Sony recently announced the acquisition of Firesprite Studios, the developer of games like The Persistence and The Playroom VR, making it their third acquisition in the space of a little over two months. Firesprite is, of course, quite different from other developers under the PlayStation Studios banner, and its games tend to be quite different from the sort of stuff you usually associate with a PlayStation first party. So is that something that is going to continue to be the case following the acquisition as well, especially given Sony’s recent focus on big-budget AAA blockbusters?
Apparently, it will be. Speaking with GamesIndustry, PlayStation Studios boss Hermen Hulst acknowledged that Firesprite as a studio likes to tinker and experiment with things to craft unique experience, and said that the developer will continue doing things in that vein and provide experiences that are different from the sort of games PlayStation Studios teams usually make.
“I do encourage a strong and diverse slate of games coming out of PlayStation Studios,” Hulst said. “Ideally [the games] are aligned with the culture and what the teams are good at. It is definitely true that Firesprite is a team that loves to tinker with a platform. They love to experiment, to take something and toy with it.
“In a sense that is maybe a little similar with Team Asobi, not to suggest that they’re going to make similar games, but in their own way. They are a flexible team, in that you can give them any platform and they love that challenge.
“PlayStation Studios teams are culturally very diverse from one another. There is overlap, there is always that commitment to quality, there is always that collaboration… but the experiences that you can expect [from Firesprite] will be quite different from the teams that you are familiar with at PlayStation Studios. And I like that. I think that our audiences, our community, deserves very rich and very different experiences. At the end of the day, that’s what makes us stronger.”
Meanwhile, Firesprite managing director Graeme Ankers said that the studio isn’t ready to talk about what it’s working on just yet, but did say that their upcoming games will have “beautiful, amazing universes that players are going to enjoy for years to come.”
“I’d love to be able to talk about [our games] at some point soon,” Ankers said. “They will be beautiful, amazing universes that players are going to enjoy for years to come, but we can’t talk specifically about what those are or what genre they are in.
“Everything that we do looks at a different facet, whether that’s an innovation that will hopefully change a genre up, and hopefully you can see that in our previous releases. We will always have that philosophy and carry that desire to bring something new to genre, and maximise whatever the experience is… whether that’s on a technology platform or not. It’s about creating the best experience possible.”
Of course, very little is known about Firesprite’s current projects right now. One is a supposedly a multiplayer shooter described as “game-changing” experience, while the other is “an ambitious dark narrative blockbuster adventure.” Of course, recent reports have also claimed that a new WipEout game is in the works, which is relevant given that Firesprite has a lot of developers and leads from the former Studio Liverpool, the creators of WipEout.