The closure of Studio Liverpool, formerly Psygnosis, came as a nasty and sudden shock to the wider video game community. Spearheading the much loved WipEout and Colony Wars franchises, it was undoubtedly one of Sony's most beloved first-party developers. We've not heard a great deal from the defunct company's former staffers, and apart from that one lonely press release, SCEE has been equally hush-hush.
The deafening silence has finally been broken in a recent IGN article, however, which reveals that several of the former team's key members have regrouped and created Firesprite, a new independent development studio. “[Firesprite] came about organically," the studio's managing director Graeme Ankers said. "But we all had a shared vision. The founding team met up socially after Studio Liverpool, and we talked about all of the things that we had achieved over the years, the platform launches, the variety of games, going back to [the] Psygnosis days and through to F1 and WipEout. We knew that we wanted to carry on making great games"
And the best part? You've probably already played one of the studio's titles. It seems that the newly formed developer's first project was aiding Studio Japan in the creation of the oft-misused augmented reality game, The Playroom. Not content to rest on its laurels, though, Firesprite now has its eyes set firmly on a totally new title. “We have been working hard on creating a new game engine," the team's technical director Chris Roberts teased. "That puts us in a great position delivering the best experiences for players."
As far as hints concerning the content of its new game go, it's predictably all quiet on the western front. "Unfortunately, I can’t talk about the next game yet, [but] sometime soon I hope,” Ankers continued. "We’re excited about the future. It’s a great time to be making games and it’s what we love.” And while Ankers isn't quite ready to discuss a platform for its first title, we think that the studio's storied history on Sony consoles means that there's a good chance that we'll be playing it with a DualShock in hand.
And finally, the question on everyone's lips: will Firesprite consider taking its old franchises, such as WipEout, for a spin? "I don’t know where this journey is going to take us," Ankers concluded. "Ultimately, we love these games, but the decision isn’t ours. WipEout is a special game. Its soul comes from Liverpool’s development history." To our ears, that's a very definitive maybe.
Is this announcement making you wipe away your tears, or is it leaving you out in the cold? What do you think the studio's secret new game might be? Get fired up in the comments section below.