Sony's acquisition strategy

Since MS bought Zenimax, Sony has gone on a buying spree. They have bought out Housemarque, Bluepoint, Nixxes, Firesprite, Fabrik Games, and Valkyrie Games. Bluepoint and Housemarque are traditional game studios, making new AAA or AA level games to market.

Nixxes are a traditional PC porting studio who Sony bought to help port their games to PC. Realistically, would Nixxes be able to handle all of Sony’s PC conversion work? I’m not aware of how much work is involved in this type of work compared to programing it for just the PS5 alone. In the Microsoft game studios, each individual studio develop their games in parallel for PC and console as opposed to having an individual studio that takes on that work. I can see the benefit in that the studios can just go hell for leather to produce the best game for PS5 alone, and then hand it over to another studio to worry about the conversion.

Firesprite, Fabik and Valkyrie are all studios that have done alot of contracting work as opposed to developing their own high quality IPs. At this point I’m not sure wether Sony have bought them just to be support studios to their other studios, or if Sony is going to get them to develop their own games. Firesprite/Fabrik are around 260 employees and Valkyrie are around 50-60.

So it’s an interesting direction that Sony have taken, and makes me wonder why they have. I would have thought they could have contracted out their PC conversion work rather than buy a fully staffed company with wages to pay regardless of the workload. It makes me think they have a shit ton of PC games they intend to convert. They must be going deep into their back catalogue of games to cash in on them. Games like Killzone, Infamous, GOW, TLOU etc. Personally I would have thought that they could have outsourced all that work and bought devs to bring new IPs to the table.

Then we have Valkyrie who have been a support studio, and I assume they will continue in this vein helping out all the other PS studios in finishing their games. Again, this is something that all companies do by bringing in contractors when they need them, and then get rid of them when it’s not so busy. Why do you think Sony bought them? I have heard it said that there is a squeeze on finding quality companies to bring in to help out, and that it keeps a better hand on stopping things from leaking. If there is a battle to get the time of quality studios to help out, maybe it was a smart move to buy a support studio. I don’t think they are any way big enough to supply all the support needed by the other Sony studios, so they will still have to outsource in the future.

Sony obviously know the economies of making a game, and I’m sure it makes sense money wise for them, it’s just a different direction than I expected. Maybe MS will follow suit. Apparently Valkyrie was a studio that both MS and Sony really valued as a support studio, and losing access to them will hurt MS. They were helping out with the new Forza MS game, so it might push back the game. Turn 10 isn’t a big studio, so even if 25 employees were working with Turn 10 on Forza, that’s 20-25% of their total workforce down in one hit. They now have to find another studio, tool them up and hope they are as good.

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Firesprite is working on a VR Wipeout and a VR Horizon game iirc .


They also signed up to do some work on Star Citizen in March. Not sure if they can get out of that contract or not.


Fwiw, Valkyrie did art support work. About 18 people there worked on Motorsport. Around 920 people worked on the game overall including another 7 support studios. While they will be missed, especially due to proximity to Turn10, MS will be just fine.

Sony is making acquisitions on the margins. They’re buying studios who were always going to make Playstation exclusives and buying support studios to make sure their big games release on time. Nothing they’ve done really changes much except make their development process more efficient.


This which is a good strategy in itself.


It is a good strategy but I don’t think it leads to many more exclusive games or franchises. It’s mainly to help their existing ones.

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Dont think Sony needs it at the moment cause their strategy hasn’t let them down yet.

Double down on what you own and partner for the other stuff.


The strategy:

“buy what we can afford”



The strategy:

Xbox either acquired or partnered with all of our first and second choices.

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Probably heresy for me to say this here, but I think Sony’s acquisitions so far have been smart choices, and will likely prove to be worthwhile investments for them.


Agreed. Housemarque and Bluepoint Games are the best two acquisitions thus far and the only ones I have any interest in. Nixxes Software is a great acquisition but will probably be for porting Sony’s first party exclusives to PC as im expecting them to expand greatly. Don’t care about Firesprite and Valkyrie Entertainment but overall, all five acquisitions definitely fit what Sony is doing.

That’s not to say MS’s acquisitions aren’t smart either. They just denied a whole console maker an entire publisher’s game catalog.

They are. They bolster their already strong 1st party output with 3 more studios that already make games for them and have brought in an expert pc porter and bought a support studio to keep all that in house.

2 different strategies than will prove successful for both.


I mean I dont think Microsoft’s intention with that purchase was to fuck Sony over that was just a side effect.


Yep. Zenimax was available for purchase and Microsoft simply outbid everyone else because they’re a perfect fit.

I only said it because there definitely seems to be some “copium” being spread around this thread/forum, and there are attempts at downplaying the significance of Sony’s acquisitions/strength of portfolio. That isn’t to say that Microsoft isn’t on their way to building a portfolio of similar/even greater strength, but rather, Sony’s portfolio has been proven over many years, whereas MS has yet to deliver consistently, year after year. 2021 was a great showing for Xbox, but 2022 looks a bit barren in terms of first-party content, especially in the face of a steady cadence of Horizon FW, God of War, GT7, Forspoken, etc. MS has insisted their acquisitions will continue, and Sony will likely continue making purchases, too.


It’s clear that Xbox’s grabs have been insane, but I agree downplaying Sony’s is a bit weird (to a degree, I get if you’re more concerned on the creative vision perspective).

I’ll be curious if any of the previous rumored studios ArcSystem, Avalanche, etc. will be coming to fruition from either side of the pond within the next year.

I would find downplaying their moves absurd in the same way a Sony fan would downplay Xbox acquisitions. Both make sense for their perspective needs/strategies and there is no “correct way” of doing things imo. Just different means.

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I think Sony moves get downplayed because it’s a response to doom and gloom because they are doing acquisitions and MS hasn’t lately.