Top
350°

Why PlayStation is buying Firesprite, one of the UK's fastest growing studios

The 250-person team was formed by the founders of Sony's old Liverpool Studio.

Read Full Story >>
gamesindustry.biz
The story is too old to be commented.
darthv72505d ago

The 'why' is because they have a long history together. Sony has kept in touch even before the rebranding. There was always chemistry there. I am hoping one of the games they are working on is a new VR Wipeout.

neutralgamer1992505d ago

Because they have past history with Sony and they know Sony will support quality ideas and give resources and time to make it happen(not saying others don't but every developer has their preference)

Si-Fly505d ago

Sorry, did Firesprite buy Sony? That’s how your message reads 🤣

neutralgamer1992505d ago

Sony will support and give resources 😆 give being the key word 😜

Gazondaily504d ago

"Sony will support quality ideas and give resources and time to make it happen"

Isn't this studio made up of people from the studios they previously dissolved 🤣

Vizigoth04504d ago (Edited 504d ago )

Just because it was done doesn’t mean it was a mistake. Companies will move people, shift people. See it more valuable to close one physical location until a big enough team is established to divide into two. These business decisions are made with every single variable that none of us may be able to comprehend unless you sat at the head table yourself. Laugh all you want but you’re laughing because you don’t understand.

neutralgamer1992504d ago

They have some of the people but you have to realize this is the studio of over 250 people that have two AAA Blockbusters in development

CaptainHenry916505d ago (Edited 505d ago )

Sony keeps making smart decisions with the studios they acquire. They have a long history with Firesprite. Bluepoint and that new Japan Studio they developed from the ground up will be next

Elda505d ago

The founders of Firesprite were Sony's Liverpool studio which Sony made defunct,was this a wise decision??

Nasdac505d ago (Edited 505d ago )

If the Studio doesn't work properly, you need to find a solution. Same happens with Lionhead for similar reasons, too much time and mediocre results. Maybe they recalibrate what was gone.

CaptainHenry916504d ago

Firesprite (Playroom, The Persistence) joins PlayStation

-Over 200 developers
-Many come from former SIE Studio Liverpool
-The team is currently developing a "AAA branching narrative adventure game" and a "AAA quality new action shooter IP"

Blog: https://t.co/V1GMeFj0oQ https://t.co/sZDMFB9QD5

GhostofHorizon505d ago

The only thing not adding up for me is if they are happy with these guys, why did they close the Liverpool studio in the first place? Unless they all already left the studio.

The second question in that case is if the big guys left Liverpool by that point, what changed that they wanted to come back into the fold?

porkChop505d ago

I was wondering the same thing. Sony shut them down. So what changed?

boing1505d ago

People at charge changed?

porkChop505d ago

It was founded by the same people lol, they're still in charge.

boing1504d ago

At Sony people changed.

porkChop504d ago

Ah ok, I see what you mean now.

rlow1504d ago

I think the difference was that Sony started that studio. So they were never owned by the guys leading the Liverpool studio. Firesprite was started and owned by those employees. Sony buying them brings them back to a familiar environment and as we've seen from MS buying Bethesda, relationship are important. Plus, bonus for them, they are getting one heck of a paycheck for selling to Sony.

+ Show (2) more repliesLast reply 504d ago
ABizzel1505d ago

Well they were originally let go, because they weren't producing games that were big enough to fund the studio and make a profit for Sony. Wipeout, etc... just weren't cutting it.

A restructure is hard, trust me. You have to find out who are the bad apples if any (people rarely want to speak up, and the people who do often have left way beforehand), what's going wrong, find out how much it's going to cost to fix it while still paying everyone and funding upcoming projects and future projects, hire new talent to makeup for the lacking talent while also trying to make sure the new talent doesn't fall into the old work culture ways. It's a lot, and sometimes it's better to end the entire department and start over after a few years. I had a job I loved making a lot of money, but the overall organization was committing so much fraud that they had to let the entire department go nationwide and only kept 4 of us at my department out of nearly 100 people.

