Introducing Team Asobi, creators of the Astro Bot series

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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 impor

Destruction AllStars launches its new competitive Blitz mode today

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Hey everyone. I’m Ross, one of the designers here at Lucid Games. It’s been awesome seeing everyone diving into Destruction AllStars and smashing each other to pieces with our 17 AllStars. I’ve been having a great time jumping into the game myself and wrecking along with the community. Our first season is well underway and you’ve been capturing every second of the action with Photo Mode! I’ve had a blast seeing what you’ve been posting on social media, so much so that I had to pick out a few of my favourites to share below.

Today we’re celebrating the launch of Blitz, our brand new game mode in Destruction AllStars, and I wanted to give you all a closer look at the game mode and dive into some of our design goals and aspirations for the mode. I’ll also throw in a few cheeky tips to help give you a headstart in our new premiere game mode! (If you’re new to our arena of destruction, you can get a primer right here.)

Blitz and Glamor

Our new game mode, Blitz, is a highly competitive, multi-team version of Mayhem which uses rounds and a slightly modified scoring system to reward teamwork and precision. It encourages players to capitalise on well thought out, coordinated attacks rather than simply driving, smashing and evading. It’ll bring new skill based rewards for you to earn and show off to the community, just so they know who came out on top. We’ve been playing a lot of Blitz at Lucid for a while now and having loads of fun with it, so I really think you’re gonna have a blast.

From the ground up

When starting out with this kind of mode, we knew that we wanted to create something which uses the core game mechanics and what people enjoy about Mayhem, but create a highly competitive, intense and fast-paced game mode that rewards team focused play. To achieve this, we knew we had to inject various forms of teamplay into Blitz, whether it be understanding which team member should choose a specific AllStar, driving as a pack to hunt the same opponents or avenging the wreck of a teammate by wrecking an enemy player. Overall, we wanted to tone down some of the noise and allow for calculated, precision gameplay whilst enabling you to stay tuned in to how a game was progressing between multiple teams.

To accomplish this, we made the decision to have a maximum of 12 players in a game of Blitz. Splitting those 12 into four teams of three AllStars helped give more weight to your choice of AllStar throughout a match. Each match is split into round

Hermen Hulst Q&A: What’s Next for PlayStation Studios

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It’s been just about 17 months since Hermen Hulst took the reins of PlayStation Studios, the international network of world-class development studios that produce some of PlayStation’s biggest hits — from Returnal and Astro’s Playroom to The Last of Us Part II, Dreams, Ratchet & Clank Rift Apart and much, much more.

Over our jam-packed 20-minute discussion, Hulst provided updates on a host of topics: studio development updates, thoughts on PS5 and PS4 development, PlayStation Studios’ vision for PC releases, and a whole lot more.

Listen to our full interview on the Official PlayStation Podcast here, or read on for some key excerpts, edited for brevity and clarity. 

PlayStation.Blog: Do you see single-player, narrative games as essential to the PlayStation Studios console experience?

Hermen: Absolutely. Single-player, narrative-driven games — that’s our DNA. PlayStation Studios have made, in my mind, some of the most memorable narrative experiences available. We love making them, and we’ll keep making them as long as gamers enjoy them. For me, the idea of sitting down on a Friday night with a brand-new world, and a great story to explore — that sounds pretty perfect, right?

We also want to make sure that we’re creating a variety of experiences for our audiences. Franchises, new IP, big games, smaller and more innovative games, single-player stories, and multiplayer. Who says that multiplayer experience cannot have great stories, right?

PSB: We’ve seen the announcement of Haven, from Jade Raymond as well as a bunch of industry veterans. And more recently Firewalk, which also has some top names from the industry.

How do you see partnerships like these fitting into the larger PlayStation Studios vision?

Hermen: Yeah. You know, these partnerships are very exciting. You could, I guess, make a distinction between development teams who are part of Sony — like Naughty Dog, Insomniac, Media Molecule, Sucker Punch, and so on — and then development teams who are working with us like partners… Haven, Firewalk, but also teams we’ve worked with over years, like Kojima Productions, From Software.

