Dec 31

Happy New Year from the Puppeteer Team

Gavin Moore's Avatar Posted by on Dec 31, 2013 // Art Director, SCE Worldwide Studios

Puppeteer Happy New Year

Season’s greetings from Japan.

2013 has been a very busy year for Japan Studio. We launched four titles this year, including my own Puppeteer. So we’ve all been looking forward to a few well-deserved days off. Although you might be surprised to hear that, here in Japan, we don’t get Christmas off. The 25th of December is just a normal working day.

Since I moved here 10 years ago, Christmas has become more popular but it’s celebrated in a rather strange way. Christmas Eve is actually more important than Christmas itself, where young couple go on dates, families tuck into Kentucky fried chicken, and Santa-san seems to skip past Japan on his whirlwind present delivery world tour.

So we’ve all beem in the office hard at work on new creations for you all to enjoy. Much like Santa’s little helpers at the North Pole.

The New Year is where it’s at in Japan. It’s not a New Year that most of you will celebrate, with fireworks and champagne. Actually, everything closes down and everyone returns to the far-flung corners of Japan to their family homes. New Year’s Eve starts with an old tradition of eating soba noodles late at night. This is followed by a trip to the local shrine at midnight to thank the gods for the previous year, and also wish for a prosperous and healthy New Year. This is called Hatsumode, literally the first visit to a shrine.

Then, as the Temples across Japan ring their bells 108 times for each sin of humankind, everyone heads home for a cup or two of hot sake and bed. Why to bed? Because it’s up early to watch the sun rise on the first day of the New Year. This is called Hatsuhinode, and is meant to bring you good luck.

Then, on New Year’s Day, the celebrations begin. Normally, New Year’s Day is full of drinking and eating traditional foods such as osechi ryori, a three-layered wooden box full of delicious delights. And ozoni, a clear broth soup with mochi (pounded rice) is slurped down and then usually sashimi or sushi. In fact, so much is eaten and drunk that there’s a special soup that’s consumed on the 7th of January called nanakusa-gayu, seven herb soup. This is meant to calm your poor overworked stomach.

There is one tradition that all children look forward to, and that’s Otoshidama. Here, children receive money from their relatives in small envelopes. Let’s hope they use it wisely and buy some games.

From everyone at Japan Studio, we wish you a Happy Holidays and a wonderful New Year!

Keep on playing.

//Add Your Own


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+ FabiHurtz83 on December 31st, 2013 at 8:10 am said:

Happy New Years!


+ Dragonslayer_023 on December 31st, 2013 at 8:12 am said:

Thanks Japan-bros, happy new year!


+ steadydecline on December 31st, 2013 at 8:14 am said:

such a great game


+ Darkz01-US on December 31st, 2013 at 8:17 am said:

at my place, fireworks show already over…
happy new year to all gamers… :D


+ Biggz124 on December 31st, 2013 at 8:23 am said:

Hey guys, you should have made Pupeteer a PS4 launch game, would’ve made more sales.


+ XeahuleXolic on December 31st, 2013 at 8:25 am said:

Happy New Years!!


+ dancingmind on December 31st, 2013 at 8:28 am said:

Puppeteer was great. I’d gladly pay full price for a vita port. I know it’s not that easy to do but thought I would at least cast the vote.

Happy new year to the team


+ reson8er on December 31st, 2013 at 8:31 am said:

Amazing game, I finished it and enjoyed every minute. One day I’ll go back to collect all the heads I missed. I can’t wait to see what Japan Studio has lined up for PS4 :)


+ onslaughtree on December 31st, 2013 at 8:41 am said:

I love this game so much, got halfway through it and the ps4 was released. So i’m yet to finish it. Please Sony, release the ability to play PSN titles on my PS4. I have a huge backlog.
Puppeteer should have been a PS4 launch title.
Thanks for the great game, as always…. Keep on Gaming.


+ ShardYu on December 31st, 2013 at 8:44 am said:

Happy new year! :)


+ drew327 on December 31st, 2013 at 9:03 am said:

Thanks for the explanation of the Japan activities, sounds fun to me.

Puppeteer was incredible; I talked a friend of mine into playing it and as I type this, he is chatting with me online and raving about it.

Have a great New Year!


+ idn86i on December 31st, 2013 at 9:08 am said:

Happy New Year!! Nice greeting card!


+ Neil on December 31st, 2013 at 9:27 am said:

Wow, fascinating. This has got to be my favorite PS Blog post ever written on here. Seriously, can we get more like this? Also Happy New Year!


