Today, Keiichiro Toyama (director of the Gravity Rush and Siren series) announced that he has formed a new studio called Bokeh Game Studio, along with founding members and industry veterans Junya Okura (Siren, Gravity Rush) and Kazunobu Sato (Siren, Puppeteer, The Last Guardian). This is also means that he’s no longer working at SIE Japan Studio, having apparently left back in September. The video below shows the three explaining why they went independent. Keiichiro Toyama also mentions that many people they’ve worked with in the past will be joining them in their new adventure. The team has already started work on a new action-adventure game, and from the looks of the concept art it seems they might be going back to the horror genre.
In an interview with Famitsu, the three also talk a bit more about their reasons for leaving. Keiichiro Toyama mentions that as development teams grew larger, they had to increasingly consider the impact on their team and the company as a whole and couldn’t just do what they wanted to do. As Junya Okura mentions in the video, going independent means taking on more responsibilities, but it also means they have more freedom now to create what they want.
What does this mean for Gravity Rush?
Even before this news, it seemed unlikely we could be seeing a new Gravity Rush game anytime soon. Although Keiichiro Toyama had mentioned being willing to work on a new game in the franchise, Gravity Rush 2’s relatively low sales, and the fact that Sony shut down the online servers for the game 18 months after its release, suggests that a sequel probably won’t be high on their list of priorities. And this recent news of course complicates matters.
In the Famitsu interview, Sato does mention that the IP (intellectual property) license of their previous games (such as Gravity Rush) belong to Sony Interactive Entertainment Japan Studio, so they can’t do anything on their own. But they want to continue their good relationship with them, and if both parties agree, he think it’s possible that they’ll work on something new for the titles they’ve created in the past. But for now they’re focused on their new game.
Sony could technically make a new Gravity Rush without Bokeh Game Studio, but the question is if that would be a good idea. Regardless, I imagine it’s unlikely this would happen anytime soon. And with Bokeh Game Studio working on their new game for the next few years, even in an optimistic scenario we’d probably still be 5 years away from seeing a new Gravity Rush.
Still, anything can happen. Gravity Rush Remastered and Gravity Rush 2 are thankfully both playable on PS5, so they can still reach more people in the years to come. And if Sony does move forward with releasing more games on PC, they’d have little to lose by porting the Gravity Rush games. We’ll see what the future brings, but the best thing we can do is to continue talking about the games to make sure that they’re not forgotten.