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Why Sony Interactive Bought 'Spider-Man' Maker Insomniac Games

Hollywood Reporter - "SIE chairman Shawn Layden discusses the new deal, what it means for Insomniac's development and the company's approach to acquiring studios and talent."

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Christopher607d ago

Because 13.1m sold is something you want to control and not have slip away when the developer decides to go off and make their own IP with Xbox or Nintendo.

I just hope part of the agreement is that Insomniac gets to make some new IPs between the other known IPs.

Majin-vegeta607d ago

Yea dont think that will be a problem seeing as what their studios have been doing this whole gen

Christopher607d ago

Considering what they had to do to make SSOD, doesn't really make that a true sentiment. Certain studios have been doing it, but Insomniac wasn't one of them. Hopefully Sony has been more open about it now.

darthv72607d ago

I just hope Sony lets them make a SSOD2 out of this deal. They said they wanted to make it but needed a publisher. Well.... you can't get any bigger than having Sony as the publisher.

zarbor606d ago (Edited 606d ago )

Well we didn't see a problem with Sony going from the PS2 to the PS3 but it ended up being a big problem. One can only hope they don't get as arrogant since they won the last gen by a landslide.

The reason why Sony bought this studio is because they understand a very simple question of fact that Nintendo continues to enjoy in order to remain relevant. What is the difference between me and my competitors? For Sony its AAA Single Player episodic story driven games. They are so far ahead now in that arena that their competitor MS who still has no real advantage over Sony or Nintendo.

Its no different than when Sony tried to compete with Nintendo in the handheld arena and got smoked. Why? Exclusive content is king. Biggest no-brainer. MS seems to be doing a double down on the complete opposite.

Aeery606d ago

"Why Sony Interactive Bought 'Spider-Man' Maker Insomniac Games"

Spider-man maker ?!?!?
They are the makers of R&C ... Resistance ... spidermaker is a terrible way to call them!

+ Show (1) more replyLast reply 606d ago
IRetrouk607d ago (Edited 607d ago )

Seems to me they will get the same freedoms the other Sony devs get.

Q. Are you concentrating on existing IP or the creation of new IP with Insomniac?

A. All the studios at Worldwide Studios manage their franchise plans and manage their IP in a way they see best. Insomniac will be no different in that way. We’ll look at what they walk into the fold with. If they have ideas around new game concepts, which every team does, we will look forward with great anticipation to what the future brings.

Q. What changes for Insomniac and your relationship now that they’re under the fold?

A. For Insomniac themselves, nothing much changes at all. They’re a fantastic studio, they deliver fantastic content. I don’t think anyone will go in there and tell them how to make a game. They certainly got game of their own. I think what Worldwide Studios provides to them is a closer relationship to the innovation — whether it’s in technology or game design that we’re doing here. We’ve got a number of teams with extraordinary talent in game creation. We’re in a place now where all of our teams are trading technology and techniques and innovation across studios to get better and stronger. I think there’s only additive natures to it. There’s nothing there that will change their culture or their ability to deliver the fabulous games they’ve been doing for 20 years.

LiViNgLeGaCY607d ago

That's awesome. Such wonderful news.

Christopher607d ago

That sounds great. Thanks.

ziggurcat607d ago

Sony has a history of supporting new IPs from their 1st party studios. Otherwise we wouldn't have seen TLoU, Horizon Zero Dawn, or Ghost of Tsushima. Insomniac is a proven studio, so I don't think it would be any different in that regard.

Christopher607d ago

Insomniac's own SSOD gets ignored in that list of yours? Did it take Spider-Man for them to become a proven studio?

jukins607d ago

Why would he mention ssod when talking about SONY FIRST PARTY STUDIOS?

ziggurcat607d ago (Edited 607d ago )

Insomniac was a proven studio long before they ever made Spider-Man. They have decades of solid games, including SSoD, under their belt.

