Sony buys Housemarque: ‘Returnal’ developer studio becomes part of PlayStation Studios

‘Returnal’ has been one of the most popular games of the first half of the year. While it is true that the PS5 exclusive catalog still has (a lot) room for growth, the title developed by Housemarque It was one of the great bombings of 2021. Sony seems to have liked the result so much that Housemarque has bought it and integrated it into PlayStation Studios.

This has been assured by the Japanese company through the official PlayStation blog. In the publication, Hermen Hulst, Head of World Studies at SIE, assures that the study has “an incredible vision“and that it is” capable of creating new memorable games that resonate with our community. “They further state that” this addition enhances the creative force of PlayStation Studios. “

When betting big works out

The Housemarque case is interesting. The studio has just 80 employees according to his LinkedIn profile, a figure that, to put it in context, is not even close to the more than 275 employees of Insomniac Games or the 360 ​​employees of Guerrilla Games, both part of PlayStation Studios.

Its catalog of games is relatively scarce, with Superdust HD and Outland being two of its main exponents, although their sales weren’t as good as they expected. What’s more, Housemarque came to recognize that if they couldn’t sell a multiplayer project to a publisher, “maybe we would have to close the deal soon.

The ‘Returnal’ proposal was risky. Housemarque wanted to bring 2D arcade gameplay to a third-person shooter and that’s not easy. Ilari Kuittinen, CEO of the company, explained on the official website of the study, that “we were not sure if we would be able to pass the prototyping phase and convince Sony to finance us a new concept, which has not been tested. The concept was absurdly ambitious, and looking back, we hadn’t fully appreciated the challenge ahead and how difficult it was going to be to tackle. “

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‘Returnal’.

“In this age where publishers are taking fewer and fewer creative risks, we are truly grateful to our publishing partner Sony, for giving us the opportunity to work on something very risky, and for providing us with fantastic support throughout. the whole project “- Ilari Kuittinen, CEO of Housemarque.

However, ‘Returnal’ came out round. The review was very positive and the game worked perfectly.. Sony, which knows that the key to its success is in the exclusives, has not wanted to miss the opportunity to integrate Housemarque into PlayStation Studios. And it makes sense, because the ambition of the Finns (Helsinki-based Housemarque) is clear: they want to make bigger games.

According to the CEO of the company, ‘Returnal’ “consolidated our voice and brand in the industry.” Sony’s purchase “gives our studio a clear future and a stable opportunity to continue to deliver game-centric approaches. “” With the backing of SIE and its family of studies supporting us, we can truly grow our place in the industry and show what Housemarque can create without limitations, “concludes Kuittinen.

More information | PlayStation

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