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Sony’s Firesprite Studio Has Reportedly Been Losing Talent Even Before Mass Layoffs Due To A Toxic Work Environment

This week, Sony announced that it would be cutting 900 jobs across multiple teams and divisions around the globe, with teams in the UK working on VR titles like Firesprite and PlayStation London Studio taking big hits and being shut down, in London Studio’s case.

A new report from Eurogamer however sheds light on the fact that in the case of Firesprite, developers were already leaving and running in the opposite direction, as staff have come forward to reveal Firespirte has harbored a toxic workplace culture.

The worst of the accusations involve alleged sexual discrimination and ageism from two senior staff who were brought to Firesprite from Sony’s support studio XDev to help lead Firesprite.

An internal investigation is said to have deemed those allegations to have just been a “misunderstanding,” but that doesn’t answer for all the extremely negative Glassdoor reviews, and what staff have said to Eurogamer in its report.

“Studio and game leadership is bordering incompetence,” a Glassdoor review from January 2024 begins. “A new leadership team put in place some months ago are way out of their depth, and deal with feedback and concerns with arrogance, either ignoring the experience and knowledge of developers or bullying them into submission.”

They continue to say due to new leadership the studio is running less efficiently and the studio culture has “completely nosedived over the past few months with many great experienced staff leaving.”

The sources that Eurogamer spoke to unsurprisingly support these reviews, with one source referring to the new leaders saying “It seems leadership doesn’t need to be earned. And trust is gone.”

The new leaders are also being called “tyrants,” “bullies,” and an “inadequate toxic mess.” It seems clear that the new leadership is the cause for much of Firesprite’s issues, but they’re not the only ones to blame, it would appear.

One anonymous source from the report called Sony out for meddling in the studio to the point that it’s slowly going downhill, following Sony’s acquisition of Firesprite.

“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.”

Source – [Eurogamer]