PlayStation's and Xbox's Acquisition Strategies Highlight Key Differences

While neither is necessarily better or worse than the other, the different ways PlayStation and Xbox go about making acquisitions are huge.

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AspiringProGenji581d ago

Sony has had a family of developers for years and those they acquired during the PS3 era were what made the PS4 shine with their games, while the older brothers were working on their craft and pushed the PS4 even more. Now with the PS5 we will see all devs in their prime and going all out. Sony should focus on keeping their family of devs making more quality content and adding a few that would diversify their lineup rather than panic buying devs, which is what MS has been mostly doing. It will take more years for MS will be where Sony is at right now. They have the quantity… now let’s see how they will deliver quality

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neutralgamer1992580d ago

One company had none so they spent while the other company keeps doing smaller buyouts and growing overtime. I don't think Ms had the luxury to wait and see, they had to go big to show their commitment long term. And because they were trying to step away from traditional gaming model and instead focusing on subscriptions

Right or wrong depends on your point of view. The way I see it Sony at one time were working on a console with Nintendo so they saw first hand what was working and they learned from that. Microsoft came into gaming console business thinking they could just throw money around and fix their shortcomings

OptimusDK580d ago

BETHESDA - PANIC BUYING LOL you are to funny!

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isarai581d ago

Sony buys up and coming studios with promise and potential and builds them into something bigger.

MS is buying the biggest ones they can afford that have already developed themselves.

Basically Sony is buying the lot, then building the mansion, MS is buying the mansion prefurnished from the previous owner.

Atom666581d ago

But prior to Bethesda, the criticism was that the 5-6 teams bought by MS were small AA teams.

Suddenly that's forgotten?

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DarXyde581d ago

I think you're taking isarai's comment to be denigrating—to me, it's more of an observation, and an apt one at that.

I respect the PlayStation approach more because it's a very encouraging environment that raises the talent, but I also think Microsoft buying Zenimax makes a ton of sense. A massive purchase of many studios with highly acclaimed IPs. They were pretty far behind and it does help them play catch-up, for sure.

I think Sony should be flattered, honestly. Microsoft felt compelled to spend upwards of $7 B to keep pace. People would deny that, but I'm quite convinced that this was clearly a purchase aimed at leveling the gap.

Sayai jin581d ago

Yet, MS and Beth3ada has had a productice long relationship.

DOMination-581d ago (Edited 581d ago )

"No. The criticism was that they don't build their dev teams. And they don't foster their relationships."

Bit of a blanket statement there. MS built 343i, The Initiative and The Coalition from scratch in the last decade and worked with Playground Games and Undead Labs for years before purchasing them.

How many studios have Sony built from the ground up in the last 20 years?

Yes ZeniMax is a different beast, nobody disputes that but Microsoft have done the stuff Sony does (fostering) and the stuff people thinks Sony does but doesn't (build new studios). Plus in addition they have stopped small studios from going bankrupt (inXile, Double Fine, Obsidian). And maybe Microsoft acquire Asobo, Moon and Avalanche next after they have worked with them?

Atom666581d ago Undead and Playground?

How about some of the others? Obsidian's first console title was Xbox. Ninja Theory's first console game was Xbox. All of the teams they signed up have all had relationships w/ MS for a long, long time. Look into the actual people in those teams and how long they've worked with folks on the MS side.

Relationships don't just mean that they took a multiplat/freelance dev...fed them contract work for awhile...and then bought them. Sony isn't some special altruistic corporation here. They made targeted acquisitions and used the exact same PR speak as MS afterwards.

Fanboys just want to tell themselves that when THEIR multi-national corporation does an acquisition, it's SO much different than the others.

It's not. It's all the same. If Sony was comfortable with the financials, they'd get larger buys too.

anast581d ago

Great screen name. Strange comment.

UltraNova581d ago

Sayai jin,

Show me a Zenimax/Bethesda multiplatform game that sold more copies on xbox vs PS. Then look at the totals.

wiz7191581d ago

@knightedhollow what are you talking about ?? Majority of MS studios they did so have a relationship with them prior to purchase. Fans swear they know what goes on in the background.

DOMination-581d ago

"Show me a Zenimax/Bethesda multiplatform game that sold more copies on xbox vs PS. Then look at the totals."

Not aimed at me but I'll jump in here. You're asking an almost impossible question to answer as that information is hard to find/prove. But I can almost guarantee that Oblivion, Skyrim and Fallout 3 sold more on x360 than PS3.

Also just to add facts to what was said earlier, Beth/MS have had a relationship for some time. Morrowind was exclusive, Oblivion was exclusive (until the GOTY edition came out) and Skyrim/F3 had all their DLC timed exclusive to x360.

Now last gen was a different story altogether of course. PS4 completely dominated and I imagine every single game sold more on PlayStation.

Sayai jin580d ago

Ultrs, which one sold more? Your cimment doesn't make sense in context. I am talking about relationships not sales. Ot is a well known fact that Bethesda and MS had a good relationship for sometime. It looks like Domination beat me to it as far a s a response.

Are you denying that they had a good relationship?

Domination, pretty much said what I eould have done.

