Masaaki Yamagiwa, who produced Bloodborne, Deracine, and Tokyo Jungle, has announced that he’s leaving Sony Interactive Entertainment’s Japan Studio at the end of the month, though he hasn’t detailed what his future plans will be.
“I’m leaving Sony Interactive Entertainment at the end of this month,” Yamagiwa wrote on Twitter. “I’m going to continue working hard on creating games. Many thanks to everyone!”
Yamagiwa’s departure is the latest in a series of high-profile partings at SIE’s Japan Studio. Teruyuki Toriyama, also a producer on Bloodborne, as well as the Demon’s Souls remake, Soul Sacrifice, and others, resigned from Sony Interactive Entertainment Japan Studio back in December. In addition, Silent Hill, Siren, and Gravity Rush creator Keiichiro Toyama left with colleagues Kazunobu Sato and Junya Okura to form the independent Bokeh Game Studio.
Yamagiwa had previously worked at Dimps, an Osaka-based development studio founded in 2001, where he helped develop Sega’s Sonic the Hedgehog series before joining Sony Interactive Entertainment. His departure comes as SIE grapples with allegations that the company is shifting focus from its Japanese studios to develop games for the western market.
Bloodborne, an action RPG developed by FromSoftware and published by SIE for PS4 in March 2015, received acclaim from critics, who praised its complex gameplay, sound design, Lovecraftian themes, and interconnected world design.
Considered on one of the greatest games of all time, Bloodborne won Best Original Game and PlayStation Game of the Year at the Golden Joystick Awards, and Best Game Design at the 12th British Academy Games Awards. It has also spawned a card game, board game and comic book series.
Regarding Bloodborne, Yamagiwa has said, “When we started this new project, the idea and core philosophy started by reflecting on the success we had with Demon’s Souls. We thought it really delivered a totally new kind of experience to players. By revisiting this collaboration, and creating something for this new piece of hardware, our goal was to deliver another brand-new kind of experience to the players.”
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