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Sony Snaps Up Returnal Developer In Latest Move Against Xbox

Sony is stepping up its competition with Microsoft, with its gaming division buying Housemarque, the Finnish studio behind recent PS5 release Returnal.

The buyout sees Housemarque – a long-time partner of Sony, and billed as the oldest game studio in Finland – join Sony Interactive Entertainment’s (SIE) PlayStation Studios alongside other developers such as Insomniac, which Sony acquired in 2019. It has so far released eight exclusive titles for PlayStation platforms, including this year’s sci-fi first-person shooter Returnal.

Hermen Hulst, head of PlayStation Studios, welcomed Housemarque to the company, saying it has a proven track record of developing high-quality original titles.

“Housemarque’s recent release of Returnal proves the studio is one with incredible vision, capable of creating memorable new games that resonate with our community.

“This addition enhances the creative force of PlayStation Studios, and I cannot wait to see what the future holds for Housemarque,” he said.

According to Ilari Kuittinen, Co-founder and Managing Director, Housemarque, the buyout will allow the studio to continue to experiment with new titles.

“This gives our studio a clear future and a stable opportunity to continue delivering on gameplay centric approaches, while still experimenting with new methods of narrative delivery and pushing the boundaries of this modern artform.

“With the backing of SIE and its family of studios supporting us, we can truly grow into our place in the industry and show what Housemarque can create with no limitations,” he said.

The move comes several months after Microsoft’s acquisition of ZeniMax Media, owner of Bethesda, developer of franchises including Fallout, The Elder Scrolls, and upcoming Starfield.

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