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Firewalk with me.

Justin Carter, Contributing Editor

April 20, 2023

2 Min Read
Logo for game developer Firewalk Studios.

PlayStation has acquired Firewalk Studios. The pair had previously entered a publishing agreement in 2021, but Sony's now bought the studio outright from its original owner ProbablyMonsters

Herman Hulst, studio head of PlayStation, said it "continues to be impressed" by Firewalk's (still unannounced) triple-A multiplayer game, hence the acquisition. "The studio shares our passion for creating inspiring worlds grounded in exceptional gameplay," explained Hulst, "and we want to continue to invest in their mission."

Firewalk was founded by Tony Hsu and Ryan Ellis. Both men have previous multiplayer experience with Bungie; Ellis was a creative director at the developer during the Destiny 1 era, and Hsu was SVP/GM of the Destiny-specific division back when when it was still owned by Activision Blizzard. 

Hsu and Ellis called PlayStation's acquisition "the next natural step" of Firewalk's growth. "To join PlayStation Studios is to formally become part of a family that has produced many of the most storied games of our age," they wrote, "and we are honored."

What can Firewalk do that PlayStation's other studios can't?

Thus far, PlayStation and Firewalk have been vague about what the developer's debut game will be. The only real information to glean is that it'll be a multiplayer-focused title, which Sony has been desperate to have for quite some time now. 

Sony said in 2022 that it wanted to get at least 10 live service games into the public's hands by 2026. At present, developers confirmed to be part of that endeavor include Bungie, Naughty Dog, Guerrilla Games, PlayStation London, and Jetpack Interactive.

With a focus on the PC market and the prestige that's come to define its first-party releases, there's no doubt that Firewalk's first game will catch attention with audiences. But so many studios are now covering the live service bases that it's a little difficult to get a firm idea of what Sony's future looks like in that space.

About the Author(s)

Justin Carter

Contributing Editor, GameDeveloper.com

A Kansas City, MO native, Justin Carter has written for numerous sites including IGN, Polygon, and SyFy Wire. In addition to Game Developer, his writing can be found at io9 over on Gizmodo. Don't ask him about how much gum he's had, because the answer will be more than he's willing to admit.

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