Returnal shows that Sony should finally buy Housemarque

Returnal is an excellent game and Sony should wisen up and snatch up its developer, Housemarque. After all, the two have collaborated for well over a decade.

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Christopher38d ago

Stop it with these "buy developer studios that are doing perfectly fine without being bought up and aren't stuck developing for just one platform."

ArchangelMike38d ago (Edited 38d ago )

The problem here is that Housemarque were on the verge. It's great that Returnal has found critical appeal, but actually if it had ended up as a dud, it is unlikely that Housemarque would have received funding for any subsequent games. They insinuated as much in their previous blog post during the whole "arcade is dead" period that they went through.

But I hear you, it is good for independed studios to maintain their autonomy; however the risk of maintaining profitablitiy is high. I'm just pointing out that prior to Returnal - HouseMarque, by their own admission, were not "doing perfectly fine." The opposite was actually the case iirc.

Christopher38d ago

Housemarque weren't on the verge. Their games have sold well and had a ton of support from Sony. The only difference is they invested more in their latest title, but it was easy for them to get investors.

38d ago
Jin_Sakai38d ago

“Stop it with these "buy developer studios that are doing perfectly fine without being bought up and aren't stuck developing for just one platform."

Housemarque have a good relationship with Sony so I don’t see the problem? More resources and full access to first party tools. We also know Microsoft like to gobble up just about any game developer they can at this point.

DOMination-38d ago

It looks like you mis-spelt Embracer Group there.

ArchangelMike38d ago (Edited 38d ago )

This is the article from HouseMArque CEO Ilari, it's a very interesting read,

TL:DR - So yeah he clearly makes numerous reference to lack lustre sales of their previous games, and struggling to keep the company commercially viable. It's why they literally put all their eggs in one basket and went for the big AAA gamble. Given the backstory of the lack of commerical viability of their previous portfolio, it's a given that HouseMarque needs Returnal to be a commercial success.

Partnering with Sony is great for captial investment in the short-term per project basis; however an arguemnt can be made that for a struggling studio, being acquired alleviates some of the future anxiety. However I must also say that Sony don't shy away from closing studios that underperform - so there's also that to consider.

CrimsonWing6938d ago

I think the problem is their games are niche as all hell. They need to develop around a budget keeping that in mind. Returnal isn’t mainstream at all and I guarantee you the sales aren’t gangbusters. Especially with the $70 price tag.

It’s like that Days Gone dude said, “if you want a game to succeed and get a sequel you have to buy it full price.” I personally know people who are waiting for a Black Friday deal before buying this game.

BehindTheRows37d ago

Always appreciate when folks bring receipts!

neutralgamer199238d ago (Edited 38d ago )


Easy for you to say but many studios would happily come under a big publisher umbrella because they don't have to worry about funding and finding publishers willing to fund them. This is why so many take the deal. housemarque ceo himself said the studio was struggling and they out all their eggs in one basket to make AAA type game

Actually that's where the industry is heading to whether you or I like it or not. Ms really started this just like how they really started paid timed exclusives with xbox 360. Now sooner rather than later these smaller studios will be bought up

If you don't believe me just look at insomniac, sony made multiple offers over 15+ years and insomniac always said no than they tried EA and MS and didn't achieve the success and when they partnered with Sony their ratchet and clank remake became their best selling game before spiderman passed it up by a huge chunk. And that was one of the most stable independent studios yet even they saw where the future is more stable under a big umbrella and actually sold for way below marker value(compared to what ms paid for some of theirs). They tried EA with Fuse and ms with Sunset overdrive and didn't achieve the type of success they had on PlayStation which was weird because both fuse and sunset overdrive were available on more platforms yet insomniac's exclusives were available on PlayStation and sold much better


Will be bought up within next 12-18 months (I believe both will be announced during E3 2021) and I believe sony will make a play for square enix (long standing partnership along with the recent rumor that square have received multiple offers) let's not forget when square were struggling they asked sony to buy shares/invest which sony later sold back when square became stable(google it)

And I believe sony will make a play for capcom due to the strength of their IP's in RE and monster hunter just to name a few

Sega will most likely go with ms before end of this generation and konami I believe will simply either sell the rights to their IP's or more like enter into a long term partnership with Sony(rumor already has it sony has the rights and are working on SH and MGS)

As a gamer I want Sony to become aggressive because ms did wrong by buying bethesda. They showed their money strength and will keep future games off other platforms and xbox side praised the move. I would love to see how they would react if none of the square or Capcom IP's would see release on any other platforms. I hope for once jim ryan steps up and make some big acquisitions because PlayStation is more important to sony than xbox is to ms(what I mean is simple ms can survive without xbox actually thrive but sony can't. PlayStation saved sony in a way)

Christopher37d ago

***Actually that's where the industry is heading to whether you or I like it or not. ***

That's not a good enough reason for me to stop saying it's not what we should do and it will only head that way if we don't support third party studios.

