Sony Computer Entertainment announced this morning that it has acquired long time development partner Sucker Punch Productions.

The two companies have been partners for over twelve years, starting when Sucker Punch developed Sly Cooper And The Thievius Raccoonus for the PlayStation 2.

Until today, the studio has always been considered a second-party development studio to Sony, meaning that the games they made were published by Sony but the development studio itself was independent from the publisher.

From the official Sony press release:

“Sucker Punch Productions is one of the most highly acclaimed development studios in the industry and we have enjoyed a wonderful relationship with the company for over 12 years. SCE family,” said Shuhei Yoshida, president, SCE WWS. “The addition of Sucker Punch to SCE WWS reiterates our dedication to developing world class gaming experiences that can only be found on the PlayStation platform. With one of the strongest exclusive software lineups in the PS3’s history, combined with the diverse, innovate content in the works for PlayStation Vita, consumers have a lot to be excited about this year.”

Sucker Punch Productions will continue to be run by it’s current management staff and founders, as well as in conjunction with Sony Computer Entertainment World Wide Studios (SCE WWS) Foster City Studios – so anyone worried that an acquisition may dilute the studio’s quality need not worry. This sentiment was reiterated by Sucker Punch’s own Brian Flemming, who states that the acquisition will allow Sucker Punch to bring more innovative content to PlayStation gamers:

“We’ve enjoyed an incredible relationship with Sony that has allowed us to combine our creative design capabilities with their guidance to make some of the best franchises to hit the PlayStation platforms. Equally important, the relationship with SCE has provided us the flexibility and trust to take creative risks and invent new properties. As a part of the Sony Computer Entertainment group we look forward to introducing more innovative content and providing consumers with exciting, new interactive experiences.”

In total, Sucker Punch games have sold more than seven million units world-wide and have been critical successes as well, especially the recently released InFAMOUS 2, which received a favorable review here at GameRant. They now join Sony’s first party family, consisting of sixteen other development studios, including the recently acquired Media Molecule. Having developed the Sly Cooper franchise for the PS2 and the InFAMOUS franchise for the PS3, one can certainly expect Sucker Punch to be working on great things, especially with the additional resources of a Sony first party developer.

Are you excited to see results of this partnership, or would you have preferred that Sucker Punch kept their independence like fellow second party developer, