Rain and Puppeteer, a glimpse of Japan Studio’s future under Allan Becker
Japan Studio led Sony’s new IP charge at Gamescom by putting forward not one but two exciting new titles.
One of these new games was Rain, a PSN title in which you play an invisible boy who can only be seen when wet. It’s an intriguing idea and it looks lovely. The other game was Puppeteer, a gorgeous platformer set inside a magical puppet theatre. Both titles are unlike anything we’ve seen before from Japan Studio.
They are a sign that Allan Becker’s touch is “still very much alive”, according to David Jaffe, creator of God of War and Twisted Metal. Jaffe’s comment comes as part of a TwitLonger post which begins, “Very proud this week of Allan Becker, my former Sony boss and the man who started Sony Santa Monica.”
Jaffe describes him as “instrumental” in kick-starting his career and credits him for spearheading some of Sony’s biggest games, from bringing Gran Turismo 2 to the US to pushing God of War, Flower and Twisted Metal: Black. Becker is now head of Japan Studio “after a very, very successful run as the SM studio head”.
Rain and Puppeteer are the first two titles to come out of the revamped Japan Studio under Becker’s leadership, and Jaffe wanted to give him a shout out, “since the press NEVER covers him (which is prob. how he likes it)”.
Back in February, Sony Worldwide Studio boss Shuhei Yoshida discussed with GameInformer the changes that were happening at Studio Japan and Becker’s role:
“But in terms of the state of the studio in Japan, we have a new head of studio, Allan Becker. He’s been with PlayStation from the beginning. He founded Sony Santa Monica Studio. I asked him to move to Japan to instill his philosophy of making games. He’s also bringing these two different cultures together. He started in April last year as the head of the Japan Studio and has already made a big impact.”
Judging by Puppeteer and Rain, that “big impact” has been Becker championing some of Sony’s most inventive and stylistic games. We’re sure that’s a philosophy we can all get behind.