Sony has bought another video game developer you’ve never heard of, in the form of the British studio behind The Playroom VR.
Microsoft buying Bethesda for $7.5 billion may remain the most expensive video game purchase of all time but they’re not the only ones that have been buying up games companies lately.
Starting with Insomniac in 2019, Sony has been quietly acquiring developers that it’s always had a long-term relationship with (not least to stop Microsoft from buying them), including Returnal creator Housemarque and PC port specialist Nixxes.
The latest is Liverpool-based Firesprite, another developer that is very far from the public eye but has been responsible for notable PlayStation releases such as The Playroom and The Playroom VR, Run Sackboy! Run!, and The Persistance VR.
The obvious implication is that Sony are buying them to work on a new VR title for their next gen headset, which has been announced but still not seen in public.
Officially they haven’t explained exactly why they’ve bought the studio, only saying that they have a history of ‘developing highly-polished showpieces for cutting-edge hardware’ and that Sony has been working with them for over eight years.
‘Firesprite will play a critical role in strengthening SIE’s exclusive games catalogue in genres outside of PlayStation Studios’ core offerings’, reads their cryptic statement.
That doesn’t necessarily imply anything to do with VR but Sony notes that with The Persistence Firesprite has ‘pushed the boundaries of how users interact with the PS VR headset by introducing a groundbreaking virtual reality social element that further demonstrated the studio’s technical and creative capabilities’.
Whatever’s going on, Sony clearly has very specific plans for Firesprite but before you start hoping that they might be featured in the PlayStation showcase on Thursday bear in mind that Sony already said it won’t feature anything to do with VR.
Although the Firesprite acquisition has come as a surprise the one studio that everyone expected Sony would be buying remains an independent company.
Despite Sony Japan seeming to prematurely announce the acquisition of Bluepoint Games, makers of the Shadow Of The Colossus and Demon’s Souls remakes, no official announcement has ever been made and nor is it clear what Bluepoint is working on at the moment.
That is one thing that may be revealed on Thursday though, with rumours ranging from remakes of Silent Hill and Metal Gear Solid to a new Castlevania.
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