Sony’s PlayStation Studios has got that little bit bigger, but in a slightly unusual way. Instead of acquiring a new studio to sit alongside the likes of Naughty Dog and Insomniac, it’s actually their latest acquisition, Firesprite, that has snapped up another studio, the Manchester-based Fabrik Games.
Fabrik Games was created by Firesprite boss Graeme Ankers, being spun out of Firesprite several years ago with the intention of building mobile games, but has worked closely with them on games like The Persistence. They’re now being brought back into the fold to boost Firesprite’s already huge headcount to 265 staff.
Speaking about the reacquisition, Ankers said, “I’m delighted to announce that we will be bringing Fabrik Games and Firesprite together as part of our exciting next step with PlayStation Studios.”
Firesprite was founded by former employees of Studio Liverpool after the Wipeout franchise developer was shut down by Sony in 2012. Almost a decade later, they’ve been brought back into the fold, and Ankers has clearly been keen to bring all of his progeny with him.
Firesprite’s most recent release was The Persistence.
While acquisitions are all well and good, there’s a lot of speculation over the kinds of projects that Firesprite will now work on as a first party studio. One possibility is that Firesprite’s dark narrative adventure could be another VR title. The Persistence originally released for VR in 2018, exclusively for PlayStation VR, before the studio pivoted the game to work with flat screen play across multiple platforms – it was recently enhanced for PS5 and Xbox Series X. Sony are doubtless keen to find new games for PlayStation VR 2, though it would simply depend on what Firesprite are already working on at this point.
Given the size of the studio, it’s also very possible that they’re able to handle multiple projects at once, and given the studio’s lineage and the recent announcement of Wipeout Rush for smartphones… Look, can we just have a new WIpeout game, please?
While not on the levels of Embracer Group, Tencent or Microsoft, Sony has steadily been making a few game studio acquisitions of their own. This year, Sony added Returnal developer Housemarque to their collection of studios and snapped up Nixxes, a studio that is renowned for their expertise in bringing games to PC, which will seriously help their ambitions to bring more first party games to computers.