Former Sony Japan Studio’s Executive Producer Masami Yamamoto Forms Indie Studio EPIGRAsm

Masami Yamamoto EPIGRAsm

Bloodborne executive producer and former Sony Japan Studio’s Masami Yamamoto has announced he is forming indie studio EPIGRAsm.

Yamamoto had announced his departure from the ill-fated Sony Japan Studios on March 15th, and chose April 1st to be the date to announce his new indie game developer studio.

“I’m sorry if this seems like a lie on April Fool’s Day, but yesterday, March 31, I established Epigramm, Inc. I’ve had enough of living by what I love, so from now on, I’d like to enjoy myself with the principle of ‘living with the people I love.’ I will continue to do my best in various ways, including creating games!”

Translation: DeepL, Adjusted

Upon leaving Sony Japan Studios, Yamamoto had stated “Oh, and from now on I can make any PF [platform] game I want… Soooo strange a feeling!” Yamamoto had previously been a producer on Tenchu 2: Birth of the Stealth Assassins, and later executive producer for Bloodborne and Bloodborne: The Old Hunters.


Previously Silent HillSiren, and Gravity Rush creator Keiichiro Toyama left Sony Japan Studio in Early December 2020, and formed Bokeh Game Studio. He was joined by joined by former COO Sato Kazunobu and CTO Junya Okura. Since then Toyama has hinted at working on a horror action-adventure game [1, 2], and “working hard right now to collaborate with a famous creator in Japan.”

Demon’s Souls (2020) and Bloodborne producer Teruyuki Toriyama also left the company. Most recently we have seen the departures of Bloodborne producer Masaaki Yamagiwa, producer Kentaro Motomura, and Gravity Rush artist and animator Shunsuke Saito on the same day as Motomura.

Japan Studios was best known for Ape Escape, Gravity Rush, Knack; and assisting other developers on major PlayStation titles such as Bloodborne, Shadow of the Colossus, and Patapon. 

VGC reported that according to multiple anonymous sources, Sony Japan Studio was winding down original game development, and the “vast majority” of development staff had been let go.

The reason for the drastic restructuring is reportedly due to Sony Japan Studio not being profitable enough in recent years. The developer had desires to make games that appealed primarily to the Japanese market, hoping it would still have global appeal. Meanwhile, SIE wanted “global hits” akin to what its other first-party studios have produced.

SIE later provided an official statement, confirming Sony Japan Studio “will be re-organized into a new organization.” On April 1st, today, they 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.”



Ryan was a former Niche Gamer contributor.

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