Sony has said that it is open to buying more game developers, after purchasing Ratchet and Clank and Marvel’s Spider-Man developer Insomniac Games in August 2019. The purchase also made Sony the owner of Sunset Overdrive, a game that had been published by Microsoft as an Xbox One exclusive.
Speaking to GamesIndustry.biz, PlayStation CEO and president Jim Ryan confirmed that the company is “always looking” at which developers it could purchase, but it is “careful about who we look at and talk to.”
Buying studios right now is a very expensive undertaking. It is most definitely a seller’s market. There is room for us to do more in that area, but we have to make sure that the company is right.
Sony hasn’t been a slouch when it comes to buying game developers, with Insomniac Games now its 14th internal studio. It also owns The Last of Us and Uncharted series developer Naughty Dog and God of War dev Santa Monia Studios. Horizon Zero Dawn developer Guerrilla Games and inFamous developer Sucker Punch Productions, working on the highly-anticipated Ghosts of Tsushima, are owned by Sony too. This has allowed the company to release hugely successful, high-quality PS4 exclusives which have helped to make the console the second best selling game console in history.
However, Sony faces a far bigger challenge with the PlayStation 5. Microsoft, which has been criticized for not releasing many exclusives, has been buying studios too. Hellblade developer Ninja Theory is just one of several companies that Microsoft now owns. Google has been spending on buying developers too. The battle-lines for the next generation of console wars are already being drawn.