Sony Growing Astro's Playroom Dev Team Asobi

Sony has made Team Asobi one of its official PlayStation Studios.
Sony has made Team Asobi one of its official PlayStation Studios. / Photo courtesy of Team Asobi

Sony is building out the staff at Team Asobi, the PlayStation Studio behind launch title Astro's Playroom.

Studio director Nicolas Doucet announced the news in a post on the PlayStation blog Thursday.

"Following the release of Astro's Playroom for PlayStation 5, Team Asobi is now spreading its wings and growing bigger!" he wrote. "This is a very exciting time for the team, and we are very much looking forward to this next chapter.

"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."

The announcement comes alongside a new logo and social channels for fans to stay abreast of the studio's plans.

Astro's Playroom's focus on the technology of the DualSense may be a running theme in Asobi's work going forward, as Doucet says technology has 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 turning 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!"


Sony's decision to invest in Team Asobi runs counter to the recent narrative suggesting the company had shifted its focus both to larger games and to the West. The restructuring of Sony Japan Studio saw the vast majority of the talent at the studio leave for new ventures, including the creator of both Gravity Rush and Silent Hill, Keiichiro Toyama. Toyama has since formed a new studio, Bokeh, while Japan Studio has been left a shell of its former self — its last original game was Knack 2 in 2017.

Reporting from Bloomberg indicated the company has prioritized its most successful developers over smaller teams, and outright told developers that it was no longer interested in producing smaller games that found success solely in Japan. Some analysts saw the restructuring as Sony shifting its seat of power from Tokyo to San Mateo, California.

Head of PlayStation Studios Hermen Hulst denied this in a PlayStation blog Q&A earlier this week.

"I want to be very clear that Japanese games and Japanese talent remain extremely important to PlayStation Studios and to Sony Interactive Entertainment," he said. "Japan and Asia are strongly associated with our legacy: the success of Sony, the PlayStation brand, and many of our iconic PlayStation franchises were actually born in that region.

"I know the potential from high-quality games from Japan and Asia, and some of the best development talent in the world is found there. They have that history of innovation, of craftsmanship and skill, that pride and team spirit. We very much want to continue those traditions."