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Sony Bought Media Molecule; Microsoft Should Buy Epic Games

In recent news Media Molecule, the once independent studio and developer of LittleBigPlanet, was acquired by Sony for an undisclosed amount. Many hailed the move as a great one by Sony, because now the only Platforms we'll ever play said title and the others the studio will undoubtedly forge will be Sony's.

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tdrules2832d ago

Dear the guy who wrote this,
Did you play Unreal Tourney games?
If so, you wouldn't even consider that thought.

Cajun Chicken2832d ago (Edited 2832d ago )

UT and Unreal are the best franchises out of Epic, I have all UT games, I was even happy to 'upgrade' from UT2K3 to UT2K4...save for Unreal 2 and UTIII anyway.
Man, I wish they just went back to doing those and actually make the games the engines ACTUALLY NAMED AFTER but like, didn't Digital Extremes actually do most the work in the UT series?

And no. Epic WON'T sell out to MS...have you seen the middleware monopoly they have?!?

JasonPC360PS3Wii2832d ago

Epic also makes Gears of War. Anyway it's a sure bet MS will buy Epic even Epic has hinted at it before.

callahan092832d ago

Epic is a humongous company with hundreds of millions of dollars in value from their engine lincensing, whereas Media Molecule is a pretty small developer. Sony buying MM made sense, but MS buying Epic? I dunno. I mean they would benefit from that, sure, but Epic would cost way too much money. Then again, MS isn't exactly shy with their checkbook.

morganfell2832d ago

The entire idea is a joke. As Mark Rein said was "Epic is a billion dollar company."

We were in the Epic private booth several times at GDC and it was always busy. Microsoft is a big company but quite frankly they can't afford Epic. Remember, it is MS that caters to Epic, not the other way around.

U3 still looks great...but they can't touch the new stuff that Crytek is doing. It wouldn't help MS either since even the Crytek team openly acknowledged on the show floor that the PS3 easily possesses the noticeable edge with CryEngine 3.

RememberThe3572832d ago

Epic's Unreal Engine is worth hundreds of millions of dollars that would be immediately cut off if MS bought them. MS buying Ruffian or Realtime Worlds would make way more sense.

xTruthx2832d ago (Edited 2832d ago )

Jason, Epic didn't get their recognition by gears. The UT franchise and UE is what made epic what it is 2day, 2bad they fudged the UT series with UT3

Neo6042832d ago

thier resource is on advertises, DLC, time exclusive, and Natal.

blu_yu_away2832d ago

MS wouldn't pony up the cash to buy Bioware. No way in hell would they spend the cash necessary to buy epic.

presto7172832d ago

They prefer exclusive DLC

Cajun Chicken2832d ago

I know Epic make Gears of War. I'm just ignoring it because the franchise is a huge overrated backwards step for Epic.

sikbeta2832d ago (Edited 2832d ago )

For the guys wishing [?] for this to happen, let me tell You That IS NOT Gonna Happen

UE is the most used by Devs, Epic not only sell the license (I Heard somewhere that the UE3 license Cost 250k), they also get paid with a Percentage of the sales, this in case if Some Dev Create a Game that become a hit and Epic has its Own Games too, so they're Not Desperate...

Comparing The Situation of MM, an "Small" and "Young" Dev with Epic a Big, independent and the Absolute Owner of the [Unreal Engine] which is used for the Majority of Devs, is Just Stupid and Delusional

@morganfell

Add to that the Fact that Crytek is invading Epic territory, they even go to Universities "sharing" the Code to "enthusiasts" aka the Next Gen of Independent Devs

Megaton2832d ago (Edited 2832d ago )

Exactly. UT, their best franchise, doesn't even work well on consoles. Even with PS3 mod support it failed. That's almost like saying they should buy Valve because they've ported some of their games to the 360.