Christopher607d ago (Edited 607d ago )

***Why would he mention ssod when talking about SONY FIRST PARTY STUDIOS?***

woof! That's some goal post moving!

Insomniac approached Sony with SSoD first. They were not interested.

Insomniac had to go elsewhere to make the game.

Meaning if they were first party, Sony would have nixed the idea all together. They wouldn't have had the freedom to branch out unless Sony approved of it.

C'mon people, at least accept the history as it is. There was a moment when Sony didn't trust an idea of
Insomniacs and they went elsewhere. Now they are back with a stronger relationship than ever. Lets not try to act like everything has worked out and Sony has always supported them. We know what happened and it doesn't mean Sony is bad. It is what it is and we all want the best for both.

l especially care that Insomniac is given the freedom I think they deserve and that Sony didn't trust the one time before.

Outside_ofthe_Box607d ago (Edited 607d ago )

@Christopher

* * * "
Insomniac approached Sony with SSoD first. They were not interested.

Insomniac had to go elsewhere to make the game.

Meaning if they were first party, Sony would have nixed the idea all together. They wouldn't have had the freedom to branch out unless Sony approved of it.

C'mon people, at least accept the history as it is. There was a moment when Sony didn't trust an idea of
Insomniacs and they went elsewhere." * * *

???

Huh?

Thought it was because Sony wanted to own the IP but Insomniac wanted to retain the rights, as opposed to what you're saying which is Sony not liking/trusting the idea altogether?

I'm too lazy to google and confirm, but that's what popped in my mind when remembering why SSOD was exclusive to Xbox instead of Playstation.

ziggurcat607d ago

"Insomniac approached Sony with SSoD first. They were not interested."

Sony passed on SSoD because Insomniac wanted to retain ownership rights, not because they weren't keen on the idea.

"Meaning if they were first party, Sony would have nixed the idea all together."

Well, no because Sony would be the owners of the IP, and ownership was the reason why they passed on SSoD.

"C'mon people, at least accept the history as it is. There was a moment when Sony didn't trust an idea of Insomniacs and they went elsewhere."

That's not the history, though.

Christopher607d ago (Edited 607d ago )

Here, I'll find it for you:

""Wasn’t about money, was about our controlling and owning the IP, and their belief and desire to execute our vision with us.""

And their belief and desire to execute our vision with us...

Sony never owned QD IPs, but they threw money at them. Same with SFV. But the really long time team of Insomniac and they didn't have the "belief and desire to execute [their] vision."

Outside_ofthe_Box607d ago (Edited 607d ago )

Oh boy not this again.... Don't want to do a lengthy back and forth so I'll try to address what I have to say in one post.

Link? Does your source specifically sight Sony as not having the "desire" to their vision? Or is this general speak?

From what I found:

https://www.ign.com/article...

IP ownership seems to be the main talking point here. Even states that how most conversation with publishers begin and end with IP ownership and how some of the conversations with other publishers broke down over it.

Yeah it doesn't say Sony specifically turned them down for that reason either, but they constantly bring up IP ownership being important to them, point out that conversations with other pubs broke down over IP ownership, and how MS allowing them to retain the IP became "a conversation point."

Seems like that was the major factor on why MS won them over. Don't know if Sony specifically turned the idea altogether don't even know if Sony was wiling to allow them to retain IP ownership either, but they were highlighting IP ownership throughout when talking about pitching to pubs

rainslacker606d ago

I thought sony didnt publish ssod because they wanted the ip rights, which was common practice for them, but insomniac wanted to retain them. Sony wasnt against funding the game itself, just the two couldn't come to terms on the contract

darthv72606d ago

So... what you guys are saying is that Sony will only buy a studio if THEY can own all the IP's that are made. Is that right?

And yes we all know that IG wanted to retain ownership of SSOD but Sony wouldnt go for it so they went to MS and Ms agreed to publish while IG retained ownership of the IP.

