PlayStation Studio Firesprite
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Accusations of Toxic Workplace Environment Leveled Against PlayStation Studio Firesprite

Nathan Lees
Nathan Lees

In a recent investigation conducted by Eurogamer, allegations have surfaced of a hostile work environment within the PlayStation studio Firesprite. Along with numerous grievances expressed by the staff, accusations were made against "two upper-level management figures from Sony's auxiliary studio, XDev" of practicing sexual discrimination and ageism. These allegations reportedly led to 13 formal complaints filed against the leaders. However, Sony's internal probe into the matter reportedly concluded that these grievances were mere "misinterpretations."

Gamers, particularly enthusiasts of PlayStation, might recognize Firesprite for its impressive contribution to the much-appreciated game, Horizon Call of the Mountain. The studio also played a major role in developing the established PlayStation game, The Playroom, featuring Astro Bot. There's a prevailing rumor that Sony is working on launching a new edition of the Astro Bot game by 2024.

Multiple sources cited by Eurogamer have hinted that a shift in "Sony's corporate perspective" might have led to changes in the company culture. Speculation is high among staff members that the original founders were forced to resign due to pressure from Sony, rather than leaving voluntarily.

Firesprite employees who opted to stay anonymous have painted the new management as "oppressive" and "intimidating". This alleged culture of fear seems to be backed by the apprehensive employees, some of whom refrained from participating in the investigation due to fears of potential retaliation.

Earlier this week, PlayStation made it known that they plan to downsize their workforce by dismissing 900 employees, approximately 8% of their global employee base. PlayStation has confirmed that this downsizing will impact the Firesprite studio. It's important to point out that Eurogamer initiated their investigation prior to PlayStation's announcement of their layoff plans.

Currently, neither Sony nor PlayStation have issued any official statements in response to Eurogamer's findings.

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