PlayStation Boss Says Sony Could Buy More Studios

PlayStation head Jim Ryan says the plan is to grow its studios organically, but mergers and acquisitions aren't off the table.

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Sony's PlayStation division is considering the possibility of purchasing more game studios as it looks ahead to the future of PlayStation 5. The comment came from PlayStation boss Jim Ryan, who hinted at the strategy as one way Sony could grow its first-party studio output. Ryan told Reuters that the company plans to grow its studios organically, but added that "where we can bolster our in-house capability with selective M&A [mergers and acquisitions] that might be possible."

In the same interview, Ryan said that the company is seeing "very considerable" demand, but is aiming to get enough stock on store shelves to meet that demand. He said that it's possible that some people who want to buy on launch day won't be able to find it.

Sony could be eyeing the acquisition strategy as it seeks to more directly compete with Microsoft, which has had a series of high-profile acquisitions in the last few years. In 2018 alone, Microsoft acquired Ninja Theory, Playground Games, Undead Labs, Compulsion Games, inXile, and Oblivion. In 2019 it acquired Double Fine, and most recently it acquired the entire ZeniMax/Bethesda portfolio. All of this seems aimed at making its first-party offerings--and its Game Pass subscription service--a force to be reckoned with.

Sony has been less quick to snatch up studios. Its latest high-profile acquisition was in 2019, when it purchased Insomniac, the studio behind the Ratchet & Clank series and Spider-Man. Prior to this, Insomniac had primarily worked with Sony on exclusives, but there had been some exceptions. Sunset Overdrive, for instance, was only released on Xbox One at launch, and the failed Fuse was multi-platform.

However, in recent years it has also seen a few different studios shut their doors. These include Guerrilla Cambridge, which developed the VR game Rigs: Mechanized Combat League. Evolution Studios, which created Driveclub, was closed a year earlier.

PlayStation 5 is releasing on November 12. For more details, check out our hands-on PS5 preview, along with our PS5 preorder guide.

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