• Sun. Aug 1st, 2021

Sony buys ‘Returnal’ developer Housemarque

ByCandice Hansen

Jun 29, 2021
Sony buys 'Returnal' developer Housemarque

Sony has acquired Housemarque, the Helsinki-based studio behind PlayStation games including Returnal for the PS5, and arcade-style shooters like Super Stardust HD and Dead Nation. Financial details have not been disclosed. 

The move sees Sony Interactive Entertainment further bolstering its in-house gaming roster after previously snapping up Ratchet and Clank developer Insomniac Games in 2019. Before that, it acquired Horizon Zero Dawn developer Guerilla Games — whose former head Hermen Hulst is now the chief of PlayStation Studios — and Sucker Punch, the studio behind the critically acclaimed Japanese period epic Ghost of Tsushima.  

With the addition of Housemarque, Sony Interactive Entertainment now has 13 companies under its PlayStation Studios banner. The deal should help it to go toe-to-toe with Microsoft, which recently completed a massive acquisition itself by snagging Bethesda’s parent ZeniMax for $750 billion in order to beef up its Xbox Game Pass subscription service. 

After a run of classic PlayStation games, Housemarque recently reiterated its credentials with Returnal, a AAA sci-fi adventure for the PS5 that was greeted with widespread acclaim. Sony said that the studio’s day-to-day operations will continue to be run by its current management team with input from PlayStation Studios personnel.

“Housemarque has flexed its creative palette on a wide range of PlayStation games over the years that have continually showcased the power of our hardware,” said Jim Ryan, president and CEO, Sony Interactive Entertainment. “The addition of Housemarque to PlayStation Studios reiterates our commitment to elevating the best development teams in the industry and delivering new experiences that can only be found on the PlayStation platform.”

“After more than 15 years of successfully collaborating, we’re excited to amplify our potential even further and join PlayStation Studios,” said Ilari Kuittinen, co-founder and managing director, Housemarque. “Returnal is a testament to our strong relationship with PlayStation Studios and the organization believing in us to take a risk and give us the freedom to explore our creativity and develop something unique. We can’t wait to bring PlayStation fans more fresh, new experiences.”

The deal also makes sense based on Sony’s long-standing collaborative relationship with Housemarque. Several of the studio’s biggest games were PlayStation console exclusives, including Resogun, Alienation, Nex Machina and Matterfall. It will now be tasked with repeating that success under the PlayStation Studios banner.

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