Sony is willing to buy game developers as it prepares to launch the PlayStation 5, the company confirms. As well as studio acquisitions, the company's PS5 strategy is rumored to make the new console appeal to hardcore gamers, an audience that enjoys talking about technical specs and less mainstream game releases.
Speaking to Nikkei, Sony Interactive Entertainment President Jim Ryan revealed that he is looking at the merger or acquisition of other game developers. Ryan said that gaming content has become "more important than ever," as companies like Google appeal to players who want easy access to huge libraries of games. Google's Stadia game streaming service, will have exclusive games from first and third-party studios, and by adding to its developer portfolio, Sony would be able to compete with that.
Google Stadia isn't the only streaming service that poses a threat to Sony and the success of the PS5. Amazon's rumored game streaming service could appeal to some, the Apple Arcade game subscription launches in the fall, and Microsoft's Project xCloud is being tested. Sony will want to make more exclusive content so that people have to buy a PS5 to play those games.
By purchasing more game developers, Sony would also be able to fend off competition from Microsoft. After being criticized for a lack of first-party content and exclusives, Microsoft has acquired several studios such as Hellblade developer Ninja Theory, Fallout: New Vegas developer Obsidian Entertainment, and Psychonauts developer DoubleFine Studios. Some of the games that these teams are working on, such as Ninja Theory's multiplayer title Bleeding Edge, have been announced, but others are being kept quiet for now.
With the announced exclusives and other rumored titles like Fable 4, Microsoft has more than a dozen big projects like this in development. Sony does have games like Death Stranding, The Last of Us Part Two, and Ghost of Tshushima - which are rumored to be cross-platform titles and will be available on PS5 - but failing to add to its number of studios could see it fall behind.
It's not yet known which studios Sony is looking at purchasing. Insomniac Games has worked with Sony on several releases but hasn't been owned by the company, and some fans would like Sony to buy The Order: 1886 developer Ready at Dawn so that it can have another shot at making a big exclusive. It seems like Sony is still thinking about its options, though, so fans may not hear a confirmation for some time.