PlayStation Studio Spotlight: Firesprite

By Kes Eylers-Stephenson,
Firesprite made a name for itself in VR, but are now moving into big new territory. This is the one-stop shop for all things Firesprite: history, projects, recent news, and a rating.


Update Log:
07/01/22 — Added Horizon Call of the Mountain to Next Project, altered Overview, 2022, and ranking accordingly.
If you want to see where Firesprite ranks amongst the other Sony first-party developers and find out more information about the other teams, check out our PlayStation Studios Hub Page.

Firesprite overview

PLAYSTATION STUDIOS FIRESPRITE THE PERSISTANCE THE PLAYROOM RANKED AND RATED

Firesprite is a big team of around 250 staff members working out of Liverpool, making it bigger than London Studio and Media Molecule — the other UK-based developers — combined. Many of the core team members formerly worked out of Studio Liverpool, the talented Wipeout creators.

As a young team, formed in 2012, within a year Firesprite had helped PlaySation's Studio Japan — now Team Asobi — put together The Playroom, the pack-in PS4 title designed to show off the capability of the then-new hardware. The relationship was clearly a success, because the then small team helped with The Playroom VR in 2016. In between all that, Firesprite managed to make endless runner Run Sackboy! Run! for mobile, and later on Vita, in 2014.

run sack boy run screenshot

VR became Firesprite's thing after Playroom VR, and they made Air Force Special Ops: Nightfall for PS VR in 2017. This was very much a VR experience, not a game, and all reports suggest that it was a great time: solid graphics, a fun military thrill ride, with the price of entrance being free. However, that was just a placeholder for The Persistence in 2018 for PS VR, and the later release of The Persistance Enhanced in 2020 that came without the need for VR. The team also helped work on Star Citizen's multiplayer modes. Quite the collection of experiences!

The team are currently at work on PlayStation VR2 title Horizon Call of the Mountain alongside Guerrilla Games and have two rumoured further projects in development.

Firesprite's previous project: The Persistence Enhanced (2021)

the persistance screenshots

The Persistence Enhanced was a maxed-out version of Firesprite's VR stealth horror game where you take on the role of a clone of the spaceship's security officer as the crew and vessel get pulled into a black hole. The original VR title banked an 81, being praised for the well-done trad horror set in a sci-fi setting. The gameplay seems to have struggled to hold up without the extra dimensions of virtual reality, though core gameplay loops remained fun. It clocked in at 71 on Metacritic.

Firesprite's current project: Horizon Call of the Mountain (2022)

horizon call of the mountain

Firesprite has been entrusted with bringing the Horizon franchise to PlayStation VR2 with its new game Call of the Mountain, developed alongside Guerrilla Games. Though there are no details about what the game might actually be like, a former employee at Guerrilla has stated that this will change the game for AAA VR titles. This announcement also confirmed a rumour from Nick Baker last year.

Head of PlayStation Studios, Hermen Hulst, and managing director of Firesprite, Graeme Ankers, confirmed in an interview to GamesIndustry.biz that Firesprite is working on more than one project. One is a massively multiplayer game and the other is a dark narrative experience. A recent job posting was tracked by IGN that confirms the existence of an "ambitious unannounced AAA title," possibly Horizon Call of the Mountain or one of the above projects.

Firesprite in 2022

nightfall

Outside of the Horizon Call of the Mountain announcement, no news this year. Last year, the announcement that Sony would be acquiring the studio for an undisclosed sum was made. The team later acquired a small Manchester-based publisher called Fabrik Games.

Where does Firesprite rank?

Firesprite looks like an absolute steal for the PlayStation Studios portfolio. Though the catalogue doesn't yet speak volumes about the potential quality of output, the team are a massive group and have multiple projects at once. Firesprite's history with VR gives us a lot of hope for Horizon Call of the Mountain. If PS VR2 is a success, it will be because of huge games like that living up to potential. Therefore, we want to wait for Firesprite to release its first PlayStation game before judging with a trophy. With such fast growth and no longer in the same independent-studio environment, Firesprite will probably be an entirely different prospect in a few years, so an unearned trophy feels like a suitable award. Exciting!

Unearned
Unearned

Has yet to show its talent


If you want to see where Firesprite ranks amongst the other Sony first-party developers and find out more information about the other teams, check out our PlayStation Studios Hub Page.
Kes Eylers-Stephenson
Written by Kes Eylers-Stephenson
Hey, I'm Kes! I'm a Staff Writer, and I've been here since 2021. What do I like? The Outer Wilds is top notch. The Witcher 3 blew my mind over the course of five years completing it. I want Burnout back — I really miss crunching mechanical wonders into walls to the sound of Guns N' Roses. Cool, now we are acquainted, I'll see you around.