Is Sony going to change now that IG is part of the fold? Is IG still the owner of the IP or is it back to the old Sony owns you, Sony owns your work?

Sevir606d ago

@Christopher.

When they announced that they would explore Multiplatform development, Ted Price was quoted several times that the studio was looking to own the IPs they've Developed.

And during that time EA became a partner while controlling, allowed them to forge a deal in which Insomniac would retain ownership of Fuze if they changed the aspects of the original concept to suit EA's Shareholders. That's why Overstrike became Fuze, and why Insomniac never worked with EA again because of how controlling they were with that development.

Microsoft was also happy to have Insomniac develop an IP on their platform simply because they knew how good Insomniac were, and they allowed exclusive distribution and publishing across Windows and Xbox, two platforms with a big audience in exchange for the game never coming on another console, while Insomniac was able to retain creative control and ownership of the IP. Ted has gone on record saying this.

He's never ever said Sony didnt believe in it. Or cared. For their business at the time, IP ownership was something they wanted.

They've got 4 or 6 IPs they owned before becoming First Party, Edge of Nowhere, The Unspoken, Stormland, Song of the Deep, Fuze/Overstrike, SSOD. They've set out to develop and curate their own IPs and own them outright, they've done that through publishing partnerships with MS, Oculus, GameStop and EA. They've now got equity in those IPs making them an attractive buy to Sony.

Get your facts straight

ziggurcat606d ago

@darth:

What an egregious leap in logic.

Bronxs15606d ago

Don’t forget after ps2 uncharted was new ip for ND. And and after say copper infamous was new ip. Like you said horizon zero dawn after killzone. That’s one of the things I love most about Sony always something new ever gen.

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hulk_bash1987607d ago (Edited 607d ago )

They've been trying to acquire Insomniac since the PS3 generation. IG at the time, stated they loved being independent. But I'm glad they were able to finally come together. I look forward to the future of Insomniac as a SWW Studios developer.

sampsonon607d ago

ask ND,GG,SP,SB about being allowed to make new IP's.

Christopher607d ago

Do remember they left Sony to make SSOD... But iRetouk's post above makes this to be a good outcome.

sampsonon607d ago (Edited 607d ago )

@Christopher:

REASON they won't have that problem any longer.

"We pitched it a few different places, and it was really important to [Insomniac CEO] Ted [Price] that we own the IP, so some of the conversations broke down over that," Smith admitted. "With Microsoft, they just came in very energetic and excited to work with Insomniac, period. And we'd heard some really good things about them and some resources that they would be allowing us to have."

Insomniac's obsession with owning its own IP started with its co-op shooter Fuse, and comes from a long legacy of making famous franchises -- like Spyro, Ratchet & Clank, and Resistance -- that it doesn’t own. "Most publisher conversations begin and end with IP ownership," Murray said candidly, "and I think [Microsoft] has been talking to Ted for a while, and at some point it was like, 'you can retain the IP,' and suddenly, it was a conversation point."

Have a nice day :)

jznrpg607d ago

Sony generally lets the studios make their own roadmap . New IPs get pitched and approved or nixed in the early planning stages.

hawkeyejonjon607d ago

The thing with SSOD was Insomniac wanted to own the IP and the only way Sony would pay for it is if they own the IP which Insomniac didn't want so they went to Microsoft to keep the rights to themselves. It wasn't the fact that Sony wouldn't support New IP's from them, it was the fact about IP ownership(which is kind of ironic since Sony now owns them and the SSOD IP).

badz149607d ago

seriously, why is Insomniac = Spider-man now with all these damn journos?? Insomniac is bestowed with the Spidey IP, they didn't "made" it! "MAKER" my a$$! call the the Ratchet & Clank Maker PLEASE!

I was not fortunate enough to buy a PS1 back then for me to experience Spyro back then but I fell in love with Insomniac with R&C since the beginning. and it's the IP they are still making games for until now too. so...NO, not Spidey, but R&C!

