Sony has recently been expanding the roster of its in-house development studios (previously it acquired Housemarque). While the scale of the acquisitions isn't as impressive as Microsoft's purchase of Bethesda, the subsequent teams coming under the company's wing are sure to be working on more PlayStation-exclusive titles. As we learned about today from an official press release, Sony's latest acquisition is the British studio Firesprite. It operates since 2012 and from the very beginning creates mainly with PlayStation 4 and PlayStation VR in mind.
Firesprite's headquarters is located in Liverpool. The company currently employs over 250 people and is larger than Sony's other two UK teams (Media Molecule and London Studio). Its most notable work is the science fiction horror The Persistence, which was developed with VR googles owners in mind, although now all modern hardware platform owners can play as well. In addition, the developers helped create The Playroom and The Playroom VR apps, as well as the mobile platformer Run Sackboy! Run!
In an interview with GamesIndustry.biz the head of Firesprite makes it clear that his team will not act as support for other Sony studios, but is to deal with their own projects and franchises, which in the future will result in its growing importance in the PlayStation family.
Prior to the acquisition, Firesprite was working on a total of two new projects. The first is an "ambitious and dark adventure game", which is likely to expand on the ideas presented in The Persistence. The second one is a multiplayer shooter that will "test the boundaries of the genre". We know a little more about the latter. Since 2019, the British have been collaborating with Cloud Imperium Games, that is, the developers of Star Citizen. In March this year, they announced that they will work on an FPS multiplayer module for this space simulator, called Theaters of War. It's possible that after the acquisition by Sony the project will turn into something completely different, and the partnership with the creators of "the most expensive game in the world" will end.
Finally, we can not forget to mention that Firesprite was founded by former employees of the legendary SCE Studio Liverpool team (originally Psygnosis) which Sony bought out in the 90s and closed down in 2012. Psygnosis has an impressive catalogue of titles released for 8-bit PC and PlayStation consoles, among which the Wipeout and Lemmings series stand out. As you can see, history once again comes full circle and Sony significantly strengthens its position in the UK.
- Firesprite - official homepage