Horizon Call of the Mountain PS5 PSVR2 PlayStation

After almost seven years at the studio, Alex Barnes, director of PSVR2 spinoff Horizon: Call of the Mountain, has been made redundant by Liverpoool-based developer Firesprite. In March, a report from Eurogamer alleged that a toxic work culture had been allowed to develop at the PlayStation first-party developer.

In a post on Twitter (thanks, VGC), Barnes announced the sorry news, admitting that it "has been a tough time over the past few months". Barnes extended thanks and gratitude to those in the industry helping each other through this tumultuous time and to staff at Firesprite: "It has been the honour of a lifetime to have been a game director with a team like this."

Sony announced significant layoffs in February, around 900 across the company's workforce. This resulted in around 10% of Guerilla Games staff being laid off, primarily from the Horizon Forbidden West team, with many other first-party devs seeing cuts. Presumably, Firesprite also saw reductions, but the exact numbers remain unclear. What the studio is working on is currently unknown, but it’s rumoured that Sony may have cancelled a live service take on Twisted Metal in development at the studio.

What do you think of Barnes's departure from Firesprite? How optimistic are you about the studio's future? Let us know in the comments section below.

[source twitter.com, via videogameschronicle.com]