Direct444607d ago

You know Sony treating their First Party game pretty well.

gamer7804606d ago

I highly doubt insomniac will be making anything other than Spiderman 2 for next gen

Bathyj606d ago (Edited 606d ago )

Did you read the interview?

"All the studios at Worldwide Studios manage their franchise plans and manage their IP in a way they see best."

This is why a developer like Guerrilla gets to leave behind their bread and butter franchise and make a game like Horizon. Why Naughty Dog can put a heralded series like Uncharted on the shelf to make The Last of Us.

Quite simply this is why Sony is the best first party publisher to work for. I can't wait to see what insomniac decide on their own to make next.

Edit"
Sorry didn't mean to sound catty.

rainslacker606d ago

Sony has wanted to buy them for a while. I think they just want another quality studio in their ranks.

2pacalypsenow606d ago (Edited 606d ago )

"Are you concentrating on existing IP or the creation of new IP with Insomniac?

All the studios at Worldwide Studios manage their franchise plans and manage their IP in a way they see best. Insomniac will be no different in that way. We’ll look at what they walk into the fold with. If they have ideas around new game concepts, which every team does, we will look forward with great anticipation to what the future brings."

Sharius606d ago

they have the IP, pretty sure they are already in control of that sale number, that 13 mils more likely a bait to seal a deal with insomaniac, they are on a fence for quite a few year now, so sony just give them a push

mkis007606d ago

Quick correction for you: sony does own QD ips except for heavy rain.

Christopher606d ago (Edited 606d ago )

Only publisher rights on PS4. QD owns them and is taking them to PC. So, no.

https://www.guru3d.com/news...

mkis007606d ago (Edited 606d ago )

Um look at the epic store at the bottom of each page. Still owned by sony. Sony gets its due for licensing. Why would ps4 publishing rights ownership appear on a pc page...they wouldnt.

Sevir606d ago (Edited 606d ago )

Please... Spider-Man's success only under scores the purchase. The reality is their greatest success has come from Sony. They've made 11 exclusive games in 20+ years of developing games on PlayStation .13 PS games if you count fuze and song of the deep.

Their Multiplatform business has helped them keep there teams busy with EA, MS, GameStop and Oculus, but their PlayStation Centric business has kept the studio's lights on and even gotten them to expand into NC with a second studio.

It really was the smartest partnership 20 years 4 franchises all of them have sold in excess of over 1.5 million units. They're latest exclusive becoming their biggest selling game ever.

They know PlayStation gamers buy their games. So here we are. Theyve got a stable of IPs they can manage and work on under Sony with 4 teams. 2 big AAA teams in their Burbank and NC studios and VR team in Burbank and a small team in NC that worked on Song the Deep... That kind of team structure and that kind portfolio, touches on every platform avenue Sony has that they can contribute to and enrich.

The VR team can start prototyping on the Next Gen PSVR since they're passionate about high fidelity VR experiences. The AAA teams can reboot Resistance, Continue Ratchet and Clank, further explore Fuze and Sunset Overdrive, and dive deeper into Spider-Man's universe, or come up with a new IP, their small team can rapidly sequelize Song of the Deep on PSN and make money or even do a new small IP.

They're versaitle and flexible and are one of the few independent studios that have managed to survive and thrive independently in this volatile industry and Sony has been the one to give them the means to grow unilaterally to the studio powerhouse that they are now. So hell yeah, they became a PS developer exclusively and they will grow exponentially to something amazing because of that.

Eonjay606d ago

Of course they are free. That is the WWS way. I think we all know that by now. The caveat is that while they will do their own thing, they just sold 13 million copies of Spiderman. So of course they are going to resit that in between projects.

TheHan606d ago

Just saying, the main reason it sold so much as a exclusive is that it was a new iP and that it was a very well made game. A sequel may not demand the same number of sales. Though it’s the best Spider-Man game I’ve ever played.

