Introducing Team Asobi, creators of the Astro Bot series

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Introducing Team Asobi, creators of the Astro Bot series

Read a note from the team behind PS5 charmer Astro’s Playroom

Hi everybody, we hope you are all doing well and keeping healthy.

Today, we have colorful news coming to you from Team Asobi, the Tokyo-based PlayStation studio responsible for the Astro Bot series.

Following the release of Astro’s Playroom for PlayStation 5, Team Asobi is now spreading its wings and growing bigger! This is a very exciting time for the team, and we are very much looking forward to this next chapter. We wanted to take this chance to thank all of you, the PlayStation fans, for your kind words of support over the years, especially since Astro made its big debut on PlayStation 5 alongside the DualSense wireless controller.

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.

To go alongside this news, we are proud to show our new logo which you will see in our future productions. We took inspiration from what Team Asobi meant to us. Some of the old-timers might recognize other influences from the PlayStation early days as well!

To keep in touch, we are also launching our own social channels on Twitter and Instagram to keep you updated on all things Team Asobi! Please follow them and don’t hesitate to engage with us.  We have a million anecdotes to share about the making of our games so please come and say hi!

And in case you are not familiar with Team Asobi, let us tell you more about our origins.                                                                                    

The team was first assembled in 2012, a bit more than a year before the launch of PS4. Back then, a handful of us were working away on tech demos showcasing what the new hardware could do. We sat down one day and decided we needed a name for our team; something that would work as a reminder to us of what we believed to be the most important part in any video game: great gameplay and that second-to-second enjoyment it can provide!

In Japanese language, the word “Asobu” literally means “To Play” and so we settled on “Asobi “. Those simple five letters were a surprisingly fitting name with a good sound to it and it stuck!

Fast-forward a few years, the team is still expanding, we launched Astro Bot: Rescue Mission in 2018 and Astro’s Playroom for PS5 in 2020. And now, Team Asobi has become the newest internal studio within the PlayStation Studios family. 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 :) 

So, who are the Asobis then? Well, since we are a PlayStation game development studio located in the cool and vibrant Tokyo, the majority of the team are Japanese. We also have several members coming from various other countries: 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!

Technology has also been a defining factor for Team Asobi. Many Asobis have a real love affair with tech but we also realize that technology in itself is only the starting point. It then needs to be turned into something magical and awe-inspiring to be really meaningful. In that respect, 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!

Finally, we inspire from crafted video games and all of Team Asobi members are keen gamers. We love all types of games including, of course, platformers that deliver that second-to-second joy where every single successful jump you make is a mini story in itself.

That’s all from us today. Let’s face it, the last 18 months have been really tough for many people around the world and we sincerely hope that through the joy of play, these hard times were made easier to bear. We would like to send you all our biggest wishes of well-being. Thank you for being such a great community and we look forward to your comments. See you all very soon!

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50 Comments

  • Quite a talented team!

    • Thank you Nicolas for telling us a little about the Asobi team and it’s backstory. Yes, tech is important but your focus on the joy of play is what made Astro’s Playroom such a delight. And Kenneth Young’s catchy and nostalgic soundtrack complemented the game world perfectly. It was definitely my favourite game of 2020 and a wonderful introduction to the PS5.

      I can’t wait to see Astro again in a full game!

    • I enjoyed Astro’s Playroom very much, so this is great news! Good luck team! 💜

  • Wish there was more studios based in Japan. Especially considering that there’s a lot of talent around there, and in Europe, too…

    Is Japan Studio still a thing? Just curious.

    • Japan Studio was essentially shutdown. I’m all for Team Asobi’s growth and success. It’s just a shame Japan Studio is gone.

    • They are still around, but internal development was steered to localization and production assistance, so you’ll still see SIE Japan games, but the actual development, like most of their games, will be done through an external studio.

  • MaryJoeArmstrong

    I can’t wait for your next games! So much talent and ideas, this is going to be great!

  • Can’t wait to see what you all have cooking up next. Astro Bot Rescue Mission and Astro’s Playroom were truly fantastic.

  • Congratulations on the growth and snazzy new logo!

    And, yes, Astro’s Playroom absolutely brought a ton of joy when I played it at the launch of the PS5 despite a truly difficult year for me, and I truly hope we’ll see more of him in the future! I’m excited to see what else the team will be cooking up in the coming years!

  • Thank you for the ASTRO games!

  • is japan studio now dead?

    • Not at all dead. It’s just the one half (which are not dead ) are Team Asobi while the other half opened there own Japanese studio and going to XDEV EUROPE.

    • So technically team asobi is japan studio’s

  • No, I believe there just a support studio now. They’re not defunct, just still… there.

  • I hold a lot of love in my heart for this studio, and I’m really grateful for the experience of playing Astro’s Playroom. The joy has stuck with me.

    You’re bringing magic and positive inspiration into the world with your products. I wish all of you abundant inspiration and joy in your lives, that you may draw from it and delight in your work.
    本当にありがとうございます。頑張ってください!

  • The Astro games are amazing, and Astro is such a great mascot! If we’re looking for games that support that mission statement, Gavin Moore and his incredible team made a real gem with Puppeteer, and it really deserves a second chance.

