japan Studio is a tragedy and a setback, whether the reasons are justified or overreaching. But the question still to be answered is, what is the bounceback? (Or will there be one?) Will all these independent creators create studios to make the games they couldn't do when Sony put all hands on doomed projects like whatever Rayspace was going to be? Will Sony and its XDEV find new groups in Japan to make unique games like what SCEJS used to (and unfortunately had been making less and less of in the last 5-10 years?) Or is Japan a lost territory for PlayStation's core audience, while China and other developing communities are a better fit for the current PS market on the internal front, and so Japanese indies are left to decide if PS or Switch or Mobile are their best bet for their new ideas?

(BTW, look at the reaction to one of the more recent times Sony promoted its Japanese development community; when Sony does a show of small, creative games, they get beat up for not bringing out big games, so is small creative something they should be focused on, or are indies getting enough focus and Big Sony should make its big games?)
 
Top Bottom