Last year, as reports were circulating that Sony's beloved Japan Studio was bleeding talent, long-time director at the studio and creator of franchises such as Silent Hill, Siren, and Gravity Rush Keiichiro Toyama, revealed that he was leaving the studio. Shortly after, Toyama announced that he and fellow ex-Japan Studio developers Kazunobu Sato and Junya Okura had founded Bokeh Game Studio, a new third-party game developer early in pre-production on a new horror title inspired by Toyama's work on the Silent Hill and Siren franchises. As the game continues in pre-production, Bokeh Game Studio has revealed that ex-Devil May Cry artist Tatsuya Yoshikawa has joined its new horror project.
Keiichiro Toyama first joined Konami in 1994, where he worked as a graphic artist, even contributing as a character designer for the beloved Sega CD version of Hideo Kojima's cult classic adventure game Snatcher. In 1996, Toyama was made the leader of an internal Konami team called Team Silent, a group of young developers tasked with creating a horror game for the PlayStation to compete with Resident Evil. The game soon came to be known as Silent Hill, which eventually released in 1999. After shipping Silent Hill, Toyama left Konami for Sony's Japan Studio, where he created the Siren franchise and in 2012 released Gravity Rush, which went on to spawn a modern cult classic franchise.
Toyama announced that he had founded Bokeh Game Studio in December 2020, 3 months after leaving Japan Studio. Since then, the team has released small teases and concept art hinting at what the upcoming horror IP could look like. Today, the studio has announced that ex-Capcom artist Tatsuya Yoshikawa has joined the project, implying that the game could have a more anime-inspired art style similar to Toyama's work on the Gravity Rush series. Most will probably be familiar with Yoshikawa's work thanks to his contributions to the Devil May Cry franchise, as he was a character designer for Devil May Cry 4 and Devil May Cry 5, however Yoshikawa's work is often related to the Breath of Fire RPG series, which he has worked on since its debut in 1993.
Yoshikawa also previously worked as a guest character designer on Gravity Rush 2's DLC, which is where he first worked with Toyama. The video shows some of his work for Bokeh Game Studio's first title already, which Toyama reveals still does not have a story or plan yet. In this regard, Yoshikawa's work will be instrumental in getting the project off the ground and out of pre-production.
So far, Bokeh Game Studio's first project is looking to fall in the middle of pleasing both Silent Hill fans with Toyama's return to horror and Gravity Rush fans with Toyama's return to the anime style that defined that series even on Sony's underperforming PlayStation Vita handheld. Either way, it seems the actual release of the project is still many years away, but it's easy to see why it's worth being excited for this new project.
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