The developer of the PS5 launch title Astro’s Playroom is now its own studio and is expanding. It was announced on the PlayStation Blog that Team Asobi, which is based in Tokyo, is now its own studio. Previously, it was part of Japan Studio, which is winding down.
Nicolas Doucet is the studio director and creative director of the studio. Doucet said in the blog post that Team Asobi is “growing bigger,” and presumably this is related to its headcount.
“While we are growing and challenging bigger things, our mission at heart remains the same as ever: bring you PlayStation magic, innovation and put smiles on your faces with fun, colorful games for all ages,” Doucet said.
The studio is not exactly new, as it was originally formed in 2012 as part of Japan Studio before the PS4 was released. The word “Asobu” literally means “to play” in Japanese. The team decided to call itself “Asobi,” and Doucet remarked that “those simple five letters were a surprisingly fitting name with a good sound to it and it stuck.”
The studio released Astro Bot: Rescue Mission in 2018 and then Astro’s Playroom for PS5 in 2020.
Team Asobi is now its own studio, underneath the PlayStation Studios umbrella. “At the heart, our philosophy revolves around that quintessential joy in play, be it through pixel-precise character controls, exploiting a cool new controller in surprising ways or packing humorous animations in every nook and cranny, this is the stuff that excites us,” Doucet said.
This matches up with a report from VGC earlier this year that said Japan Studio was would be winding down, with the Asobi team staying operational as a standalone unit.
Doucet also shared that the majority of Team Asobi’s developers are Japanese, though the studio also employs people from England, Germany, France, Scotland, Korea, Spain, and Colombia. “It’s important for us to have this mixed background to help us create games that are universal. And of course, we all share that same love for Japan: its craft, its pop culture, its gaming heritage but also its beautiful seasons, wacky innovations (so many!!) and delicious food!” Doucet said.
In regards to what Team Asobi is making next, Doucet teased that, like Astro’s Playroom, the company’s next project will make use of the DualSense controller’s innovative features.
“Working with the DualSense controller as of late has been great fun and we are continuing to enjoy experimenting with it at this very moment. But shhh it’s a secret!” Doucet said.
In other PlayStation news, Sony has delayed God of War to 2022 and confirmed it’s also coming to PS4, while the company also says it can no longer guarantee that Horizon: Forbidden West will launch in 2021. Additionally, it’s been confirmed that Days Gone studio Sony Bend is now making a new IP.
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