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Sony’s $229 Million Splurge is Small Change for PS4’s Spider-Man

Last Updated September 23, 2020 1:34 PM
Thomas Bardwell
Last Updated September 23, 2020 1:34 PM
  • Sony acquired Insomniac Games for $229 million, mainly in cash.
  • Marvel’s Spider-Man brought in nearly 200 million in the first three days after release.
  • Sony secured a bargain compared to other high-profile studio acquisitions.

Sony Interactive Entertainment spent $229 million to acquire Insomniac Games according to details in a quarterly securities report filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission yesterday .

$229 Million For Spider-Man Developer

The pertinent passage reads;

Sony Interactive Entertainment LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary in the Game & Network Services (“G&NS”) segment of Sony, completed the acquisition of Insomniac Games, Inc. (“Insomniac Games”), a game developer. The consideration for this acquisition of 24,895 million yen (229 million U.S. dollars) was mainly paid in cash.

The acquisition of the studio took place last August . It brought to an end Insomniac Game’ 25-year stint as an independent studio where it developed games such as Ratchet & Clank, Spyro The Dragon, and Sunset Overdrive. The phenomenal success of Marvel’s Spider-Man is arguably what prompted Sony to take the plunge and buy Insomniac.

Sony's $229 M Studio Deal's Small Change for PS4's Spider-Man
Source: Insomniac Games

The PlayStation 4 exclusive immediately rose to the top of the charts, selling 3.3 million units in the first three days after release when it launched on Sept. 7, 2018 . Marvel’s Spider-Man broke records and became the best-selling first-party title ever ousting God of War from the top spot.

Estimates taking into account the $60 retail price suggest the game brought in $198 million in that time frame alone.

By the end of November 2019, the game had sold over 9 million copies worldwide . As of July 28, 2019, Sony had shipped 13.2 million copies worldwide. Price reductions, console bundles, and sales make calculating the total revenue difficult. Nevertheless, it is presumably approaching half a billion dollars. Sony has understandably refused to publish exact numbers.

A Bargain

With that figure in mind, the $229 million appears relatively low. Sony picked up Insomniac Games on the cheap. It’s not unreasonable to speculate that Sony would have raised the sum, – and more – as the publisher of Marvel’s Spider-Man.

To highlight Sony’s bargain buy, Microsoft acquired Rare for an estimated $375 million  back in 2002. In November 2017, Electronic Arts brought up Respawn Entertainment of Titanfall fame with a deal amounting to as much as $455 million  (dependent on hitting target incentives).