PlayStation manufacturer Sony “is open to further studio acquisitions” in order to help bolster its first-party video game output as the next console generation approaches. This news follows the August 2019 announcement that Sony had acquired Marvel’s Spider-Man developer Insomniac Games after more than two decades of collaboration on exclusive franchises like Ratchet & Clank and Resistance.
During a second-quarter (Q2) earnings call on October 30th, 2019, Sony senior EVP and CFO Hiroki Totoki suggested that additional similar purchases could follow suit. This would serve to build upon the existing 14 studios that comprise the geographically diverse PlayStation Worldwide Studios.
Totoki acknowledged that “Sony’s strength lies in our first-party content and IP,” going on to state that the Japanese company’s decision to buy Insomniac was ultimately based upon “the aim of strengthening these.” The Marvel’s Spider-Man studio will apparently “contribute to further enhancement of [PlayStation] first-party software,” though may not be the last developer to do so.
Totoki claims that Sony will “continue to pursue growth investment opportunities that will enhance our own content IP” moving forward. With next-generation PlayStation 5 hardware due out in holiday 2020, that means we could start seeing announcements regarding new game developers joining PlayStation Worldwide Studios sooner rather than later.
Whether Sony will choose to go as big on the venture as Microsoft has—adding the likes of Ninja Theory (Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice), Obsidian Entertainment (The Outer Worlds), and Tim Schafer’s Double Fine Productions (Psychonauts) to its Xbox Game Studios umbrella—remains to be seen.
Regardless, a stronger first-party portfolio can only help the PS5 (and perhaps even PlayStations 6 through 10) in the long run. They’ll have a fair way to go in order to beat out PlayStation 4 sales, however, which recently surpassed 102.8 million units worldwide to position the home console as the second-best ever in terms of sales.
Perhaps this means we’ll also see more games added to Sony’s PlayStation Now streaming service, which just hit the 1 million subscriber milestone.