The Gran Turismo developer is opening a new studio in Fukuoka amid widespread nervousness in the wake of the earthquake that struck Japan in March and the nuclear contamination threat that followed.
50 production staff of Polyphony Digital's total of 150 will move to the city, which lies over 500 miles southwest from Tokyo in the very far west of the country. It follows a reported study into possible new locations the developer made after the earthquake.
Fukuoka, already home to Professor Layton creator Level-5, CyberConnect2, which is behind Capcom brawler Asura’s Wrath and Ganbarion, which makes games based on the One Piece series, has been actively promoting itself as a home to game developers. Polyphony's arrival marks the next step in its growth as a creative centre for the Japanese game industry.
Concerns over living in the highly populated conurbation around Tokyo are not only down to radioactive threat from Fukushima, the site of the ruptured nuclear power station, and electricity shortages. They are also down to fear that the region is due another large earthquake, which is leading companies to spread risk by opening new offices outside the area.