PlayStation’s first big mobile acquisition, Savage Game Studios, has been rebranded as Neon Koi. The new look comes not long after the departure of several top execs within PlayStation’s mobile arm.
Savage Game Studios was acquired by PlayStation in August 2022 to join a newly-formed PlayStation Mobile Studios division. At the time of the announcement, Savage said it was making “a new unannounced AAA mobile live service action game”.
Shortly before that, PlayStation boss Jim Ryan told investors that 10% of its first party releases would be on mobile by March 2023, a plan that has not materialised. Since then Ryan has announced he is retiring and PlayStation is on the lookout for his successor, with Hiroki Totoki currently in place as interim CEO.
It’s been a turbulent few months for Savage and PlayStation Mobile after the departure of three key figures. PlayStation’s mobile boss Nicola Sebastiani left in June and is now working at The Sandbox, having built much of the PlayStation Mobile team we profiled in December 2022.
Savage Game Studios cofounder Michael Katkoff announced his departure the following month to pursue other opportunities, including his Deconstructor of Fun media business. Katkoff said that Savage’s head of technology Mike McManus and game director and cofounder Nadjim Adjir would now be taking the studio forwards. In September, Savage general manager Sophie Vo confirmed her departure to concentrate on her Rise and Play consultancy.
Savage, now known as Neon Koi, says it makes “action games with epic stories” and continues to build its debut project for PlayStation at its Helsinki and Berlin studios.
“After consideration and reflection on our values, mission, and the incredible growth we’ve experienced, we’ve decided to embrace a new identity that better aligns with our vision for the future,” it said on LinkedIn. “Neon Koi represents our culture and the passions of our game project.”