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Mergers & Acquisitions: Sony Purchase 14.09% Of From Software


Robo_1
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Thought it might be fun to have a thread where we can speculate on who might be buying who in the gaming world and to keep track of any news and announcements.

 

Obviously MS have gone all in this gen with their purchase of Bethesda, which follows their run of 2018 purchases of Obsidian Entertainment, Double Fine, inXile Entertainment, Ninja Theory and Playground Games.

 

Sony have also made a few recent developer purchases, starting with Insomniac in 2019, Team Asobi in 2021 and they have just announced that they are purchasing Housemarqe. It also appears to be all but confirmed that Blue Point Studios have been acquired too, with an announcement imminent.

 

Nintendo don't often make these sort of studio purchases, but in January of this year they did purchase Canadian based, Next Level Games, who developed Luigi's Mansion 3. For reference their previous purchase was of Monolith Soft (Xenoblade Chronicles), back 2007.

It seems that there will be an increasing amount of consolidation happening as the generation rolls on, as companies seek to build out an exclusive library of games, worthy of a monthly user subscription fee.

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Even though I have the luxury of being able to buy all platforms, I'm not a fan of acquisitions. I do think it can be good for developers who make critically acclaimed games, but had trouble staying alive, like Housemarque and (perhaps) Arkane.

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3 minutes ago, Vemsie said:

Even though I have the luxury of being able to buy all platforms, I'm not a fan of acquisitions. I do think it can be good for developers who make critically acclaimed games, but had trouble staying alive, like Housemarque and (perhaps) Arkane.

 

I think Housemarque make a lot of sense for just that reason. They add real value to the overall offering, even if the games they produce aren't necessarily huge sellers. A bit like MS's purchase of Double Fine, it just rounds out the offering and keeps a much loved studio alive and able to produce their best work.

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I might be wrong but I feel that having a big catalog of AAA is not important anymore. Even consoles users are very into specific games.

I have an xbox and I barely use it, I just spent most of my limited time in Assetto Corsa, Assetto Corsa Competizione and Guilty Gear Strive, all on PC.

Microsoft could purchase 75% of the industry and I will probably still play the same 3 games only.

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With the recent Microsoft 'Splash the Cash' they have picked up a couple of developers (Obsidian/Ninja Theory) that I was gutted about but it just means at some point in the near future I will need to buy either an xbox or hopefully if the cloud gaming solution comes to TV's then I will just get a sub for a couple of months to enjoy a few games.

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Before anyone gets their console war meme bollocks in a twist:

 

buying a games company so they can make games that won’t get made otherwise, therefore creating an audience = good

 

buying a games company to purposely create a smaller audience = less good

 

But it’s all lols until Housemarque are consigned to forever making multiplayer loot boxes and custom baseball bats for the annual MLB the Show update.

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1 minute ago, squirtle said:

I'm surprised no one has bought Platinum yet. 

 

Considering their recent crop of releases and previews, I'm not so surprised. At the moment, they are by far the most uneven developer out there. 

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3 minutes ago, JoeK said:

 

Considering their recent crop of releases and previews, I'm not so surprised. At the moment, they are by far the most uneven developer out there. 

Is that because of lack of funds and being independent though? Nintendo should buy them. 

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3 minutes ago, squirtle said:

Is that because of lack of funds and being independent though? Nintendo should buy them. 

 

It's hard to tell. It feels like there's a general lack of direction and/or inspiration with them at the mo'. 

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Just now, squirtle said:

Shiggsy would whip em into shape. 

 

He would - although I haven't seen him buzzing around for ages now :( . I assume he's still busying himself with the hardware side of things? 

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9 hours ago, Robo_1 said:

Thought it might be fun to have a thread where we can speculate on who might be buying who in the gaming world and to keep track of any news and announcements.

Why don't we just have a new thread whenever there's an announcement? Why do we need another fucking megathread? 

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Tencent (who else) own a chunk of Platinum so I think they are on solid ground financially.  

 

I'd like to see someone buy whatever Treasure is nowadays so that their games could be played more easily on modern hardware. I don't need a new Gunstar Heroes but it'd be nice to just be have their back catalogue available. 

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10 hours ago, Wahwah* said:

Why don't we just have a new thread whenever there's an announcement? Why do we need another fucking megathread? 

 

It's a thread for general speculation too, but there's absolutely nothing stopping you or anyone else creating specific threads for specific mergers, in fact I'd encourage it.

 

As with any threads, engagement will determine if there's value to this one. I think events like the Bethesda buy out will obviously warrent their own thread, but smaller ones (like Team Asobi for example) probably wouldn't and my hope was that this thread would be used to catch these and maybe become a place where people who are interested in this aspect of the industry could chat more broadly about it.

