Silent Hill and Gravity Rush creator Keiichiro Toyama shared some details of his new studio’s upcoming debut game, which will be an action and horror adventure, with the goal of launching in 2023, which will appeal to Toyama fans.
Toyama’s Bokeh Game Studio was founded on August 13 and announced publicly in December. Speaking with IGN Japan, the acclaimed developer explained that he is working on “an action adventure game that will please fans of my previous work”. He explained that the game will include “battles and story elements” in the type of richly created worlds that you can recognize from your games at Sony Japan Studio and Konami.
When pressed whether this new title will lean more towards the Silent Hill and Siren horror themes or Gravity Rush’s cutest anime-style paranormal scenario, he explained: “Anyway, this will be another horror-oriented game. . But let’s focus on making this a broader entertainment experience, rather than a hardcore horror game. “
Although Toyama has been an original developer at Sony for the past 20 years or more, he said this new game will be a cross-platform release. “We are developing with the PC as the main platform, but we hope to launch the game on as many console platforms as possible,” he said.
The new title is being developed by a “quite large” team, and Bokeh co-founder and producer Kazunobu Sato explained that they are still in the early stages of development, with an estimated launch date of 2023. “We are just entering the prototype development, and development is likely to take almost three years. Therefore, we hope to put this game in your hands in about three years from now. “
On the founding of the studio, Toyama explained that a combination of remote work during the COVID-19 pandemic and the 50s led him to think about his future and respond to the call for independence. He turned to longtime collaborators Sato (series producer Siren and The Last Guardian) and Junya Okura (lead designer of series Siren and Gravity Rush, whom Toyama credits for shaping his gameplay ideas) and three colleagues from Japan Studio set up Bokeh Game Studio together, with Toyama as Creator, Sato as Producer and Okura as Game Director. Initially, they considered creating smaller games for mobile phones, before eventually forming a team of “mostly veterans” to scale up their ambitions.
“I took a lot of inspiration from genDESIGN,” said Toyama, referring to the studio founded by Ico’s creator, Fumito Ueda, who was yet another Japan Studio alumnus. “Ueda told me so much about her experiences that it inspired me to do the same.”
Although the first Bokeh game may be a long way off, Sato and business development manager Yohei Hart (also ex-Japan Studio) promised that the studio newly launched Twitter account and the Facebook account will show peeks behind the curtain as the team moves forward with development. “When you work in a large studio like Japan Studio, there is a limit to what you can share publicly, so now that we’re free of those restrictions, we’d like to take the opportunity to share as much as we can … so that the audience can see how the game develops over time ”, explained Sato. “We hope this will help people not to forget about us.”
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Daniel Robson is chief editor of IGN Japan – and (full disclosure) also worked for a period at Sony’s Japanese studio. Follow him on Twitter on here.