Sony to acquire Liverpool games developer

Entertainment giant Sony says it has agreed to acquire Firesprite, a Liverpool firm that has developed a number of games for the Playstation platform. Tony McDonough reports

The Persistence
The Persistence was a game developed by Liverpool-based developer Firesprite

 

Entertainment giant Sony is to acquire Firesprite, a Liverpool-based video games developer, for an undisclosed sum.

Sony Interactive Entertainment (SIE), which already has a significant presence in Liverpool, says it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Firesprite. The firm was founded in 2012 by a number of games industry veterans.

In 2018, Firesprite secured a global licensing and distribution deal with Sony for its virtual reality game The Persistence. The deal saw Sony take exclusive ownership over the licence and global distribution of the title.

With a partnership spanning more than eight years and a games portfolio highlighting PlayStation’s technological innovations, Firesprite will play a “critical role” in strengthening SIE’s games catalog in genres outside of PlayStation Studios’ core offerings.

Over the past few years, Firesprite has partnered with SIE to develop games for the PlayStation4 and PlayStationVR launch including The Playroom (PS4) and The Playroom VR (PS VR), both of which showcased unique hardware capabilities with highly-quality gameplay.

In 2019, Sony said it was moving 500 staff, currently based in Wavertree, into the former Liverpool Echo offices in the city centre. It agreed a deal to take all 65,000 sq ft of office space across three floors in what is now being called Echo Place in Old Hall Street.

Graeme Ankers, managing director at Firesprite, said: “We’re always striving to bring something new to a game or genre and developing for new technologies is a driving force of our passion.

“Joining PlayStation Studios will allow us to amplify this passion, working more closely on cutting-edge hardware without any limitations and furthering our studio’s heritage of creativity and technical innovation to offer some truly unique experiences for PlayStation fans.”

Jim Ryan, president and chief executive of Sony Interactive Entertainment, added: “We have a rich history of working with the founders of Firesprite and are excited to grow the PlayStation presence in Liverpool.

“The portfolio of titles Firesprite has developed has continually demonstrated the team’s ability to transcend traditional gameplay experiences and brilliantly showcase the potential of our hardware.”

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