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11 hours ago, squirtle said:

I'm surprised no one has bought Platinum yet. 

 

Have they released anything since 2013?

 

Every project since seems to have gone into development hell and been cancelled - first Scalebound, then they got Granblue Fantasy taken away from them, Bayonetta 3 is a no-show after 4 years and is rumoured to have been cancelled. Babylons Fall looks pump...

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3 hours ago, Wahwah* said:

You'd encourage something by making a thread that discourages it? 

 

I don't believe there's anything preventing a thread like this existing, which offers members a place for general M&A discussion and keeps track of any announcements and you or anybody else starting a thread about any merger or acquisition you want and going deeper into it.

 

Honestly, I created this thread on a whim. If the general feedback is that it isn't welcome, then I'm honestly happy to delete it. My feeling is if there's a use for it then it will be used, if there's not and members prefer creating their own threads around the subject, it will be quickly forgotten.

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13 minutes ago, RubberJohnny said:

Have they released anything since 2013?

 

Bayonetta 2, Astral Chain, World of Demons, Nier Automata. A bunch of remasters as well.

 

Admittedly it hasn't been looking too good in the last few years. Hopefully they can pull through whatever's going on over there.

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Sony's head of first party studios, Herman Hulst has recently given an interview about their expansion strategy, saying, "we're very selective about the developers that we bring in, our last new acquisition was Insomniac (for $229 million in 2019), which has worked out very well. I'm always looking for people that have a similar set of values, similar creative ambitions and work very well with our team that we can further invest in and help grow as creators. It's not like we're going around and just making random acquisitions".

 

I don't think there's anything controversial there. Some have interpreted his last remark as a shot at MS, but for the rest I think he's relaying Sony's long standing strategy of working with a developer long term on a second party basis and then making a full purchase once they're sure they'll fit in. I don't see them changing them that strategy going forward, unless MS continued to aggressively buy up talent, at that point they may feel pushed into making defensive purchases just to stay on something of a level playing field.

I'm not sure how remarked it went at the time, but a few months back Sony purchased Evo (Evolution Championship Series) a major online fighting game tournament so it looks as though they are looking to address their lack of engagement in the eSports world. I wonder if they see themselves as just wanting a piece of the pie in terms of eSports engagement or could they be looking to develop or tie up their own Playstation exclusive fighting game?

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5 hours ago, Robo_1 said:

 

I don't believe there's anything preventing a thread like this existing, which offers members a place for general M&A discussion and keeps track of any announcements and you or anybody else starting a thread about any merger or acquisition you want and going deeper into it.

 

Honestly, I created this thread on a whim. If the general feedback is that it isn't welcome, then I'm honestly happy to delete it. My feeling is if there's a use for it then it will be used, if there's not and members prefer creating their own threads around the subject, it will be quickly forgotten.

The thread is a good idea. Christ, there are some miserable fuckers around nowadays

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15 hours ago, Triple A said:

Treasure’s gone I think 😢

One of the main guys is at M2 I believe but the rest were scattered?

I knew they weren't active as a developer anymore and I vaguely remember someone from 8-4 play saying that one of the founders was running what was left of the company but he had no interest in working with 8-4 play. 

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Konami have just announced a, "strategic partnership" with Bloober Team, the devs responsible for The Medium. You can read the press release below:

 

Quote

 

Konami Digital Entertainment Co., Ltd. announces that it has formed a business alliance with the Polish game developer Bloober Team S.A. (hereinafter, “Bloober Team”). We will be collaborating on the production of contents.

 

Bloober Team is a game developer established in 2008, in Kraków, Poland.They have a reputation for authorship and artistry and has released many high-quality contents globally. 

 

We have been providing unique entertainment content and ways to enjoy it through the use of latest technology.

In the digital entertainment industry, significant changes in the business environment are expected in the future. We have decided to form a business alliance with Bloober Team with the aim of creating high-quality content by combining our respective characteristics and strengths.

We will announce information about contents from the business alliance once details are decided.

 

 

The Medium was well received and they should feel quite at home with Konami and their legacy franchises. I had wondered if Konami would be content to just sell or license out their franchises going forward, but it seems they're looking to continue in-house development going into next gen.

 

1 hour ago, sandman said:

The thread is a good idea.

 

Thanks. I hope some people find it useful anyway.  If it dies a death I'll just quietly edit it to become the, "Would You Like Platinum To Go Exclusive" thread, when it hits the 20th page, making it far more interesting to people and thus proving the naysayers right. :lol:

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