  • I hate wearing VR-helmets so please make the next Astro-game not require a VR-helmet. Thank you so much. May you receive downloads from your higher selves.

  • “old-timers”… I feel attacked, lol. But seriously, we’ve gotten some great things from Team Asobi, can’t wait to see what you all come up with next!

  • Astro’s Playroom was and is a amazing experience, I would love to see more Astro bot in a full length game.

  • Knack 3!

  • Congrats! Please bring back Gravity Rush.

  • Astro Bot should be Playstation’s mascot. Wish you guys success.

  • Distraction from games going to PC and cross gen games that were announced as PS5 exclusives.
    Disgraceful.
    Stop giving PC owners less reasons to buy a PlayStation. You are undermining the brand. Do Ninty put their games on PC??????

  • I’m hoping Team ASOBI will be given a big budget to give them a chance to expand into the worldwide reach that other PS Studios have. I can see them having the creative capabilities of Insomniac with a Japanese perspective, and the memorable storytelling and level design of Sucker Punch and Naughty Dog games do.

    Let’s make Team ASOBI a household name far outside of Japan!

    • That’s not what Team Asobi are about. They are for family friendly games. They should either form another team, or make Japan studio the team you are talking about.

  • A possible full sized Astrobot platformer? Yes, please.

  • Those news deserve a small celebration.
    Gonna play a GPU song very loud!

  • Let’s get real — Astro’s Playroom was GOTY

  • GRAVITY RUSH 3 PLEASE !

  • Since I got my PS5 at launch in November, Astro’s Playroom has been the only true next-gen gaming experience for me. Don’t get me wrong, I am enjoying the increased performance/graphical quality for PS4 backwards compatible games, but the DualSense is where next-gen truly sits (as well as ray-tracing, of course).

    BC games are great on the PS5, but without all the awesome detailed hepatic sensations and trigger resistance on the controller, it just isn’t the same. The DualSense is really the future of gaming immersion. And Astro’s Playroom nailed that.

    BTW, I am also a day one PSVR owner. And Astro Bot was my most vivid PSVR memory. Looking forward to what will be developed in the future with such a talented team under Team Asobi!

  • I’m so hyped about the next Astro bot game – I really enjoy Astro’s playroom. When PSVR2 comes out I will immediately play Rescue Mission ( I’d got the when it was free. I’m just waiting PSVR2 to come out ( and yes I have a PS5) ).

  • I’m so happy your studios talent has been recognized and you can go on to even greater things. I loved Astra Bot for PS5 and I fell in love with those little minions and the wonderful world you created for them. I hope we can go on more adventures in the future, with the Bots or anything else. Please have that wonderful Japanese culture seep into anything you do and bring pleasure as you did with the first of your games I played, thank you.

  • Great studio, can’t wait for Astro’s return. That must have been a painstaking job carving and creating all those models of all the PlayStation consoles and accessories. ^_^

  • Great article! Not often I get to read something that has me grinning throughout!! Wishing the team all the best going forward! Cheers!!

  • Japan Studio
    Japan Studio
    Japan Studio
    Japan Studio
    Japan Studio
    Japan Studio

    • I want them both. Team Asobi is great. Sony should make Japan studio a AAA studio that set games in Japan, we have enough games set in America from Playstation studios!

  • Astro Bot Rescue Mission was the first VR game I ever played, and even today I still consider it one of the best VR experiences available. I was extremely happy when Astro’s Playroom was revealed as a built-in title on the PS5, turning it from a VR game into a console mascot series. I’m excited for the future of Team Asobi!

  • I’m really happy to have Team Asobi. It’s really smart to have a proper identity of fun family-friendly games. I really hope Sony do think about having Japan Studio make some more adult games. An open-world game set in modern day Tokyo would be amazing, or even a game like the Last of Us where they travel the length of Japan. The Japanese equivalent of one of the main Playstation studios would be incredible. And/or just buy Team Ninja!

  • leimbacher-mario

    I really, really can’t thank you, Team Asobi, enough. You and Astro made this hard last year so much easier und funnier!

    I finally got a PS5 & Astros Playroom was a Gamechanger for me, on Nintendo-Level, maybe more. Infinite creative and just great.

    I liked it so much, that I even bought a PSVR nearly only for Rescue Mission – and it’s maybe an even greater experience. Absolute genius, Next Level, a Platformer-Fans wet dream.

    Astro For Franchise, For PlayStation Mascot! :)

    I hope there is a BIG PS5 Astro Adventure on the way. Or For The Next PSVR. Or best both. And More. I’m serious. Seriously In Love.

    Greetz From Germany
    Mario

  • My condolences toward Japan Studio, and their unique catalogue of titles that I would say defined PlayStation’s unique flavor.

  • Love the Astro Bot series, looking forward to future games from this team.

  • Astro Bot Rescue Mission full-fledged sequel made for PSVR 2 please! Also it’d be great if you include a mechanic that shrinks the player down to match Astro’s height/eye level and lets us interact directly with our hand controllers. Make it crazy!

  • i tried out ab:rm yesterday and love it! yet to play astro’s playground, but i dont have a ps5.

  • Please oh please make an Astro figurine. After Rescue Mission, I’ve been smitten by that little guy.

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