PlayStation Studios add Team Asobi to collection

By Kes Eylers-Stephenson,
With the news of a recent rebrand announced on the PlayStation Blog, Asobi has become the internally-promoted rebrand of the recently reshuffled, downsized, and then shut down Japan Studios. Team Asobi was a group working out of former PlayStation-owned Japan Studio. Asobi made PSVR platformer ASTRO BOT Rescue Mission and the superb PS5 showcase Astro's Playroom.

team asobi playstation studios japan studio sony

The team announced itself as a part of the first-party set-up with a sweet message. "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."

Team Asobi appear proud to be cementing themselves as the team that will make games that centre around new PlayStation technologies. "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!" So almost certainly, Team Asobi's new game will be another PS5 game in the Astro series that uses the Dualsense to its fullest potential. Considering Team Asobi's masterful work combining nostalgia, cute mascots, and solid platforming in its games so far, consider that a win! Also, the team also call themselves Asobis. I'm angry about how cute that is.

As a wrap-up, they orientate their role as a PlayStation first-party. "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." Sony has cherry-picked Team Asobi from the ashes of Japan Studio to offer the first party slate a continual stream of easily marketable, very accessible, and aesthetically timeless games. It is great to see Sony elevate them like this and I think they will repay the favour.

Japan Studio was the name for a collective of teams that produced games like Ape Escape, The Last Guadian, Gravity Rush, Patapon, LocoRoco, Puppeteer, and more. Hopefully, some of these wonderful titles make a return appearance with a modern coat of paint. In the meantime let's pour one out for the quirky, weird, and chaotic wildcard that was Japan Studio.

So, what do you think of this news? Were you a big Japan Studio fan or did you find their output too strange? Looking forward to more Astro? Gibber-jabber yourselves silly in the comments.
Kes Eylers-Stephenson
Written by Kes Eylers-Stephenson
Associate Editor Kes is our resident expert in PlayStation news. He writes about upcoming exclusives like The Last of Us and God of War, PS Plus and PS Studios news, and his favourite games — The Witcher 3, Assassin’s Creed, and The Outer Wilds — before an evening swim.