Sony is so pleased with work done by external developer Firewalk Studios on an as-yet unannounced game that it has decided to acquire the development studio part and parcel with its in-progress game. We don't know much about Firewalk, which was founded in 2018, but we do know that it was working on some kind of live service game—you know, your eternal games, your Destinys and all that.
Sony Interactive Entertainment had previously locked down Firewalk's debut title for themselves, an exclusive multiplayer game of some kind. That was in 2021, and two years later Sony apparently likes what it sees so much that it has decided to nip in the bud any question of Firewalk's future titles escaping their first-party shield. Firewalk will be the 20th development team at PlayStation Studios.
Firewalk is a studio of quite a few now, nearly 150 developers, but at the start mostly boasted a stable of Bungie veterans, most notably Tony Hsu, who was previously the senior vice president on Destiny at Activision, and Ryan Ellis, who was creative director at Bungie.
Sony Interactive Entertainment CEO and president Jim Ryan had this to say: "Firewalk Studios is led by a world-class team that is highly experienced and deeply passionate about creating exceptional multiplayer games that foster memorable shared experiences. I'm confident the studio’s upcoming project will be a robust addition to PlayStation Studios' portfolio, and its live service and technology expertise will be instrumental in helping grow PlayStation's reach."
Ryan's characteristically tight-lipped response doesn't give much away. Those big corps do love acquiring service and technology expertise, don't they?
"We’ve assembled some of the most inspired talent in the industry to deliver awe-inspiring new worlds and experiences filled with great core gameplay. The excitement of building something new for players has thoroughly energized the team and our partners, and we’ve been playtesting every day," said Firewalk's Hsu on the acquisition.
Meanwhile Hermen Hulst, Head of PlayStation Studios, reiterated that Sony was impressed with what Firewalk was doing in the multiplayer space.
"we continue to be impressed by the team’s ambitions to build a modern multiplayer game that connects players in new and innovative ways. The studio shares our passion for creating inspiring worlds grounded in exceptional gameplay, and we want to continue to invest in their mission," Hulst said.
So that's one to keep an eye on, all you keeping an eye on game studios types.