Irwin Mitchell Advises On Deal And Demonstrates Strength Of Its Media & Entertainment Credentials
The Corporate team at law firm Irwin Mitchell has advised on a high profile deal which will see Liverpool-based videogame studio, Firesprite Limited, being acquired by Sony Interactive Entertainment (SIE).
The transaction builds on an eight-year partnership between the two businesses which has seen Firesprite develop and showcase games for the PlayStation hardware.
Over the past few years, Firesprite has developed games for the PlayStation®4 and PlayStation®VR launch including The Playroom (PS4) and The Playroom VR (PS VR) and most recently releasing an enhanced edition of acclaimed survival horror title, The Persistence, for PlayStation®5.
Following the deal’s completion, Firesprite will join the global development operation of PlayStation Studios. Firesprite will also play a critical role in strengthening SIE’s exclusive games catalogue in genres outside of PlayStation Studios’ core offerings.
The day-to-day operations post-acquisition will continue to be run by Firesprite’s current management team.
Graeme Ankers, Co-Founder and CEO, Firesprite, said: “At Firesprite, we’re always striving to bring something new to a game or genre and developing for new technologies is a driving force of our passion. Joining PlayStation Studios will allow us to amplify this passion, working more closely on cutting-edge hardware without any limitations and furthering our studio’s heritage of creativity and technical innovation to offer some truly unique experiences for PlayStation fans.”
Adam Kaucher, Corporate partner at Irwin Mitchell in Manchester led the team which advised Firesprite, together with Commercial partner, Laura Harper. Other members of the Irwin Mitchell team included Victoria Zivkovic, Greg Mazgajczyk and Kate Williams.
Expert Opinion“This major deal highlights the significant strength of the North West’s videogame studios and the wider gaming sector. The two businesses have worked together for a number of years and this deal marks a significant milestone which will no doubt provide the platform for future innovation and gaming breakthroughs.”
Adam Kaucher - Partner
Irwin Mitchell’s Media & Entertainment sector lead Laura Harper has worked with Firesprite for several years, having previously advised them on a major publishing deal for the studio’s debut owned IP,The Persistence. She also advised the company on its exclusive licensing and worldwide distribution deal with SIE for the game’s launch on the PlayStation®VR platform.
Expert Opinion“The games industry is a vital cog in the North West economy and Firesprite’s long-standing relationship with SIE has always demonstrated the strength of our global reputation in this highly competitive and fast-moving sector.
“The association between the two businesses has over the years led to the development of some outstanding games, and now it has culminated in a major deal for the region. I’m delighted for Graeme and the team as Firesprite starts a new and exciting chapter.”
Laura Harper - Partner
The Leeds office of Dow Schofield Watts provided corporate finance advice to the founders.
Paul Herriott, Corporate Finance Director at Dow Schofield Watts said: “The evolution and growth at Firesprite over the last few years, that we have witnessed in working with the business, has been more than impressive. Firesprite is a clear strategic fit with Sony in a sector that has been incredibly active for investors and buyers. The transaction will undoubtedly fuel the next phase of growth for this great business.”