But, having said that, this is a lie. No one is buying up indie studios. They're buying up AAA studios. And they're doing that not to support hardware but service models.

You're essentially saying the future is rental model services and we should shut up. That's not going to happen. Even now, with streaming movies, you need to realize the issues with that. Even Apple ID in court for the issue of being able to remove content from people's digital libraries because they argue that when you click buy on their store it doesn't mean you will always have access to it or that they can't remove access to it permanently even though you bought it.

neutralgamer199237d ago


I didn't say streaming at all bro. All I am saying is sooner rather than later these small to medium size publishers will be bought out and we will be left with EA, Activision and take two(the greedy bunches)

Darkborn37d ago

@arcahangel I kinda found that weird and to be somewhere on the same lines of insomniac saying they'd love to make a sunset overdrive 2, they just needed a publisher to support it and like a month later Sony announced they acquired insomniac. I found that weird because they had to be in talks before that statement was made.

ArchangelMike37d ago

I would be very surprised if Sony don't buy HouseMarque. I feel that Returnal was a test bed for Sony, and even though we won't really have the true picture of the sales figures, I think Returnal already has the critical reception to put HouseMarque back on the map. I think Sony would be wise to at least keep them in house.

Atticus_finch37d ago

I think the problem with not purchasing such a small and talented studio is that is Sony doesn't make an offer MS will. Xbox has shown that they will deliberately target studios working closely with Sony as a way to 1up them.
Sony has no choice but to try to acquire them.

Christopher37d ago (Edited 37d ago )

I get this, but we should all want as many third party studios. We can't let consumers become like streaming services where you have to own hardware because everything is so divided between them.

Less access through more restrictions is only bad for gamers.

+ Show (4) more repliesLast reply 37d ago
Paleblood38d ago

Totally agree. Housemarque and Sony have a long relationship as Insomniac and Bluepoint. After the amazing surprise that is Returnal, Sony should buy this talented developer immediately.

SullysCigar38d ago

I mean, if they're open to purchase, I can't think of a more suitable purchaser. They're a perfect fit with a long-running history together. As you said, just like Insomniac and (please God!) Bluepoint.

Paleblood38d ago

Exactly. These are studios that are not first party and yet they already have a very good history working together. Let's hope for it.

ocelot0738d ago

I agree I think Sony should snap these up. Right now it seems like it's a free for all with studios and even publishers are getting bought up. I wouldn't like seeing housemarque getting bought up my Microsoft.

I'm not crapping on MS here. But if MS owned Housemarque we wouldn't be getting games like Returnal. This is just my opinion.

TheRealTedCruz37d ago (Edited 37d ago )

I disagree. Even now, MS has been pretty supportive of letting their studios do what they want.
Obviously they have their studios meant to consistently churn out their largest titles, but you're even seeing the developer of their biggest racing franchise now working on Fable because they wanted to.

Even the people who blame them for Rare's apparent fall from grace refuse to see that MS gave them creative freedom on several projects before they directed them in a way to make the studio financially viable. Now they're back to making the games they want to make as of the last few years.

Point being, in the hypothetical situation MS chose to purchase Housemarque a few years back, and Housemarque wanted to make Returnal, I feel like we'd still have Returnal.

Sony is still the obvious home for the studio. Just giving my point of view.

UltimateRacer37d ago (Edited 37d ago )

That’s completely not the case with MS at all, Scalebound being the prime example, the Developers wanted to make it and it was a new ip but MS didn’t like the direction the game was going in and wanted creative control so canned that game. you talk about the Forza team doing Fable but if MS were giving creative freedom to there teams then surely a new IP would have been created by the Forza team and not another game from a series that’s exactly like Gears,Halo,Forza, repetitive. The bottom line is Sony are willing to invest and take risks with devs and new ideas/IP even if that means a game doesn’t sell well and the studio takes a hit. Returnal would not be around today if Housemarque were an MS studio, they’d sooner have them working on an existing IP and play it safe.

DOMination-38d ago

It seems like a logical step if Housemarque are up for it. They have a good relationship with Sony, wouldn't be particularly expensive and have a good track record - and Returnal shows they have the versatility to do more than just arcade shooters - and do it well.

Good-Smurf38d ago

I can see this happen and they would buy Housemarque for peanuts compared to truckload of gold 7 billion bucks Microsoft bought Bethesda.

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