PlayStation's studio acquisitions aren't surprising, but they are smart - Dexerto
Opinion

PlayStation’s studio acquisitions aren’t surprising, but they are smart

Published: 30/Sep/2021 19:24

by Lloyd Coombes

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With Sony’s confirmation of Bluepoint Games joining PlayStation Studios, the publisher has bolstered its lineup in smart, albeit predictable ways.

Last year, Microsoft dropped a sizeable bombshell on the gaming industry when it confirmed it had purchased Bethesda’s parent company, Zenimax, for the princely sum of $7.5 billion. Adding a string of developers to Xbox Game Studios, including the likes of id Software, Arkane, and plenty more, it was seen as Microsoft committing to gaming after an underwhelming generation of console sales.

It also provided a suitable endcap to a shopping spree that saw the company snap up the likes of Ninja Theory, Double Fine, and Obsidian. While many of those teams are now working on Xbox exclusive titles, Sony instead sought to strengthen its existing relationships – and the newly announced acquisition of Bluepoint Games is further proof that Sony is making shrewd moves.

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PlayStation Studios – the best of friends

Horizon Forbidden West
Guerilla Games/PlayStation
Forbidden West may be launching on PS4 as well, but it’s a huge title for Sony’s 2022 lineup regardless

While the PlayStation 4 generation was inarguably a hugely successful one for the Japan-based firm, it appears it has sights on making PlayStation 5’s life cycle even more impressive.

While many will argue with the plan to release upcoming heavy-hitters like Horizon: Forbidden West and God of War: Ragnarok on last-gen hardware, they’re just two titles in an upcoming wave.

Gran Turismo 7, Spider-Man 2, and the ever-expanding Dreams offer a tantalizing future of known projects, but there’s yet more to come.

We still don’t know what Naughty Dog, Team Asobi, or Sucker Punch are up to – a trio of studios with decades of experience between them.

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New (old) faces in Sony’s lineup

Demon's Souls Remake
Bluepoint Games/PlayStation
Sony’s acquisition of Bluepoint is exciting – whether they work on new IP or more remakes

Onto the newcomers, then, and each has exciting potential. Housemarque, previously known for its commitment to arcade games, hit AAA in its own swaggering, uncompromising style with Returnal – one of this year’s finest titles.

Speaking of uncompromising, Bluepoint Games’ revitalized Demon’s Souls still represents one of the PS5’s best action games almost a year on from launch. After its excellent remake projects prior to tackling the FromSoft classic, Sony has a huge feather in its cap – with a wealth of IP to work with. Bluepoint, on the other hand, gains a publisher willing to experiment, offering fertile ground for new IP incubation.

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Then there are the two surprises, Nixxes and Firesprite. The former has a history of porting games to PC, helping longstanding IP reach a new audience, while the latter’s phenomenal VR offering The Persistence showcases a team capable of harnessing exciting new tech – ideal for Sony’s next VR platform.

All of this is to say that, while Microsoft may have picked up multiple quality studios, it’s clear that Sony understands its premium array of IP, and is poised to push them even further this generation.

It’s a hell of a time to be a gamer, that’s for sure.

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