UltraNova580d ago (Edited 580d ago )

Saya Jin,

The keyword on your OG comment was "productive" which means, in my eyes, in terms of revenue produced. The simple truth is that Bethesda had a more "productive" relationship with Sony throughout the years by making more money (in total - to appease DOMination) from partnering with Sony i.e releasing their games on PS platforms - which is especially true during last-gen as DOMination already mentioned. It's worth reminding that last-gen saw record game sales compared to any previous gens too.

Anyway, the deal MS made was aggressive and there's no excuse, but it made sense too.

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Rude-ro580d ago

Direction via output.
Microsoft wants drag and drop game engines connected with other players to create the dependency of playing with friends is what gaming is about.
This, of course, leads to cheaper development and leans into their bread and butter… subscriptions.
Nothing wrong with it… it is a space that can be filled.
IF one of Microsoft developers knocks out an awesome idea for a single player AAA game.. then we will randomly see them. But their focus is players creating fun with each other.

Sony has had a hard line approach of creating big AAA games and blurring the line of art, movies and gaming while they spend less on “connected” games, make them indie style or let the third party developers who are focusing on it have their own spot.

Both companies can make changes.. but this would favor Sony more because it is far easier to create a map/sandbox and let players create their connected PvP/co-op fun vs huge AAA games that push the gaming developments forward.

Kind of cool to be honest.
Third parties for everyone… differences in directions.

MIDGETonSTILTS17580d ago

I think it would be fairer to say Sony started a small town that grew into a city, and Microsoft found a metropolis and bought the election for to be Mayor of it.

One has deep rooted connections with every corner of their community, the other has ownership and power of a larger community (but shallower roots). Time will tell if Microsoft’s dev culture has shifted at all since Bungie split up.

Rimeskeem581d ago

Xbox likes to partner with established devs and give them more resources to make bigger games. PS likes to partner with smaller devs over the course of years and eventually give them an offer etc.

Rimeskeem581d ago

In other words, I feel like PS builds a relationship from the ground up with devs providing an opportunity to make something they want to make with more resources while Xbox takes them out for a really nice dinner and then says if they marry them they get to be rich.

DarXyde581d ago

I do wonder what the financial benefit to Bethesda is though. They kinda remind me of Rockstar where their games are popular enough that they're massively profitable with very limited budget constraints.

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Witchcraft581d ago

Both companies have the same high-level strategy: they buy what they can afford. Everything else is marketing BS. It's funny how much hate MS gets for buying Zenimax, when Sony was trying to make a deal with Bethesda themselves. Now being outbid by competition is called 'nurturing' and having a 'family' (favorite word of every dysfunctional corporation ever).

Neither corporation is better or worse, they're both cut from the same... well, spreadsheet. The difference is the size of the wallet: Sony does smaller deals and buyouts, but you bet they would buy EA in a second if they could afford (and sustain) it.

MS on the other hand is doing all kinds of deals and acquisitions, because they can (for now). Saying they don't create or 'nurture' studios is cute. Turn10, 343i, Coalition, Initiative - created. Playground - bought after a long exclusive relationship. Most of the biggest IPs on Xbox are handled by studios built by MS.

DeadManMMX581d ago

Man you hit the nail on the head. It is all marketing BS.

Gunstar75580d ago

Sony has no choice in the matter. XBOX is backed by a two trillion dollar mega Corp. Only they can spend zenimax level dollars

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waverider581d ago

One doesnt know how to build and improve a Studio and its force to spend billions on big studios another get small studios and helps them become great.

wiz7191581d ago

insomniac wasn’t a small studio, the only big studio MS bought was Zenimax. The other studio that were purchased were going under anyway, y’all Sony fans are clueless. Y’all need to become friends with for real lol .. spreading more false information then anything ..

Ron_Danger580d ago

Insomniac was a small studio when they started. They had around 50 employees when they created their first game, Disruptor, for PS1 (originally for the 3DO before that system tanked). Through the years, they’ve worked with many console makers but it was Sony that helped them the most, hence the whole building up a small indie studio and nurturing talent.

I agree… is useful!

wiz7191580d ago

@Ron first their relationship with insomniac was by default , it was them or Nintendo. When Sony purchased insomniac they weren’t a small studio.

Ron_Danger580d ago

Hmmm… looks like you aren’t taking your own advice. Google is your friend (remember what you typed).

They didn’t go with Sony by default. It was between Sony and Sega (Nintendo used cartridges not cds) and Universal chose to go with PlayStation.

Considering you completely fabricated that point in your comment, I can only assume you’re one of those users who just throws ideas at the wall and hopes something sticks. There’s no point talking with you because you’ll just lie to make your comments seem plausible.

Jericho1337580d ago

If that’s how you want to spin it. So if Sony went and bought say, Rockstar, then I suppose you’d slate them for it then?

The reality is that Microsoft has a bigger balance sheet and Sony can’t make the same sort of industry-shaking acquisitions. Carry on dressing up the morals of this as much as you like though.

Elda581d ago

Sony has done it the right way. Basically buying studios that basically developed exclusives for Sony for years.

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