By now, you must have heard that Sony Interactive Entertainment has acquired Returnal developer Housemarque. Naturally, both the companies are quite excited about this acquisition and it will help Housemarque go big with their creative vision and PS5 fans can expect great things from them in future.
Now the question is, does this mean acquisition that Microsoft and Sony are in an Arms race to acquire game development studios? Hermen Hulst, the head of PlayStation Studios had this to say to answer this question:
No, not at all. We’re very selective about the developers that we bring in. Our last new acquisition was Insomniac [for $229 million in 2019], which has worked out very well. I’m always looking for people that have a similar set of values, similar creative ambitions and work very well with our team that we can further invest in and help grow as creators. It’s not like we’re going around and just making random acquisitions.
They’re very, very targeted acquisitions of teams that we know well. The amount of collaboration between our external development group and Housemarque on the technical side, the production management side and even on the creative side has been so deep. So for us, it just makes so much sense to do that.
Obviously, this is not something you do overnight. Ilari and my team have been working on this for quite a while, but we obviously didn’t want to distract the core group at Housemarque that’s been working to get this amazing title out.
So no, it’s not an “Arms Race” apparently and Sony Interactive Entertainment’s acquiring process is quite specific that is based on “similar creative ambitions”.
Furthermore, Ilari Kuittinen, Housemarque’s co-founder and managing director said that they decided to PlayStation Studios now because Sony seemed the best partner for them for their creative vision:
That’s certainly the right conclusion there. I think Sony is the partner that’s best positioned to help develop even further. Let’s face it, these are some of the best game developers in the world. So we’re really proud to be part of that group and hope to collaborate and learn from them.
For now, Ilari didn’t reveal anything about their next project. However, they seem quite motivated about it. Housemarque obviously is quite a talented studio and now with Sony’s backing, PlayStation fans can expect big things from them.