You can really tell who just started gaming on the 360 when you see people talking about Gears as Epic's claim to fame.

badz1492832d ago

for what? so that they can add up another douchebag in their line up of exec? good luck with trying though!

morganfell2832d ago

Sibeta,

Every U3 license has a different cost. They (Epic) look at the size of your company, the number of units you are going to ship, the size of the project, etc etc. They have several options. You could even get the license, full dev support, up front at no cost and then when the product ships pay a lesser fee along with a percentage of profits. Epic is very flexible so there isn't a hard line number for license costs.

baum2832d ago

Media Molecule does not make middleware for other third parties and is not as big as Epic. Sony buying Media Molecule was good for the industry. So the question left to ask is, is the writer a fanboy, a gamer or an armchair economist? I would say he is most likely the first, because if he was the second he would like Microsoft to buy smaller indies, and if he was the third he would be an idiot considering Epic makes sh1tloads of money from other sources; Microsoft would have to pay that price, and yet Microsoft would never be able to extract that much value from buying Epic at that price, considering Epic would become exclusive and Microsoft is not interested in making multiplatform engines. Seriously, retarded article.

What is it with all the low quality retarded submissions lately?

2832d ago
sikbeta2832d ago (Edited 2832d ago )

@morganfell

Thanks for clarify that for me, but you know how much cost for a Middle-not-so-Big Dev and already Established, some pals and me were talking about that cuz I was really interested, the other dudes only want to mess around with the Engine (lol) and some independent dude at some Independent-Dev-Forum was talking about $250k, maybe the guy has a big gaming company and I never noticed, he also told me that the CryENGINE was/is the Most Expensive Engine, the guy was talking about [000000] @[email protected]

40cal2832d ago

If Microsoft bought Epic that would take away from there marketing budget. The Xbox division ran away from developing in house/ 1st party, (We all watched the studios close one buy one) what makes anyone think they are going to pull a 180 in the middle of this gen.

And congrats to Sony and Media Molecule, I am looking forward to what this relationship can bring me entertainment wise.

lelo2play2832d ago (Edited 2832d ago )

In all honesty Sony is doing a good job in acquiring these software companies, increasing their 1st party studios, not being dependent on 3rd party. Microsoft should do the same thing. What's been happening the last few years is the exact opposite. Microsoft is disbanding/selling their studios (Ensemble, Bungie, etc), which leds me to believe that maybe Microsoft is not thinking of releasing a new Xbox in the future, and getting out of the console business at the end of the X360 cycle. That would be bad. More competition, the better it is for the consumer. Less competition, the worser it is for the consumer.

morganfell2832d ago (Edited 2832d ago )

CryEngine3 is expensive. We are using it right now. But it has mindblowing tools and the advancements the public hasn't seen are just ridiculously next, next gen.

But Unreal 3 can be remarkable. I would suggest you prototype a level of a game as a U3 mod. Also put together your design docs (think New York telephone directory) and story boards for your full game. Get a Steam developers account - it doesn't cost anything. You can actually test your game on Steam for free and it costs nothing until you release. Steam handles all of the transaction issues for you. You pay them a very reasonable percentage. At this point you have your prototype level (If it is SP/MP game you need one level of each), you have your Steam dev account and you have your design docs. Get two guys to E3 or GDC Austin and ask to Speak to Mark (they don't like bringing people to Cary and don't talk to anyone else but Mark Rein) You will be surprised what kind of deal he will cut.

And Epic always has beer in their private booth...

http://i39.photobucket.com/...

cloud 2792832d ago

Epic is as big as Valve. Also please note Epic owns 2 more developers People Can Fly and Chair Entertainment. If MS were to buy Epic, MS would have to buy the above mentioned devs. Even though these devs are small they are assets to Epic and has driven up the price of Epic. Also Epic has the Unreal Engine, Unreal Tournament and Gears of War which are big assets as well, and will cost MS to spend more. Whereas Sony purchases devs which are smaller and could add to the assets of Sony, such as Naughty Dog and Guerrilla Games. Sony purchased these devs when they were not very big. If Uncharted and Killzone series were developed by these devs as independent then Sony would be spending billions to purchase them. IPs are assets and add value to your company. Yes, MS has the funds to purchase Epic but with these funds they can develop many Halo games. Currently it would be best idea for MS to work closely with Epic and fund their gears and new IP.

