Sony’s acquisition of The Persistence developer Firesprite this week certainly came as a surprise, but perhaps the even bigger shocker is the sheer scale of the team: totalling 250 employees, it’s actually larger in headcount than the platform holder’s two other UK-based first-party studios, Media Molecule and London Studio, combined.
Word is that the Liverpool-based team has a number of different projects in the pipeline: we’d heard on the grapevine that it was beavering away on a virtual reality version of Horizon, but it also apparently has a multiplayer game and a “dark narrative blockbuster” in production. With such a colossal team size, expect this new studio to be quite productive.
Hermen Hulst, boss of PlayStation Studios, has already hinted that Firesprite’s output will be “quite different from the teams that you are familiar with” at Sony, so that’s certainly intrigued us. Clearly, the Japanese giant was already collaborating with the studio before deciding to acquire it entirely. That means we could, potentially, see something announced during today’s PlayStation Showcase.
Either way, we had no idea Firesprite had ballooned to such an enormous size; to put its workforce into perspective, Guerrilla Games – one of the biggest developers in Europe – currently hosts around 350 to 400 employees, so it’s not a million miles off. It’s going to be fascinating to see what the team has in store for us.