Sony XDEV, originally, was the Liverpool-based first-party business unit responsible for overseeing first-party projects developed by external European studios. Examples in the past have included games like Quantic Dream’s Detroit: Become Human and Sumo Digital’s Sackboy: A Big Adventure. However, we noticed last year that the team was hiring for positions in Japan, and that it was now described as a “global” operation.
And we may be seeing evidence of its new remit with the announcement of Team Ninja’s Rise of the Ronin, which is being published by Sony and is being overseen by XDEV. “Privileged to work on an exciting title as Rise of the Ronin with Yasuda-san of Team Ninja Studio, [producer] Masaaki Yamagiwa, and our Sony XDEV JP team,” wrote veteran Jason Stewart on Twitter.
Up until its closure last year, Japan Studio handled all of Sony’s domestic external projects, and was arguably best known for its collaborations with developers like Clap Hanz on series such as Everybody’s Golf. The good news is that, rather than give up on the sector entirely, it’s now clear that XDEV has pivoted to fill that space. What this ultimately means is that we should still expect great PlayStation partnerships to emerge out of Japan, like we arguably always have.