blu_yu_away2832d ago

I highly doubt MS is thinking of getting out of the console business. Despite its stumbles, the 360 has been a successful console especially compared to the original xbox. I think there is just a different approach to software that MS and Sony has. Throughout this gen MS hasn't had to rely on 1st party support and I think they count on that to continue into the future. Lets be honest, MS has a lot more money than Sony to throw around for 3rd party exclusivity, or timed exclusivity.

captain-obvious2832d ago

you guys think EPIC is a small and cheap studio ??
EPIC owns other studios titan studio for example and they made fat princes for the PS3
let alone the unreal engine and those games

MS wont buy EPIC because
a- it'll cost them ALOT
b- MS don't buy studios they just buy IP's

exnihilonihilfit2832d ago

For all of the various reasons that everyone has pointed out here. This article is clearly just a fanboy pipe dream based on one games exclusivity that fails to take into account the real value and scope of Epic. If MS bought Epic it would actually significantly decrease the value of the company as they would no longer be able to develop cross platform engines, because even if MS allowed them to, Sony might bar them from publishing (which would be a smart move because it would render the purchase of epic a HUGE loss for MS). MS would have to buy Epic at its value as a multi-platform developer, and immediately after the purchase, the value of the company would plummet because it is no longer a multi-plat developer. It's just clearly a dumb idea that wasn't fully thought through. On the other hand, MM has only developed one game that was PS exclusive, and they're an extremely small, though obviously very talented and innovative, studio. It's not even comparing apples to oranges, it's comparing giant georgia peaches to little green grapes.

Death24942832d ago (Edited 2832d ago )

Microsoft, in fact it's the other way around. Unreal Engine caters to the 360 by quite alot when compared to the ps3. Sorry but Epic is even powering the new Medal Of Honor (multiplat). People are always using their engine.

Can't wait for Crytek's Cryengine2 to go out. Epic is going to have to show us something new or it's going to be lights out for their middleware dominance.

Check out new Natal footage...

siyrobbo2832d ago

look at what happened with criterions renderware engine after EA bought them out, it used to be the biggest middleware engine at one point, then after EA bought them out, no-one used it anymore

gaffyh2832d ago

Epic costs a lot more than Media Molecule, Epic are a massive studio that do multiplat games and engines. Media Molecule were a tiny studio (~20 people) with really only 1 successful game.

vhero2832d ago (Edited 2832d ago )

Sony buy a company probably worth like a few million... and they expect MS to buy a company worth probably well in the hundred million mark?? The author is an idiot.. Epic are a HUGE company whos engine is used in hunreds of games not just the unreal and gears series. They make millions from each of those games.. MS should buy mistwalker would have been a better story if they were serious about cracking Japan and keep at it as obviously Mistwalker have give up with the 360 and moved onto the DS now. It does not make business sense to buy EPIC simple as. The money it would cost them is so high they would never make it back on the 360 or maybe there next console either.. MS are not THAT stupid. They never became one of the richest companys in the world by throwing money away.

iFLOWLIKEWATER2832d ago

I guess every copy sold of a Gears game brings you closer to a heart attack, huh? Don't let that hate build up son...

Thugbot1872831d ago

Another stupid pointless, Gee I wish I can get the time it took to read the article back. You can tell total fanboy who would like Sony to be the one and only console. Hate Microsoft all you want but it brings competition and with competition it causes Sony and Nintendo to do things better. Anyhow it would be stupid for Sony to buy them; they make one game for PS3 that wasn’t even a hit. However makes a great game for another platform so we should buy them. I guess with this line of thought we should just buy all the other studio's that release a good game for other platforms.

N4g_null2831d ago

Ms wouyld mircomanagethem to hell. They are the worst guys to work for so far. It seems the only guys they leave along are the hALO GUYS.

Sony is a lot better to work with which is why you see insomniac staying with them.

otherZinc2831d ago

Media Molecule is absolutely nothing compared to Epic. This is a stupid article!