+ dodgedoors on December 31st, 2013 at 9:30 am said:

@5 That would have made a ton more sales, and they coul have charged $60


+ dodgedoors on December 31st, 2013 at 9:30 am said:



+ spacemonkeyham on December 31st, 2013 at 9:37 am said:

Happy New Year and thanks for making such an awesome game!


+ Lazard47 on December 31st, 2013 at 9:49 am said:

I first rented the game from Gamefly and I liked it so much that I returned the game and bought it the next day. My local Gamestop only ordered ONE copy and it sat on the shelf for almost two months when I came in and bought it. Last week I noticed they ordered a second copy of the game and the manager at Gamestop said that they didn’t receive a single promotional item for the game; no posters, no leaflets, nothing!
It’s funny how there’s such and elitist tone from the PS4 owners out there. I’m happy it was on the PS3 and I have no plans of selling off my Ps3 anytime soon. When DriveClub comes out I’ll go purchase a PS4, from one of my local Walmart’s here in Central Florida, which are well stocked on PS4 units.
Happy New Year to all gamer’s and may this coming year be prosperous.


+ vanwinkle on December 31st, 2013 at 10:24 am said:

Very interesting blog post! Happy New Year, Gavin, and everyone else at the Puppeteer team! LOVED Puppeteer. One of my favorite games of the year.


+ xClayMeow on December 31st, 2013 at 10:27 am said:

I have a New Year’s Resolution for you, Gavin: Bring Pupeteer to the Vita!


+ plaztiksyke on December 31st, 2013 at 10:30 am said:

Puppeteer is a culmination of nearly everything the PS3 is capable of: fantastic lighting, which borders on next-gen quality; great looking 3D; Move support for couch co-op; and edgy, quirky humor that delights adults and kids. We did the digital pre-order as soon as it was up, and we’re in the last few chapters of the game. (My husband and I only have enough time together to play a chapter or two a week of local co-op games.)

I’m really looking forward to Vita and PS4 iterations of Puppeteer. I’d *love* to play the game again in 1080p/60hz 3D on my PS4! (It would also be great for the audio quality to get a big bump — for such a dialog-heavy game, quite a lot of the environmental audio was extremely muddled.) I think Puppeteer has more “legs” as a franchise than Knack, personally.


+ plaztiksyke on December 31st, 2013 at 10:31 am said:

One thing I do have to say is that whatever (exec) producer at Japan Studio keeps insisting on putting supernatural cats into games really needs to knock it off. To say it is over-played (no pun intended) at this point, would be an understatement. Puppeteer’s overly-chatty, sarcastic cat character was the least irritating when compared to Sorcery and Gravity Rush, but it just needs to stop. (Some of the characterizations and voices in Puppeteer seem to have quite a bit of similarity to Sorcery, in fact.) I don’t have anything against real-life cats, but whatever focus group or producer that keeps introducing these elements needs to be silenced ;)

I keep recommending Puppeteer to friends, and every one of them so far positively beams about it. It was a thrill to see a Kutaro costume at the PS4 launch event in SF. I hope the game/franchise gets a second wave of promotion somehow, maybe with a Plus discount or a PS4 cross-buy “port”.


+ suicideforce on December 31st, 2013 at 10:32 am said:

Happy New Year!!! Puppeteer was an amazing game in 2013 and so was rain. I hope 2014 brings us more amazing games from you all!


+ Xcaligamer1 on December 31st, 2013 at 11:24 am said:

happy new years! absolutely loved puppeteer, i got a chance to play co-op and loved it even more. hoping there is more in store for our friend kutaro


+ Kchow23 on December 31st, 2013 at 11:36 am said:

Wow, very interesting how New Years is celebrated in Japan! I am looking forward to what you guys do for 2014… Puppeteer was so under the radar, but I am really glad I bought it since it was one of the best games of the year!


+ dydazzy on December 31st, 2013 at 11:49 am said:

Thank you for sharing. I love learning about other people’s culture and I found this wonderful. Have some osechi ryori and ozoni for me and I’ll have some chicken wings and wine coolers to toast to you. Good luck in the New Year!


+ SNORLAXex on December 31st, 2013 at 12:05 pm said:

Happy 2014!


+ Amnalehu on December 31st, 2013 at 12:46 pm said:

Happy New year! Puppeteer was one of the very best games of 2013. I can’t wait to see your next project.