+ Show (15) more repliesLast reply 606d ago
rob-GP607d ago (Edited 607d ago )

Probably also so that MS doesn't try and swoop in and offer a stupid amount, like they did with Minecraft, in hopes of pulling the studio and it's owned IPs away from other platforms going forward.

When one studio is actively out acquiring studios and talent, it would be stupid for Sony to sit there and do nothing.

neutralgamer1992607d ago

MS did offer a stupid amount but sometimes it's not all about money. Sony offered insomiac less than MS but still a lot. Insomniac felt they belong with ps brand and fans since they tried EA and MS and really didn't make much of an impact

their last 2 games ratchet and clank remake and spiderman became the best selling games in company's history

MS is also after bluepoint but they will also join playstation world wide studios because when no one believed in them sony did and to this day sony keeps giving them more work

QD have an open door policy with sony anytime they feel like it's time to become part of WWS they can come back and sony will welcome them back

jukins607d ago

Definitely agree Microsoft sniffing around any available studio had a little something to do with this acquisition.

@neutralgamer1992 how do you know what was offered by either company?

ApocalypseShadow607d ago (Edited 607d ago )

It was a smart move to purchase a developer that makes games with mass appeal for core gamers and casual with the likes of games like Spider-Man.

With the sales like that on one platform for a Disney/Marvel property, you can expect more deals and opportunities to come. Sony can present sales numbers and say "look at our platform FIRST if you want to reach a wide audience" with other Marvel games in the future.

That's how they sell consoles. Make exclusives that capture many parts of the gaming community worldwide. I suspect their next developer purchase will be at the level of Insomniac and doing the same thing. Worldwide appeal with their Worldwide Studios.

Who's next on the purchasing block and exclusives? I'd go after Capcom for next Gen exclusives, purchase Blue Point for remastered games, purchase Survios(Raw Data,Creed, Sprint Vector, Electronauts) for VR if they're interested, Impulse Gear(Farpoint) and First Contact Interactive(Firewall Zero Hour).

With other large companies jumping in like Verizon, AT&T, Google, etc. Sony's going to need more developers that reach everybody.

Majin-vegeta607d ago

I'd prefer arc systems for their fighting genre

TheOptimist607d ago

You can't appeal core gamers and casuals at the same time.

It is one or the other when it comes to SP games. That's what I feel anyways. Mass appeal always means targeting the casual consumer.

neutralgamer1992607d ago

this is just one just wait

kojima and bluepoint are pretty much done. Kojima met with sony WWS head and sony ceo in july

sony has much bigger plans that will truly shock gamers just wait till reveal of ps5

when i originally posted months back about insomniac i was laughed at. Remember that sony world wide studio log that leaked with kojima on it along with insomniac yet sony denied it as accidental

a big publisher will became part of sony world wide studios(if not 2) one japanese one western both own some amazing IP's

UltraNova607d ago

Doubt Kojima but Bluepoint is a given. What are your sources?

ibrake4naps607d ago

I'm excited to see what Insomniac make for psvr2! They made the excellent Edge of Nowhere and the upcoming Stormland!

Bronxs15606d ago (Edited 606d ago )

I vote for moon studio. For all the variety in ps library they don’t have a 2d platformer like ori and the blind forest (Xbox) or even something like donkey Kong country (Wii u pt2 aka switch)

+ Show (2) more repliesLast reply 606d ago
AspiringProGenji607d ago

The question should be, why didn’t it happen sooner?

AngelicIceDiamond607d ago

Internet ppl think these things happen overnight. These deals and buy outs are talked about years in advance, Not within few days, weeks or even months. Plus Insomniac will be making next gen PS5 games. So the timing imo is perfect.

