Sony acquired Firesprite in 2021

Sony’s Firesprite Studio Accused of Toxicity and Workplace Misconduct

Sony’s Firesprite Studio has been accused of fostering a toxic work environment and ignoring complaints of workplace misconduct and harassment. An in-depth investigation of the claims by Eurogamer found that Firesprite — which Sony acquired in 2021 — was being led by two senior members of Sony’s XDev team, both of whom were investigated for claims of sexual discrimination and ageism made against them.

Sony’s Firesprite was recently hit by PlayStation layoffs

Eurogamer’s investigation began prior to Sony announcing mass layoffs across PlayStation, which Firesprite was also impacted by. Not only was the studio’s headcount reduced, its Twisted Metal live service game was also canceled.

According to sources speaking on condition of anonymity, Sony dismissed the aforementioned claims against its XDev leadership, terming it a “misunderstanding.” However, some of the complainants began exploring legal options, following which they received a financial settlement from Sony.

“Sony has committed the worst possible mistake in buying a studio and meddling to the point where it may end up in a death spiral and unable to complete any of the projects it is working on,” one of Eurogamer’s sources said. However, some sources countered that by saying that Firesprite needed the internal changes that came with its acquisition by PlayStation.