+ Show (29) more repliesLast reply 2831d ago
Sonyslave32832d ago

Don't worry MS is going to buy Epic soon real soon.

3sq2832d ago

Nah MS will end up closing them anyway. :P

Devil MAY KILL2832d ago (Edited 2832d ago )

LOL

i wonder what happen to M$ first and second party studios:

BioWare:developing for PS3 now.

Bizarre Creations:developing for PS3 now.

ACES Game Studio:closed by M$.

Ensemble Studios:closed by M$.

Carbonated Games:closed by M$.

Digital Anvil:closed by M$.

Hired Gun:closed by M$.

FASA Studio:closed by M$.

Indie Built:Sold off to Take-Two Interactive in October 2004, now disbanded.

KEEP DREAMING M$ slave 360

Devil MAY KILL2832d ago (Edited 2832d ago )

buying Epic Games is totally useless move by M$,sony can simply buy

Crytek and get((CryEngine 2))under there belt.

Narutone662832d ago

you a delusional fan boy is an understatement.

TD_RJ2831d ago

I think Microsoft are busy buying DLC's...

@Bill Gates
i always laugh when you say baboons xD

RedDragan2831d ago

Sony will buy Epic, you watch! Sony will buy Bungie as well.

And when the PS5 arrives, Sony will buy EA, Activision and Valve.

Because Sony is the masters of First Party devs and Publishing! Microsoft are getting their butts whipped this generation, just look at the pure profit from Sony's 1st Party Devs!

+ Show (4) more repliesLast reply 2831d ago
SOAD2832d ago

Epic is happy licensing its engine out to others. They make plenty of money from their games. I don't see why the board members from Epic would be interesting in selling their company to MS when they could make quite a fortune in just a few years from just licensing their products.

No reason at all. Or maybe I am misinformed and Epic is in some financial trouble. Maybe they fear that their reign as middle-ware proprietors is coming to an end with the rise of CryEngine3 or something else.

Microsoft would do wisely to buy somebody. Epic may be a good choice, but I think that they would be an expensive purchase. Instead, Microsoft could purchase a ton of smaller developers and studios and be able to churn out more exclusives.

MrMacabre2832d ago

Yes MS should buy devs but a lot of smaller upcoming ones as opposed to EPIC like you say.

I think it would be a shame if MS bought EPIC because then the PS3 owners wouldnt get a chance to play some of the probably great games they'll churn out in the future, isn't it better that everyone gets a chance to play? The same can be said about Sony though and I know its only wishful thinking that companies would operate like that.

Would love to see what EPIC could do should they utilize the PS3s tech... imagine.

TOO PAWNED2832d ago

No matter what these big companies say about wanting to stay independent and other BS, in a long run that's bogus. The only way to make sh!t load of money is to eventually sell your company. David Jaffe was at least honest about it. He said it himself that biggest reason for starting his own company is to eventually sell it and make a lot of money, one of reason i like him, at least he doesn't BS around.Same goes for Insomniac, Epic, etc. At some point when they get really big they want to sell themselves. Now we start to hear Epic talk about how money is tight and other BS, which translates in "Please buy us for billion or two".
MS fanboys don't have to worry, Sony won't buy Epic, they are too expensive, price tag is something only MS is willing to pay.
Last year there was a rumor that MS offered 1 billion USD for EPic and Mark Rain gave comment to media "We are not that cheap!".
Anyways Sony said themselves, they are more willing to invest these smaller talented studios, help them grow, and they eventually acquire them and give them even more support. That's what they did with Media Molecule and so many other studios. Seems to be right strategy.

