Sony wants to acquire more game studios ahead of PS5 launch

Insomniac Games was just the entrée; Sony is hungry for more studios.

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The PlayStation 4 has been a massive success for Sony, and the company is looking to continue this growth through studio acquisitions in the lead up to the release of the PlayStation 5. This news comes from the Sony earnings call, where it was revealed that the company will look to “enhance content IP”.

This information comes courtesy of Twitter user, @Nibellion, who offered the following tweet.

 “Continue to pursue growth investment opportunities to enhance content IP,” is quite a business-like way of saying: purchase game studios to make first-party games. At least, that’s what’s implied.

It does however make sense. With the release of the PlayStation 5 coming next year, Sony will need to ensure a continual supply of games. An acquisition now could see new IPs releasing in 2021 or 2022. What’s more, Sony has already started the acquisition process.

It was only in August that Sony revealed the purchase of Insomniac Games, developers of the best-selling superhero game ever, Marvel’s Spider-Man. By having more studios creating games for your own platform, you can convince more players to purchase your next console.

PlayStation 4 Marvel's Spider-Man
Sony has recently acquired Insomniac Games, developers of Marvel's Spider-Man.

Sony is also aware that just because your console is currently leading the pack, doesn’t mean your next one will. In an interview with Wired, Jim Ryan, the CEO of Sony Interactive, stated, “The track record of the incumbent platform winning the next time around is not a great one. So the major thrust of my executive energy is to avoid complacency.”

This can be seen with the success of the PlayStation 2, then the dominance of the Xbox 360, followed by the pack-leading PlayStation 4. Because of this flip-flop, Sony doesn’t want to let their guard down. If history is anything to go on, Microsoft could come out on top with Project Scarlet.

PlayStation 4
While the PlayStation 4 has out-sold the Xbox One, the PlayStation 3 didn't do so well when lined up against the Xbox 360.

But, past performance is no guarantee of future results. This can be taken both ways. To ensure Sony maintains its momentum, acquiring studios is a no-brainer. By purchasing a studio, Sony ensures that any products created can only launch on its platform, and provided they’re as popular as Marvel’s Spider-Man, gamers will hand over their cash.

As for what companies Sony may acquire, it’s anyone’s guess. There are a lot of theories flying around, and a lot of wishing. Some Twitter users are suggesting Kojima Productions, From Software, and even Remedy Entertainment. All of these are good suggestions and more or less fit Sony’s history of creating engaging single-player content. But Sony could go the route of Nintendo and do something no one expects: acquire a company that’s known for making popular esports titles.

Optic Gaming Call of Duty
Esports is huge, and acquiring a studio that's capable of developing a competitive title would be an interesting move.

In an interview with Time in 2017, Jim Ryan revealed that Sony is paying close attention to esports. He goes so far as to state, “We’re trying to find precisely what the role of the platform holder is in that value chain. Seeing how we can actually make the whole eSports thing bigger, better, different and bespoke to PlayStation is something you’re going to be hearing quite a lot about in the next year or two.”

It’s now been two years since that comment, and with esports continuing to be an unstoppable force, Sony could very well be looking to enter, or support, the competitive scene. It would be a good move, especially given Microsoft’s Halo Infinite is due out next year, and Halo has always been an incredibly popular series for esports.

The PS5 is still a year away, give or take a month, but game creation is a long process. By acquiring studios now, Sony can offer players top-notch titles that can only be played on one device, the PlayStation 5.

Guides Editor

Hailing from the land down under, Sam Chandler is relatively new to the industry, getting his start a few years ago as a writer-for-hire. After bouncing round a few universities, securing a bachelor degree, and finding his feet, he's found his new family here at Shacknews as a Guides Editor. There's nothing he loves more than crafting a guide that will help someone. If you need help with a guide, or notice something not quite right, you can Tweet him: @SamuelChandler 

From The Chatty
  • reply
    October 31, 2019 8:00 PM

    Sam Chandler posted a new article, Sony wants to acquire more game studios ahead of PS5 launch

    • reply
      October 31, 2019 8:08 PM

      Little behind schedule methinks. MS looks to potentially have the better opening salvo for next gen.

