Since Sony acquired Firesprite last September, the Liverpool-based studio has had a busy time of things. Between making its own follow-up acquisitions, cryptic job adverts, and several alleged leaks regarding its in-development projects, there's been plenty for fans to speculate about regarding its future. Many likely assumed that the announcement of Horizon Call of the Mountain last week, a collaboration between the studio and Guerrilla Games, would be the tip of the iceberg for the immediate future. If new rumors are to be believed, though, it appears Firesprite could now be behind the long awaited return of Twisted Metal on PS5 as well.
After several month's worth of credible rumors and speculation that pointed to Lucid Games' involvement with the project, a studio located on the other side of Liverpool, things appear to have changed dramatically behind the scenes. The speed at which the situation with Firesprite has evolved, and the level of trust Sony is seemingly willing to place in its new investment suggests PlayStation fans are going to be hearing a lot from the studio during the PS5-era. With a live-action Twisted Metal TV show also re-confirmed to be in the works during Sony's CES conference, taking a look at the complexion of the studio and its potential projects is a great way for fans to get a tantalizing glimpse at the future.
Firesprite’s PlayStation Pedigree
Even though Firesprite has been making a name for itself over recent months, there’s a decent chance that a lot of PlayStation players will already be familiar with the studio’s previous work. Since Firesprite was founded back in 2012, the studio has been involved with the development of 6 released games, including the Sony published Run Sackboy! Run! and The Playroom. The latter of these titles was in collaboration with Team Asobi, which bodes well for the studio’s next first party partnership with Guerrilla Games. So far, Firesprite’s most popular release is arguably The Persistence, a thrilling horror shooter that originally started off life as a PlayStation VR exclusive before making its way to PS5 and other traditional platforms in 2020.
Firespite’s work and involvement with PlayStation under that particular moniker, only really tells part of the story, though. That’s because each of the 5 people who make up the studio’s core leadership roles have experience creating games for every previously released PlayStation console. A significant percentage of the studio’s talent was once employed by Sony’s Studio Liverpool for good measure as well, before the publisher controversially closed its doors in 2012. While Firesprite is technically a young studio, the involvement much of its staff has had in the creation of classic Psygnosis IPs like Wipeout, Lemmings, and Colony Wars adds to the excitement surrounding its future.
Considering the number of people within Firesprite that have actively played a part in the history of PlayStation already, there’s reason to believe that its theoretical involvement with Twisted Metal will pan out well, too. Fans only have to look to the recently announced Horizon PSVR 2 spin-off to get a glimpse at the studio’s familiarity and clear love for Sony’s IPs. In a lot of ways, due to the nature in which Studio Liverpool was shut down, Firesprite’s impending stardom is not only therefore deserved, but also somewhat overdo.
What’s striking about Firesprite, beyond the obvious talent currently employed within it, is the sheer size of the studio and operation that Sony has bought into. Based on figures revealed back in September, roughly 265 people are already employed across its multiple offices, which puts the studio amongst the biggest that the Japanese publisher currently owns. Firesprite’s acquisition of Manchester-based Fabrik Games, a few weeks after Sony’s own purchase, helped matters on this front a lot as well.
It’s clear from the size of Firesprite that every party involved with its development has big plans for the studio’s future. Since September, job adverts have been consistently posted on the internet that further underline how the studio's fortunes are only tracking upwards too. The recent hiring of Matt Southern, one of the directors of the Motorstorm series and a former employee of Lucid Games, also suggests that Sony is keen to hire people that have previous experience helping to build its first party output. All of this bodes well for the potential rumored Twisted Metal revival that Firesprite is seemingly now involved with.
Firesprite’s Rumored Games
Keeping the sheer size of Firesprite in-mind, it’s not particularly shocking that rumors have done the rounds online that suggest the studio is involved with a handful of games already. Aside from the prevailing thought that Firesprite has taken over development of Twisted Metal, a theory aided by the hiring of Southern, there’s reason to believe that at least two other games are currently being actively explored by the studio as well. That’s without even factoring in its recently announced Horizon Call of the Mountain collaboration.
While any news regarding rumored video games should be taken with a hefty dose of salt until official confirmation is given, the job adverts that Firesprite has recently published point to several other projects being in the pipeline. Listings have attempted to bring in new talent to work on both a dark narrative-driven adventure game, and a multiplayer shooter. While the latter description could technically be applied to Twisted Metal, that would be a stretch, so it seems much more likely that it's alluding to a separate project. With the studio seemingly having been called upon to work on the car combat franchise, it's worth keeping in mind that these plans could have changed dramatically by now. Based on Firesprite’s size, obvious ambition, and the trust Sony has already placed in it, nothing is theoretically impossible.
Twisted Metal is rumored to be in development for PS5.
Sony and Microsoft are two giants within the gaming industry, and both companies have very different approaches to acquiring other studios.