After years of collaborating between the two companies, Sony has acquired Finnish game development studio Housemarque. The company has had a long history with PlayStation, with their most recent release being the PlayStation 5 exclusive Returnal. Along with Housemarque, Sony may potentially make another acquisition if a deleted tweet is anything to go by.
Welcome to the family, @Housemarque!
Developer of Returnal, Super Stardust, and Dead Nation is the newest member of PlayStation Studios. Full details: https://t.co/2QboOOzQ1r pic.twitter.com/1NXMw0cwXf — PlayStation (@PlayStation) June 29, 2021
The news was officially announced on Playstation Blog, welcoming the longtime collaborator to the PlayStation family. Head of PlayStation Studios Hermen Hulst writes in the post, “Housemarque’s recent release of Returnal proves the studio is one with incredible vision, capable of creating memorable new games that resonate with our community. This addition enhances the creative force of PlayStation Studios, and I cannot wait to see what the future holds for Housemarque.”
Ilari Kuittinen, the Co-founder and Managing Director at Housemarque, was quoted in the blog talking about his joy of the acquisition and what this means for Housemarque going forward. “This gives our studio a clear future and a stable opportunity to continue delivering on gameplay centric approaches, while still experimenting with new methods of narrative delivery and pushing the boundaries of this modern artform…With the backing of SIE and its family of studios supporting us, we can truly grow into our place in the industry and show what Housemarque can create with no limitations”
In an interview with GQ, Robert Leedman spoke to both Hulst and Kuittinen and what this acquisition means for the future of the companies plans. Kuittinen, when asked about how Sony will help them lift their current limitations, said “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.”
While both Sony and Microsoft have been acquiring many studios over the years, Hermen Hulst has said to GQ that he does not feel it is an “arms race”, stating “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”.
While the acquisition of Housemarque stole headlines today, there is also news of another potential Sony acquisition in the works. If a deleted tweet is any indication, Sony will also be acquiring game studio Bluepoint Games. The studio, known for its high-quality remakes and remasters, has most recently worked on the PlayStation 5 exclusive remake of Demon’s Souls. They too have worked with PlayStation on numerous occasions, with games such as their remake of Shadow of the Colossus, Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection, and Gravity Rush: Remastered among others.
..so apparently PlayStation Japan uploaded the wrong image with their first tweet on Housemarque’s acquisition, and it actually mentions a Bluepoint acquisition pic.twitter.com/yQBHtLbG5c
— Nibel (@Nibellion) June 29, 2021
The tweet, which was deleted and since verified by Twitter user Nibel, was posted by PlayStation Japan. While the tweet was actually announcing the Housemarque acquisition, the picture that was uploaded instead featured Bluepoint Games. The picture also happens to show the Demon’s Souls art in it next to Returnal, unlike the Housemarque announcement tweet, furthering the validity of this speculation.
While this may not have been how Sony wanted the news to get out, this should not take away from the hard work that all three companies have put in to deliver such great games. Congratulations are in order for all parties involved, as these acquisitions are sure to improve the quality of many games moving forward.