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        October 31, 2019 8:59 PM

        I've got the same gut feeling, too. Though their launch line-up can't just be a bunch of re-releases.

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        November 1, 2019 1:02 AM

        Sony already have a lot of 1st party studios, don’t they? I can think of 5 or 10. I’m sure they have all been working on ps5 launch titles for years.

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          November 1, 2019 2:25 AM

          There is only 1 studio that matters tho...

        • Zek legacy 10 years
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          November 1, 2019 7:48 AM

          I don't know about that, cross-gen is the name of the game these days and everybody already has a PS4.

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      October 31, 2019 9:11 PM

      they should swing for the fences and buy 343 Industries

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      October 31, 2019 9:29 PM

      Quantic Dream’s 1st party contract with Sony ended this year after a decade. I’m not sure if SuperMassive was ever officially 1st party, but they’re definitely one Sony should grab if not.

      Keiichiro Toyama is Japan Studio with his own section and wants to work with the Remothered team, so I wouldn’t blink if they were quietly bought.

      I wouldn’t be surprised if Patrice Désilet might sell to Sony, now that Ancestors is out. Or DontNod, just so they have a French studio to replace QD.

      I could speculate more, but these seem like the most likely who would be cheap and yet useful and easily guided into a quality project by Sony production.

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      November 1, 2019 1:41 AM

      On one hand it can be good studios getting more money, but the whole exclusive trend and fandom is pretty frustrating. It's always kinda disappointing when Sony by a studio you like as at least with MS you know the games will still come out on PC.

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        November 1, 2019 2:53 AM

        Exclusives are what makes the console model tick, and the console market is what funds most game dev, so they seem like a necessary evil to me.

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          November 1, 2019 3:02 AM

          Well I'm appreciating MS's model at the moment and hoping they stick with it. Although I understand they're in a different position with effectively treating the PC as a console for them as well.
          But I at least would prefer people treat it as you suggested as a necessary evil rather than something to shill about.

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      November 1, 2019 3:52 AM

      I think Sony needs something to combat game pass, PS plus doesn’t cut it.

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        November 1, 2019 7:46 AM

        Game pass works because it’s not Xbox only. Where else is Sony going to put their games?

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          November 1, 2019 7:48 AM

          PC and streaming?

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            November 1, 2019 8:58 AM

            Streaming is obvious choice yes. Has any Sony studio game come to pc? That would mean porting PS services to PC as well.

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              November 1, 2019 9:12 AM

              https://thenextweb.com/gaming/2019/08/20/sony-boss-wants-to-bring-first-party-playstation-titles-to-pc/

              Sony relenting on cross play should be recognized as a big flag that their console lead allows them only so much leverage when attempting to dictate to their audience. So I don't think they have much choice, but also I don't think they need to really port all (or even most) of their services to other platform although they probably should.

              The industry is changing and they need to widen their audience. MS is way ahead of them on that respect, and the consequences of lagging behind MS on this front are far far greater than Sony lagging behind MS on stuff like XBL.

        • Zek legacy 10 years
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          November 1, 2019 7:51 AM

          I don't think that's why Game Pass works. I'd be curious to see the numbers on how many people pay to include PC Game Pass.

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            November 1, 2019 8:59 AM

            I bet the numbers of gears5 users via game pass as huge on PC.

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          November 1, 2019 8:39 AM

          Game pass was working long before it came to PC. My own anecdotal evidence is that parents with kids love it. My sister got it for her kids and there’s a sizable library and always something new for them to play without her shelling out $60 for one game.

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            November 1, 2019 9:01 AM

            I’d be interested to see what the spike in subscriptions was when they added ultimate and pc. I think it’s higher than most people guess.

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          November 1, 2019 9:09 AM

          I would be shocked if more than 10% of gamepass subscribers play games on both PC and console.

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        November 1, 2019 8:49 AM

        PSNow is the analogue, not PSPlus

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