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This morning, it’s been announced that Sony has acquired Housemarque, developer of Returnal, and after a quickly-deleted tweet by Sony Japan, they’ve probably also acquired Bluepoint as well, a developer who worked on the recent successful reinvention of Demon’s Souls for PS5.
While these purchases aren’t on the scale of Microsoft buying Bethesda (nothing really is), they are regardless extremely smart, logical acquisitions for Sony, two proven developers that will now be added to Sony’s best-in-class roster of first party studios.
Housemarque deeply impressed this year with Returnal, an evolution in scale of its past games like Resogun, and it was received extremely well by both critics and fans for the most part. But Housemarque has been at this for 26 years, and it’s a well-earned honor. Full backing from Sony likely means larger projects and fewer limits, and it’s going to be interesting to see what they’re able to come up with next after Returnal.
Bluepoint is an even more logical choice for Sony, given their long, long history with the company. Bluepoint has worked tirelessly on adaptations of many of Sony’s classics, remasters of God of War, Ico, Shadow of the Colossus, Uncharted, Gravity Rush and most recently, Demon’s Souls They have pretty much been doing nothing but remastering games for Sony or porting Sony games to Xbox for a decade now, with their one interim project working on PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale with SuperBot (that game had so much potential). The first thing I heard when the Housemarque news was breaking was people saying “but what about Bluepoint?” But that seems to be happening at the same time, and Sony Japan just jumped the gun with the announcement a little. Not sure what happened there.
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We don’t know the price tags for any of these deals, but for reference, when Sony bought Insomniac Games outright a few years ago, they paid $229 million. When Microsoft bought Bethesda, that was $7.1 billion, several orders of magnitude higher, and yet with a massive stable of IPs coming with it. It’s a bit apples and oranges, and Sony, as a company, is likely just not in a position to pay something like that for a studio like that, not that there are even all that many of that size left for potential pickup.
These kinds of purchases, Housemarque and Bluepoint, make a ton of sense for Sony, given their history, their size and their quality. Looking forward to seeing what they do with both in the future.
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