To me, in many ways, there really is no difference. They’re all PlayStation Studios. We are, at the end of the day, a creator-led organization. Which to me means that we want to find the best possible development studios in the world and help them passionately pursue their ideas.

To me, it’s important that PlayStation Studios is a place that allows creators to join us and do the best work of their career. That’s really what I’m after.


PSB: Are you able to give us a snapshot of the total number of titles that PlayStation Studios are currently developing for PS4 or PS5?

Hermen: Well, we have a lot going on right now. PlayStation Studios have more than 25 titles in development. Almost half of these are new IP. The other half, they’re titles that are set in franchises that PlayStation fans already know and love. So, it’s quite a lot.

PSB: How important is new IP for PlayStation Studios?

Hermen: New IP is incredibly important to us. New IP is the lifeblood of gaming. But, new IP is just one aspect of our strategy. Ultimately, I want PlayStation Studios to be fiercely daring, to take risks. I want us to continue to embrace the legacy of P

Survive Ninja Gaiden: Master Collection with combat tips

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With over seven years since the last Ninja Gaiden entry, we are incredibly excited to bring back fan-favourite ninja, Ryu Hayabausa, to the PlayStation 4 (and PlayStation 5 via backwards compatibility) on June 10, with the Ninja Gaiden: Master Collection.

With it being several years since the last game in the Ninja Gaiden series was released, we thought it would be a great opportunity to take a little walk down memory lane to see how Hayabusa came to be such a renowned character in the games industry. Along with that – a selection of combat tips to help you survive the challenges awaiting Ryu.

The Origins of Ryu Hayabusa

Hayabusa first graced our screens back in the 1988 arcade game, Ninja Gaiden, donning his classic blue ninja costume (which he also wears at the beginning of Sigma). In this first outing, he travelled across America in a side-scrolling beat ‘em up adventure to defeat an evil cult seeking to end the world. The game quickly became a hit across the world for its unforgiving white-knuckle gameplay, pushing players to bring their A-game. 

With the series’ success, Hayabusa would go on to star in a variety of different home-console Ninja Gaiden releases, as well as appearing in the Dead Or Alive series where he became an ass-kicking mainstay, further rocketing his popularity as the ultimate ninja in video game lore. 

Nearly 20 years after the arcade classic was released, Ninja Gaiden Sigma finally brought the brutally challenging gameplay to the 3D battlefield of PlayStation, making its long-awaited debut on the PlayStation 3. The developers of Team Ninja drew inspiration from popular action-adventure games and titles such as Onimusha, working by trial and error to come up with a unique identity for a modern 3D Ninja Gaiden experience. These games would challenge gamers with no-holds-barred fights, forcing them to improve their gameplay skills in order to progress – something very different from how the highly-difficult “masocore” style games of today (such as the Nioh series), which provide various options aside from full-on combat to empower yourself. These modern Ninja Gaiden games set the trailblazing standard for stylish action games thanks to their merciless but rewarding difficulty level!

Survive Ninja Gaiden: Master Collection with combat tips

Combat Tips

With the series requiring you to hone your skills to overcome the challenge, we thought it would be best to provide some tips and tricks to Ninja Ga

Players’ Choice: Vote for May’s best new game

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May has come to a close, which means it’s time to open up the Players’ Choice polls and decide which new release had the most players buzzing last month. 

We’ll keep the polls open until Sunday night at 11:59pm Pacific, so be sure to cast your vote before then. Want to defend your pick? Drop a comment below on why it was your favorite.

How does it work? At the end of every month, PlayStation.Blog will open a poll where you can vote for the best new game released that month. Soon thereafter, we’ll close the polls, tally your votes, and announce the winner at PlayStation.Blog. PlayStation Store will also showcase some top Players’ Choice winners throughout the year.

What is the voting criteria? That’s up to you! If you were only able to recommend one new release to a friend that month, which would it be? In keeping with our long tradition in the Game of the Year Awards, remastered or re-released games won’t qualify. Ambitious, larger-scale rebuilds and remakes like Shadow of the Colossus and Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy will.

How are nominees decided? The PlayStation.Blog and PlayStation Store editorial teams will gather a list of that month’s most noteworthy releases and use it to seed the poll. Write-in votes will be accepted.


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