Sony Corporation has revealed in its annual report for 2020 that its Interactive Entertainment arm will continue to invest in and acquire video game developers while strengthening partnerships with third party studios.
As of May 2020, Sony Worldwide Studios owns 14 developers and it wants more companies with “abundant creativity and cutting-edge technologies.” Sony mentioned its acquisition of Insomniac Games as an example of this strategy. The report reads:
Game titles are the primary content IP for Game & Network Services. First-party titles, developed and sold by the platform owner, are particularly important as content IP for future value-creation and earnings. In addition to improving the personnel and work environment in its own studios, Sony Interactive Entertainment (SIE) continues to invest in, or acquire, firms with abundant creativity and cutting-edge technologies to build up Worldwide Studios (WWS), an association of first-party title production studios. Most recently, in August 2019 it acquired Insomniac Games, a longtime Sony partner that has developed many hit titles. As of May 31, 2020, WWS owns 14 studios and has become one of the world’s leading game developer networks. With hit series like The Last of Us, God of War, and Uncharted, it is a strong engine for content IP production.
Third-party titles, meaning IP developed by game software developers outside the Sony Group, also play an important role in indirectly enhancing the appeal of the PlayStation Platform and its user community. Sony offers various forms of assistance, such as sharing its libraries and providing technical support to creators, including independent studios, to facilitate the best game-development environment possible.
The report adds credence to rumors that Sony is aggressively pursuing major third party deals for the PlayStation 5.