Jim Ryan confirms Sony ‘has more studio acquisitions planned’
Exec argues not adopting Game Pass-style strategy is allowing it to invest in M&A activity
PlayStation boss Jim Ryan has confirmed that Sony has more acquisitions planned, beyond its recent buyouts of Bungie and Haven.
Sony announced the acquisition of Monreal, Canada-based Haven last month, which takes PlayStation’s internal studios to more than 18 developers.
The move follows the company’s recent acquisitions of Destiny creator Bungie, Demon’s Souls studio Bluepoint Games, Returnal developer Housemarque, PC port specialist Nixxes Software, and Firesprite, a UK-based developer established by former members of SIE Studio Liverpool.
And speaking on the latest PlayStation podcast, SIE president Ryan confirmed that the platform holder is working on further deals to buy developers.
“We’re in a really good place with PlayStation Studios and have been for the past few years. The critical success and the commercial success of the games that they’ve been making… that has given us permission to invest heavily in content creation.”
He added: “We’re growing our studios organically and we’re growing through acquisition. We acquired five studios during the course of 2021, we’re in discussions with Bungie and we have more planned. This is getting us into a virtuous cycle where success begets success.”
The exec went on to reiterate why Sony has decided not to include day one releases in its new subscription offering, like Xbox Game Pass does, claiming that such a setup would damage the quality of its games.
“The games that we make are getting bigger; they’re getting better, they’re getting more beautiful, they’re getting richer, the narrative is getting stronger… this is really great and gamers tell us this is what they really want from PlayStation.
“Now, I have to say, putting these games into a subscription service immediately upon their release would break this virtuous circle, and we wouldn’t be able to invest in the way that we’re currently able to. So we’re not doing it. We’re going to stick to the approach that we have and has served us well under many years now.”
M&A activity in the games industry hit a record $85 billion in 2021 and has been forecast to reach $150 billion this year, with huge deals such as Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard and Take-Two’s buyout of Zynga having already been announced in 2022’s opening months.
Outside of studio acquisitions, Sony has been investing in PS5 exclusives through partnerships with several promising independent studios.
It has signed an original multiplayer project from Firewalk, a new studio founded by Bungie veterans, and will publish the debut title from Deviation Games, a studio headed up by former Call of Duty veterans Dave Anthony and Jason Blundell.