Sony is growing its list of PlayStation studios once again with the acquisition of Firesprite, the U.K.-based developer behind The Playroom, The Playroom VR, and The Persistence. The purchase of Firesprite, announced through a post on the PlayStation Blog, marks the third of this summer for Sony.
Firesprite’s acquisition by Sony is also one of the largest to date. Although the developer isn’t a household name, it’s sizable, with over 250 employees. Comparably, London Studio and Media Molecule, Sony’s two other U.K.-based developers, have fewer developers than Firesprite combined.
In a statement posted on the PS Blog, Firesprite founder and managing director Graeme Ankers spoke on the studio’s history with Sony and what’s next. “Now, as a first party studio,” said Ankers, “we know we have the full support of PlayStation in furthering our heritage of combining creativity and technical innovation to offer some truly unique experiences for PlayStation fans.”
Welcome to the family, @FirespriteGames!
Veterans of The Playroom and The Persistence bring awesome technical and creative capabilities to PlayStation Studios. Full details: https://t.co/R1IOJo2BYi pic.twitter.com/YjfK3OYrxZ
— PlayStation (@PlayStation) September 8, 2021
It’s not immediately clear what role Firesprite will play for Sony going forward though, whether it’s as a developer or something more targeted. Just this summer the company purchased both Housemarque, the studio behind Returnal, and Nixxes Software, a developer with years of experience porting console games to PC. With Housemarque likely continuing to make its own games and Nixxes purchased with the express intention of porting PlayStation games to PC, it’s not clear which role Firesprite will fall into. Considering the company’s experience with PS VR though, it’s possible that the first game we see from Firesprite will be for Sony’s next-gen PS VR system.
This week is full of announcements for Sony, which is hosting a PlayStation Showcase at 1 p.m. PT on Thursday, September 9. The 40-minute-long presentation will “include updates from PlayStation Studios and some of the industry’s most imaginative developers, for games releasing this holiday and beyond.”