In the time they were gone, they found their footing as a leader in VR games, stayed connected with PlayStation, grew to be even larger, and are now capable of working on multiple projects at once under their new leadership. Sony has PSVR2 getting ready to launch next-year, so it makes sense to come back full circle with a team that makes good VR games and can make multiple AAA VR games for the PSVR2. Not to mention Sony saved millions over the timeframe that the company was no longer employed on wages, facilities, etc.., and Sony (specifically PlayStation) is in a much better situation financially after the PS4 than they were when Liverpool was let go.

That should answer both questions.

Gameseeker_Frampt505d ago

That is really an oversimplification of everything since it excuses Sony's involvement in the matter and shifts the fault onto the supposed "bad apples" of Sony Liverpool. Sony closed 3 studios back-to-back at the time so it clearly wasn't the fault of the employees at the studio. Instead, Sony had just failed with the Vita and closed just about every studio that made games for it instead of acknowledging that it was Sony's bad business decisions that doomed the Vita. One could think that money was a factor in the decision except Sony's behavior has been consistent regardless of how well they are doing (closing Studio Japan for example). Sony has little tolerance for failure and never takes responsibility for when games fail to sell - even though most of the time the games that don't sell well are those that Sony doesn't market and release at the worst possible time.

ABizzel1505d ago

@Game

Here we go 🙄

If a portion of your business isn't making a profit, or go years or in this case generation without hitting their goal, you either fix it or close it. They chose to close it. That's business, which is the first thing I said. The bad apple was my personal example and personal experience.

How do you go from an oversimplification to talking about the Vita. These studio closed around the launch of the PS4 after Sony came off the end of the PS3 which was a financial hardship for them. They cut the studios that weren't bringing in profits or diversity to their library of games, and now that they came off the huge success of the PS4, they are able to buy these studios back, and the studio willingly came back.

Gameseeker_Frampt505d ago

@ABizzel1

In what world is January 12. 2012, March 29. 2012, and August 22. 2012 anywhere close to the launch of the PS4 in November 2013? The Vita launched December 12. 2011 in Japan and January 22. 2012 in NA and EU and all 3 of the closed studios developed games for the Vita launch window. By the third week of release in Japan it was clear that the Vita had bombed and Sony began clearing house of studios that worked on the system. You make the excuse that "they cut the studios that weren't bringing in profits" but no studio was going to bring in profits on Vita games after Sony mismanaged it.

ABizzel1504d ago (Edited 504d ago )

@Game

They were in the process of making another Wipeout for PS4, and it was already in development for a year, which meant they had been working on it since 2011, were let go in 2012 a year before the PS4 launched. Which is why I said "These studio closed around the launch of the PS4 after Sony came off the end of the PS3 which was a financial hardship for them."

Key phrase being "after Sony came off the end of the PS3 which was a financial hardship for them."

A single Wipeout for Vita did not close this studio, they had been making Wipeout and Formula One since 2001 on PS2, and for the entire PS3 generation with diminishing profits. Things had already started going south for them when Sony lost the license to F1, and they were only a Wipeout developer with over 100 people working at the studio on that single franchise. That's why they were let go, you don't let an entire division go because of one bad product, it took multiple lackluster sales to do that. Sony literally quoted the reason for letting them go at the time was due to them not producing "high quality, innovative, and commercially viable projects".

Sony on closing Liverpool
"We do regular reviews to ensure that the resources we have can create and produce high quality, innovative and commercially viable projects in an increasingly competitive market place. However, it was felt that by focusing our investment plans on other studios that are currently working on exciting new projects, we would be in a stronger position to offer the best possible content for our consumers."
https://www.bbc.com/news/te...

Liverpool was working on Wipeout PS4 and a "Splinter-Cell Style Game"
https://www.eurogamer.net/a...

