For the past few years Sony Computer Entertainment has made some nice moves as a company by acquiring talent like Sucker Punch (Infamous) in addition to pushing 1st party games in new and interesting directions. Back in the day this push for innovative 1st party games rang true as well, but this generation the shift went from Japan as being the primary source to Western developers being responsible for the more imaginative games Sony released. This shift could be attributed to the ever growing rise of talent in Western developers, but it was also because SCEJ was in complete shambles.
SCE’s Japanese branch hasn’t dropped off in a way similar to Rare in how they’re producing things that are far from where their talent level is, but they instead seem to be lingering in an area in which nothing is getting done. Key titles from SCEJ are released like Gran Turismo 5, but other key properties have faced massive hurdles such as the well documented drama involving The Last Guardian. Perhaps they’ve realized that things haven’t gone smoothly so far and want to have a better foundation for the PS3, PS Vita, and next-gen PlayStation as SCE has announced a restructuring within SCEJ.
The change applied to SCEJ doesn’t involve mass heads being lobbed off or Western experts coming in to rectify things, but it does include the creation of two divisions. Next week the First Party Publishing and Online Service divisions will launch within SCEJ with each division catered towards a specific weakness the company previously had. For those who aren’t incredibly business minded out there or know about the inner workings of a company, the First Party Publishing division is the main thing we should look at in the future as it will cover both publisher and developer relations for SCEJ. Up until now SCEJ hasn’t massive dropped the ball in publishing games since we’re getting stuff like Tokyo Jungle in June, but things have somewhat been lukewarm compared to the PS1 and PS2 eras.
The new moves made in SCEJ also extend to new positions being created for the First Party Publishing division and a new chap put in charge of the PlayStation Vita – which it seems like still need a boost of life in Japan. In the end these moves may not seem all that substantial as of now since it doesn’t guarantee we’ll see developers act in a brisker fashion so it doesn’t take four years to develop a game that has issues, but one can hope that moving forward this new strategy will pay off for both the Vita and the next-gen PlayStation console.