Christopher607d ago

Because Insomniac wanted to remain Independent. I thought this was well known.

neutralgamer1992607d ago

sony offered to buy them many times but insomniac refused but like i been saying for years now the development cost is becoming so high that publishers much rather spend that money in house(hence why ms bought all the studios) so the choice was to stay independent and who knows where the industry goes or become part of MS(for stupid amount of money) or for sony with a bit less stupid amount of money but more creative freedom

What changes for Insomniac and your relationship now that they’re under the fold?

For Insomniac themselves, nothing much changes at all. They’re a fantastic studio, they deliver fantastic content. I don’t think anyone will go in there and tell them how to make a game. They certainly got game of their own. I think what Worldwide Studios provides to them is a closer relationship to the innovation — whether it’s in technology or game design that we’re doing here. We’ve got a number of teams with extraordinary talent in game creation. We’re in a place now where all of our teams are trading technology and techniques and innovation across studios to get better and stronger. I think there’s only additive natures to it. There’s nothing there that will change their culture or their ability to deliver the fabulous games they’ve been doing for 20 years

Are you concentrating on existing IP or the creation of new IP with Insomniac?

All the studios at Worldwide Studios manage their franchise plans and manage their IP in a way they see best. Insomniac will be no different in that way. We’ll look at what they walk into the fold with. If they have ideas around new game concepts, which every team does, we will look forward with great anticipation to what the future brings

this is why they agreed to join ps over xbox(they know they can trust ps but who knows who will lead xbox and how the new head may make changes)

Knushwood Butt607d ago

You write like you have insider information.

I'm curious about what you wrote about Bluepoint.

neutralgamer1992607d ago

Wait for next few conferences

Instead of announcing everything at once Sony will spread it out over months leading up to a huge announcement at reveal of Ps5

That take two rumor wasn't false that's all I will say

UltraNova607d ago

neutralgamer1992

Take Two??? Damnnn. How on Earth did MS and their deep pockets allow this to go under their radar?

kneon606d ago

The success of Spiderman likely also meant they could ask for more money. Maybe the previous offers just weren't high enough.

neutralgamer1992606d ago

Ultra

Because playstation executives have more freedom to spend on acquisition than Phil and Xbox.

Playstation is sonny's bread and butter they realized that during this Gen while Xbox is a nice side thing for ms. They don't depend on Xbox like Sony depends now and moving forward on playstation

If given the option if money is similar most will choose to be part of world wide studios

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neutralgamer1992607d ago (Edited 607d ago )

What changes for Insomniac and your relationship now that they’re under the fold?

For Insomniac themselves, nothing much changes at all. They’re a fantastic studio, they deliver fantastic content. I don’t think anyone will go in there and tell them how to make a game. They certainly got game of their own. I think what Worldwide Studios provides to them is a closer relationship to the innovation — whether it’s in technology or game design that we’re doing here. We’ve got a number of teams with extraordinary talent in game creation. We’re in a place now where all of our teams are trading technology and techniques and innovation across studios to get better and stronger. I think there’s only additive natures to it. There’s nothing there that will change their culture or their ability to deliver the fabulous games they’ve been doing for 20 years

Are you concentrating on existing IP or the creation of new IP with Insomniac?

All the studios at Worldwide Studios manage their franchise plans and manage their IP in a way they see best. Insomniac will be no different in that way. We’ll look at what they walk into the fold with. If they have ideas around new game concepts, which every team does, we will look forward with great anticipation to what the future brings

this in itself is why sony as a publisher is great. kojima and bluepoint to follow along with some japanese studios that be announced at TGS/PSX

BTW shawn let me make it easy Insomniac owns the SSOD IP and now you own it. The same applies to outer world for ms even thought take two will be the publisher the developer still own the IP meaning ms does

time to release original SSOD on ps4 and see how easily it will sell

XabiDaChosenOne607d ago

Interesting theories that dont seem to far fetched. Where are you getting your sources from bruh?

neutralgamer1992607d ago

Can't confirm nor deny

Theories no news yes will be revealed over the next few conferences