After being closed, some of the studio Developers and Game Directors created Firesprite, and you know what they did....continued working with PlayStation, but as a 2nd party. There was no bad blood them between the studio and many of the developers. They made the Playroom for PS4 launch, Run Sackboy Run for mobile for Sony, and later the Playroom VR for PSVR, Air Force Special Ops: Nightfall for PSVR, The Persistence for all platforms + The Persistence VR for PSVR. And guess what they were finally bought by PlayStation to make games for PSVR.

As for developer on PSV, Sony Bend has survived off making PSP and PSV games, and they're still here and allowed to make a full PS4 game, because their games were selling, Wipeout wasn't. San Diego Studio went to PSV and made ModNation Racers (which needs to come back) and MLB and are still here, because MLB was still selling on the PS3 and eventually PS4, Wipeout wasn't. Media Molecule went to PSV and made Tearaway and are still here, because LBP was still selling on PS3, Wipeout wasn't. Housemarque made several PSV games, and are still here because their games had small budgets and were still selling on PS3/PS4, Wipeout wasn't.

Zipper, Liverpool, and Bigbig were closed in 2012, because they weren't making profits off of their IPs.

And here you are saying it's on oversimplification saying that businesses go under because they don't make the targeted profits, but in your world that answer is simply Vita. Goodbye 😂

Gameseeker_Frampt503d ago

@ABizzel1

""after Sony came off the end of the PS3 which was a financial hardship for them."" Sony spent $380 million buying Gaikai in July 2012 so I don't think "financial hardship" means what you think it means.

You keep trying to claim that the reason Sony closed 3 studios in 6 months was because their games weren't selling but no games were selling on the Vita and that certainly wasn't the fault of the studios. Your argument especially fails when applied to Studio Liverpool and Wipeout. You claim that Wipeout wasn't popular or profitable yet the previous main Wipeout game - Fusion - sold over a million copies on the PSP and was the 22nd best selling game on the platform. You also try to say that Wipeout wasn't selling and Sony was right to get rid of it yet Sony paid another studio to make an HD bundle of 3 previous Wipeout games for the PS4 in 2017 and then paid again to put that bundle in VR. Also, Sony Bend went 8 years between game releases and MM went 7 so it seems game sales have very little to do with Sony's decision making (they also bought Housemarque which had been very open about the commercial failure of their recent games).

"A single Wipeout for Vita did not close this studio." Sony has a history of being draconian when it comes to handling failure. Evolution Studios was closed after they made Sony look bad with the release of Driveclub. Sony cut ties with Ready at Dawn after the failure of The Order 1886 even though previously they developed 3 of the best selling PSP exclusives (Ready at Dawn went on to create critically acclaimed VR games for Oculus and was bought by Facebook last year). Guerilla Cambridge was given a second chance after the commercial failure of Vita's Killzone Mercenary but then Sony closed them after their first VR game didn't do well (just like handhelds, Sony has also refused to task any of their AAA studios to make VR games). Sony was a big proponent of indie games until No Man's Sky, but after that launch they pretty much abandoned them (now they are playing catch up to both Nintendo and MS). Japan Studio was closed even though for the most part the poor sales of their recent games are a direct result of mishandling of releases by Sony (Puppeteer, The Last Guardian, Gravity Rush 2, Knack 2).

Also, you put "they were only a Wipeout developer with over 100 people working at the studio on that single franchise" and "Liverpool was working on Wipeout PS4 and a "Splinter-Cell Style Game" in the same comment. Just a little contradiction there.

+ Show (2) more repliesLast reply 503d ago
OB1Biker504d ago

Sometimes you can’t know everything. The important is the end result and it turned out to be for the better in a happy ending.

+ Show (1) more replyLast reply 503d ago
Sitdown505d ago

Is not the answer in the title, and the rest can be implied?

Show all comments (43)
The story is too old to be commented.