+ Fat_Lee on December 31st, 2013 at 12:51 pm said:

Interesting…didn’t know that about Japan life. Thank you for sharing. Puppeteer is a great game! Hopefully more people go play it. Really look forward to the future games Japan Studio creates.
Happy New Year!!!


+ NomadFH on December 31st, 2013 at 1:33 pm said:

Vita version of puppeteer please


+ Mr_Marx on December 31st, 2013 at 1:51 pm said:

Happy New Year Playstation.. Keep Putting Your Foot In The Ass Of The Xbox..


+ RoII_chan on December 31st, 2013 at 2:11 pm said:

How come there are no more christmas sales? I wanna buy Proteus! X_X


+ Taiko_us1983 on December 31st, 2013 at 3:22 pm said:

Puppeteer was one of the titles that I purchased day one on the PS3 and i have yet to regret it. I wouldn’t mind a port for the Vita for Puppeteer, but I am really looking forward to another great portable title (new IP perhaps?) from the Puppeteer team on the Vita. The Vita needs more love. :)


+ jiisama_ on December 31st, 2013 at 3:44 pm said:

Thanks for the great game guys. Poor timing with the launch. Bring that thing over to ps4!!!


+ jiisama_ on December 31st, 2013 at 3:45 pm said:

And vita!!!


+ Kchow23 on December 31st, 2013 at 3:53 pm said:

Puppeteer port for PS4 would be awesome!


+ nbnt on December 31st, 2013 at 4:02 pm said:

Puppeteer was such an awesome game. Looking forward to whatever SCEJ is doing on the PS4! *cough*TLG*cough*


+ Pabloo1010 on December 31st, 2013 at 4:16 pm said:

Why isn’t Puppeteer on PS4 & PS Vita Day one? C’mon Sony get this game on PS4 & PS Vita!!! At least make an announcement!


+ Amnalehu on December 31st, 2013 at 4:24 pm said:

Puppeteer in 1080p/60fps on PS4… I would buy it all over again.


+ PrinceofXIII on December 31st, 2013 at 4:24 pm said:

Happy New Year to you guys as well :)

Japan has a unique way of celebrating Christmas and New Year. also so it is true that KFC is really popular in Japan during holidays ^^

i hope you make Puppeteer 2!! maybe using the Play, Create, Share concept from Little Big Planet :)

would love a level editor and ability to customize characters ^^


+ brooklynzak on December 31st, 2013 at 4:55 pm said:

Happy New Year to you too, Gavin!

Thanks so much for Puppeteer – it tapped a nerve very few games (or movies or books) do and it was just so damn well realized. I’ve been telling all my PS3-owning friends that they need to play it and play it now, with or without their kids.


+ TehFineztJokerX on December 31st, 2013 at 5:40 pm said:

Happy New Years to everyone!

I haven’t finished Puppeteer but I will, along with other games. Hopefully I’ll be done by the time inFamous Second Son is released. (This is not my New Years resoution)


+ SWITCH_00599 on December 31st, 2013 at 6:17 pm said:

Happy new years guys :D


+ Alyyse on December 31st, 2013 at 6:56 pm said:

Happy New Year everybody!


+ CoastalExchange on December 31st, 2013 at 7:17 pm said:

Ganbatte Kudasai! Happy New Year !!!!!


+ PrimeroIncognito on December 31st, 2013 at 8:07 pm said:

@ plaztiksyck

Maybe they like cats! You got a problem with that?

Intolerant bigot felinephobe!


+ amirdavari2 on December 31st, 2013 at 8:24 pm said:

happy new year everone


+ drakenbutch on December 31st, 2013 at 8:54 pm said:

can u plz do a sale on minecraft


+ Sputnik_Solly on December 31st, 2013 at 10:59 pm said:

Happy new year everybody! Looking forward to what 2014 has to offer. :)


+ IcedDice777 on December 31st, 2013 at 11:31 pm said:

Thank You for making The puppeteer. Like many i supported the game Day 1 by buying my retail copy but i have yet to finish it due to a super extensive backlog of ps3 titles and stuff that needs to be done around the house.

This game looks beautiful on 125″ screen and HD projector setting! Sony needs to do a better job in promoting their titles outside this Blog…Imo.

Please consider bringing the puppeteer to the PS4 with extra Levels/content.

Thank you


+ pikmin44 on January 1st, 2014 at 1:48 pm said:

Japan Studio made one of my favorite games this year: rain. I look forward to seeing what you guys will do in the future! But for now, HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!!

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