Sony Buys Housemarque, the Developers of Returnal

Sony just bought Housemarque, the Helsinki-based studio behind the PS5-exclusive roguelike shooter title, Returnal.

Perhaps to no one's surprise, Sony has made a move to acquire Housemarque, just months after the successful release of the studio's PS5-exclusive roguelike shooter title, Returnal.

Housemarque is the 13th company under the PlayStation Studios banner.

The studio, which is based in Helsinki, Finland, is behind the likes of Super Stardust HD and Dead Nation. As already mentioned, Housemarque was also the studio that developed Returnal. The PS5-exclusive title currently holds an 86% rating on Metacritic. It also sold favorably despite the criticism on its difficulty and the lack of a save feature.

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Sony Buys Housemarque to Bolster its In-House Roster

Housemarque isn't known for AAA titles. It'll be interesting to see what the studio has planned next after Returnal.

Sony Interactive Entertainment now has the most robust in-house roster in the industry.

In recent years, it has moved to acquire the likes of Insomniac Games (Ratchet and Clank, Marvel's Spider-Man), Guerilla Games (Horizon, Killzone), and Sucker Punch (Ghost of Tsushima). This gives Sony access to an enviable lineup of exclusive games from first-party studios.

Sony now houses a total of 13 different studios under the PlayStation Studios banner. This should give the console manufacturer more than enough firepower to take on Microsoft after its recent ZeniMax acquisition.

Housemarque doesn't necessarily have the same pedigree as the other studios that Sony has acquired in recent years, but it does have a longstanding history with Sony. It's developed and released exclusive titles like Matterfall, Alienation, Resogun, and Nex Machina. However, these games were not necessarily considered AAA titles.

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Having said that, Returnal proved that Housemarque has the necessary development chops to work on a AAA title. The game was notable for its gameplay mechanics, fast-paced shooting action, and ending.

According to the official announcement, Housemarque will continue to run as-is. The studio will also receive input directly from PlayStation Studios personnel.

Neither Sony nor Housemarque has disclosed the terms of the acquisition.

What's Next for Sony?

Returnal is easily one of the more underrated games to release in 2021.

Sony's next moves have been the subject of a multitude of rumors in recent weeks. In particular, speculation is rife about the next State of Play showcase. Many believe that it's only a matter of time before Sony comes out and provides fans with an update om the many exclusives that it has in development, including the next God of War game and Horizon Forbidden West.

As for acquisitions, Sony has long been rumored to be working on acquiring Bluepoint Games.

The Austin-based studio specializes in remasters and remakes of classic titles. Since 2015, Bluepoint has worked on PlayStation-exclusive ports and remakes such as 2020's Demons Souls. It would be a surprise if Sony doesn't acquire Bluepoint within the next year.

At the moment, fans are waiting for Sony to announce its free game lineup for PlayStation Plus subscribers this July.

Ray Ampoloquio
Ray is based in the Philippines. He is a lifelong gamer and a PC hardware enthusiast. He builds and repairs laptops and computers for friends and family in his spare time. You can find Ray on Twitter.