Sony has added yet another studio to its stable, the Liverpool-based Firesprite Games. The company is the 14th studio that Sony has acquired, and Sony added that several members of the team had been Sony employees at one point: “Quite a few members of Firesprite come from SIE’s Studio Liverpool and we’re thrilled to welcome them back.” The studio hasn’t said explicitly what it’ll be working on with Sony, just that it’ll be a bit different from the other first-party games the company has made.
Firesprite is a VR-centric studio that has worked on various VR and AR projects. Its first game was the AR minigame for the PS4, The Playroom. It’s since worked on Playroom VR, The Persistence VR, and Air Force Special Ops: Nightfall. It’s worked in VR games as well as traditional and mobile game development. Overall, a fairly versatile studio, and it’s easy to see why Sony would add it to the roster.
The studio’s history is also tied to Psygnosis, a legendary studio behind Lemmings and Wipeout. Firesprite was formed by employees from this older studio, which was also called Studio Liverpool. It’s had a very close working relationship with Sony, especially in recent years — the Managing Director of Firesprite called Sony “a friend and co-development partner for the best part of a decade.”
It’s not exactly clear what Firesprite will be working on with Sony, but given the studio’s track record with VR titles, and the fact that Sony is working on its next-generation PSVR headsets, it’s very possible they could be put in charge of a PSVR-exclusive title. All Firesprite has said is this: “Firesprite will play a critical role in strengthening SIE’s exclusive games catalog in genres outside of PlayStation Studios’ core offerings.” That could mean just about anything, but I assume that means it’s not going to be working on an RPG or an action game for PlayStation if nothing else.