PlayStation considering studio acquisitions, says CEO

“Content is more important than ever before”

Sony Interactive Entertainment (SIE) is considering studio acquisitions as it looks to grow its first-party development capabilities.

With the company gearing up to release PlayStation 5 and Google set to enter the market with cloud gaming platform Stadia in November, SIE president and CEO Jim Ryan told Nikkei exclusive “content is more important than ever before”.

With that in mind, he said mergers and acquisitions are being considered to grow the PlayStation Worldwide Studios operation, which currently consists of 13 development houses across Europe, the US and Japan.

“We have been in the game business for 25 years and have big assets,” Ryan said.

“It will be difficult for new entrants to have such a production company or title.”

Announcing Stadia in March, Google said it’s working on exclusive games for the platform at a new first-party studio, Stadia Games and Entertainment, which is headed by industry veteran Jade Raymond.

“We have been in the game business for 25 years and have big assets…  It will be difficult for new entrants to have such a production company or title.”

Microsoft has also invested heavily in first-party studios over the last few years, giving the company more time to focus on delivering quality products, according to Xbox head Phil Spencer.

Xbox Game Studios is now 15-strong, and Spencer said this month there may be more acquisitions to come – he’d like to purchase a Japanese studio – as Microsoft’s CEO and CFO “see gaming as an important growth category”.

“As the subscriptions grow and reach more customers, I do think it’s important for us to continue to invest in content,” he said. “It’s not every year that we’ll add seven new studios, but I do think us looking at specific targets that we need is important.

“I think it would be nice if we found an Asian studio, in particular a Japanese studio, to add [to our studios]. I liked it when we had some first-party capability in Japan. We have a small team there, but I think we can do more.”