Inside_out2832d ago

I don't think Microsoft will buy anymore developers...period...Who remembers Rare...Spent a fortune on that company and nothing to show for it. To make maters worse, the 2 top guys left...Rumors are Microsoft paid 200 million for them...Rare is suppose to be a big part of Natal...Hmmm...will have to wait and see. Also, they let Bungie go for nothing...Microsoft all about third party games and the casual gamer market...Thanx 2 Nintendo...Expect alot of wii games on 360 this holiday and into the future...

darkmurder2832d ago (Edited 2832d ago )

you have to be dumb to think that MS gave away Bungie for free, they bought Bungie, they can't exactly say "Thanks for buying us MS but I wanna go now, kthx bye". Bungie is still 360 exclusive and although it may not look that way they (they now have creative freedom to do as they wish) they are still obliged to produce for MS.

exnihilonihilfit2832d ago

What you and everyone else here seem not to realize is that if MS or Sony bought Epic, then epic would lose half of it's value as they're greatest value is in developing the most widely used multi-platform engine. If the engine is no longer fully multi-plat then they can't license it for anywhere near its current value, and since CryEngine 3 is widely regarded as superior, everyone will just switch, running epic out of the business. Basically, if Cryengine becomes the new standard cross-platform development engine, then maybe epics value will decrease anyway, and MS can jump in and nab them, but barring that, Epic would not sell to MS, and it really wouldn't make sense for MS to buy. Now if Ubisoft, EA or Activision did it, maybe that would make more sense, but even that would decrease the engines value, because it makes the most money from selling to all three of the companies, if one owned it, then the other two would stop buying, once again destroying the companies market value.

It's obvious that a lot of people on N4G have no understanding of economics.

+ Show (2) more repliesLast reply 2832d ago
nogolis2832d ago

News around GDC says Sony ain't through buying developers, either. Before years end Sony is set to acquire another one.

Sucker Punch? Level-5? Keep in mind "Ready at Dawn" has been abscent too. Oh, and Heavenly Sword 2 is 100% green lit for next year release aswell. Oh how I wonder what will be made of all this?

TOO PAWNED2832d ago

Ready at Dawn went multiplatform, they are working on 360/PS3 game, sadly
http://www.joystiq.com/2009...

Cajun Chicken2832d ago

Ready At Dawn have a multiplatform middleware engine on for sale. I'm not quite sure if they want to get swallowed up by Sony.

callahan092832d ago

I posted this in the other article where there was discussion about Sony buying another studio. Here's the post:

Sony is buying another studio?

Hmmm...

Well, the only candidates I can really guess from would be Insomniac, Sucker Punch, and Relenteless. All are independent studios that work very closely with Sony.

Insomniac may be the best bet, really, what with all the multiplatform rumors spinning around all the time, Sony may find it necessary to sweep them up if Insomniac wants to go along with it. Considering how utterly close of a relationship Insomniac has with the Sony-owned Naughty Dog, I would think that it would be a no-brainer to have Insomniac as an official developer under the Sony umbrella rather than just an independent with VIP treatment.

Sucker Punch and Relentless could be the choice for largely the same reasons, though they are not under constant scrutiny to turn over and do multiplatform development so Sony may not deem it necessary to take measures to keep them under their wing.

I think that From Software seems like it could be a choice, but they are a pretty large studio that has multiple teams working on projects for many different platforms, so even though Sony has worked closely with From Software on some projects like Demon's Souls, the entire company may not be a good fit for Sony, but the thought of them leads me to another company... Perhaps they would be looking to buy just Silicon Studios, which is working with From Software on 3D Dot Game Heroes?

Silicon is an independent company and Sony already owns a share of the company (here's the list of shareholders):

CREEK&RIVER Co., LTD.
CSK HOLDINGS CORPORATION
EXA CORPORATION
GAGA COMMUNICATIONS. INC.
IMAGICA Technologies Corp.
ITOCHU Techno-Solutions Corp.
Mitsubishi UFJ Capital Co., LTD.
NAMCO BANDAI Games Inc.
Ray Corporation
SGI Japan, Ltd.
Sony Computer Entertainment Inc.
SQUARE ENIX Co., LTD.
Sumisho Computer Systems Corporation
YAMAHA CORPORATION

At one point Takehiro Terada was talking about 3D Dot Game Heroes being ported to the 360, but in recent days he keeps saying it'll never happen, and he never gives a well fleshed out reason, so perhaps it is because his company is being optioned by Sony to purchase the remaining shares?

