One of the surprise hits of this year was the PlayStation 5 exclusive Returnal. A challenging rogue-lite horror game, it stands as one of the first true showcases of the next-generation console. The game performed well during its first month, breaking in the top ten best-sellers. Well, it would seem the game performed well enough to warrant a serious interest in the studio behind it.
Announced earlier today, Sony has chosen to Aquire the Finnish studio behind the game, Housemarque, for an undisclosed amount of money. Now, this is not the beginning of the relationship between these two as Housemarque had frequently worked with Sony Interactive Entertainment before, developing eight games under the studio’s banner. These games include Resogun, Alienation, and Matterfall. Returnal however, marks the first time the studio has attempted a AAA game.
This is the first major Acquisition for Sony since they purchased Insomniac Games back in 2019 after the success of their partnership with Marvel’s Spider-Man. There have also been rumors that Sony intends to purchase Arc System Works, though that cannot be confirmed at this time.
For fans of the studio, this purchase will not change the current structure of Housemarque’s current management team, which will now work in conjunction with PlayStation Studios’ internal development team. PlayStation Studios head Hermen Hulst Stated:
With a proven track record of creating original games that feature best-in-class gameplay, Housemarque is a highly-accomplished studio and we couldn’t be more thrilled to officially welcome them to the PlayStation Studios family. With its gripping gameplay, haunting story and unforgiving world, Returnal has captivated the PlayStation audience and we’re looking forward to working alongside the team to bring to life their ambitious creative vision on future projects.
In our review for the game, Devin Rardin said “Returnal is a unique experience that fires from all cylinders. The combat is tight and responsive. The progression system keeps the player intrigued and the story is delivered in a satisfying way.” You can check out the full review here.