Sony’s late acquisition of Housemarque today has opened up speculation about an impending ‘arms race’ between the titans of the industry, but PlayStation Studios boss Hermen Hulst doesn’t see it that way. Despite Microsoft’s relatively recent takeover of Bethesda , the Japanese giant believes today’s news is a natural extension of a long-standing allegiance to developer Returnal, which dates back to the days of the PS3.
“We’re very selective about which developers we bring,” Hulst told GQ, referring to his purchase of Insomniac Games in 2019 – another long-term partner dating back to Spyro the Dragon on PS1. “I’m always on the lookout for people who have similar values, similar creative ambitions and who work very well with our team in whom we can invest more and help grow as designers. It’s not like we’re doing random acquisitions.
Hulst added: “These are very, very targeted acquisitions of teams that we know well. The collaboration between our external development group and Housemarque on the technical side, the production management and even the creative side has been so deep. So for us, it makes so much sense to do that. “
So why did it take so long? “Obviously, it’s not something you do overnight. [Co-founder Ilari Kuittinen] and my team have been working on this for quite a while, but obviously we didn’t want to distract the Housemarque core group who are working to get this amazing title [Returnal] out. “
Rumor has it that PlayStation will officially announce its imminent acquisition of Bluepoint, which is another team that aligns with Hulst’s comments. Although it has developed multi-format versions in the past, Sony has repeatedly contracted the Texas-based studio to work on some of its most prestigious intellectual property, culminating in the Demon’s Souls remake which was released exclusively for PS5 at the end of last year.