Finally, I would say that Level-5 is unlikely. There are probably even some smaller developers of PSN games that are more likely to be picked up by Sony than Level-5, such as ThatGameCompany (Flow, Flower), Q-Games (PixelJunk series and XMB design, seems like a good candidate), Hello Games (the upcoming Joe Danger), or someone else.

Level-5, though, may be too big. They are not just a developer in Japan, but also a publisher, with most of their games now being self-published and not even a majority being released for Sony platforms. They have over 150 employees, the company assets include a football stadium in Fukuoka City... They just might be a little too diversified and valuable right now for Sony to purchase them. It's possible, but I think the least likely of all the companies I've mentioned. Insomniac is similarly valuable in terms of assets, but they have a more ingrained relationship with Sony and they are more important to the Sony brand, having already released 5 PS3 games, versus 1 by Level-5, and Insomniac has not diversified out into self-publishing and multiplatform development, so even though they would be quite expensive, I think they make a much better match for Sony's purchasing conquests than Level-5.

RememberThe3572832d ago

but I think Level-5 would be a stretch. They have a great relationship with both Nintendo and Square Enix. But I do think that need to get their hands on a good RPG developer.

pansenbaer2832d ago

Zipper Interactive is already owned by Sony.

nogolis2832d ago (Edited 2832d ago )

let me reiterate here... I've no clue who they're buying. I just know they're buying another studio. It could be Zipper, Sucker Punch, Ready at Dawn... I don't know. I do know for 100% certain they gave "a" studio the go ahead for Heavenly Sword 2 awhile back, though. And it will release next year. Probably sep to oct.

I'm sure it's not Insomniac and pretty sure it's not Level-5. I know it's someone close to Sony. That's all we heard. I was thinking Q-games but that's not going to make a huge splash... They said it'd make Sony look that much better when looking at their worth as a company.

NotSoSilentBob2832d ago

Insomniac Games has already stated every time the rumor starts up that they aren't going multi-platform. So I highly doubt Sony will buy them unless they announce a game that is multiplat.

callahan092832d ago

Is the Heavenly Sword 2 developer in-house at Sony or someone they hired from outside like they did with Ninja Theory for the original? Could it be Ninja Theory once again? Could it even be the next title from Santa Monica?

RememberThe3572832d ago (Edited 2832d ago )

Thanks for correcting me on that.

@callahan09: Sony Santa Monica working on the next Heavenly Sword would be awesome.

AznSniper2832d ago (Edited 2832d ago )

Zipper is already owned by Sony. Quantic Dream could be an interesting acquisition especially over the recent surprise in the amount of sales for Heavy Rain.

Sony Santa Monica working on Heavenly Sword 2?

sikbeta2832d ago

@nogolis

ZIPPER Interactive is Already a First Party Dev

@callahan09

As Far as I know Ninja Theory created the IP, Sony Bought the HS IP Before Release, now they're working with a Big Publisher, don't remember who but nothing to do with Heavenly Sword

IMO Sony needs a Japanese Dev like From-Software, cuz SCEJ is the "Less BIG" from the three, Excluding PD the Bigger, Team ICO in reality is part of Studio Japan, Owning 10% of SE is not Enough, so yes, it needs more Devs, a team that can concentrate on make JRPGs

palaeomerus2832d ago

Who's doing Heavenly Sword 2?

I ask because Ninja Theory is going multi-platform with 'Enslaved' (the dark future post apocalypse robot fighting thing with the hacker and the warrior named Monkey).

siyrobbo2832d ago

since the success of heavy rain, i'd say Quantic Dream would be a sure bet for sony to buy out

+ Show (10) more repliesLast reply 2832d ago
PandemicPrawn02832d ago

On topic.

As much as I would love to see Microsoft man up and start competing with Sony when it comes to developer acquisitions, I don’t think they are in any hurry yet.

I mean it’s easy to think that Microsoft aren’t doing anything for their first party, but they have just opened a second studio at Rare, along with creating two new studios Spawn point and Firebird.

Microsoft isn’t exactly sitting on their hands here.

TOO PAWNED2832d ago

"along with creating two new studios Spawn point and Firebird" -Valid points