While the internal output of Japan Studio may have slowed to a crawl over recent years, its External Development Group is thriving. A lot like Sony Santa Monica and XDev Europe, this division works alongside independent developers in order to create exclusive content for the various PlayStation platforms, with some of its recent projects including Soul Sacrifice and Freedom Wars. It sounds like it has big plans for 2014, too.
Speaking as part of a feature published on Japanese website 4gamer.net, the department’s head Masami Yamamoto teased that it has some big projects in the pipeline for the year ahead. “In order to appeal the broadened PlayStation Vita market to younger consumers, we’re planning development on a new large scale intellectual property,” he said, as translated by Gematsu. “Of course, we’re preparing a big title for the PlayStation 4 as well, so please look forward to it.”
There have been strong rumours over the past few months that Sony has rekindled its relationship with From Software, and is actually working on a successor to Demon’s Souls for its next generation system. We know that the director of the original title is not involved with Dark Souls 2, so it’s possible that this could be the big PS4 title that the executive’s referring to. As for the Vita, it’s always nice to learn that there’s a commitment to bringing new software to the underappreciated system.
In addition to all of this, the platform holder is planning to continue its work on free-to-play software. The likes of Namco Bandai's Ace Combat: Infinity and Ridge Racer: Driftopia are yet to launch internationally, but it sounds like there's more in the pipeline. The company's also, of course, polishing up complimentary Vita role-playing game Destiny of Spirits, which is due out imminently. Are you excited for the latest crop of Japan Studio collaborations? Cheer or sneer in the comments section below.
Update: It seems that Masami Yamamoto was actually referring to Freedom Wars in relation to the Vita's next big property, so dampen your excitement just a touch. However, the new PS4 title that he mentions has yet to be announced.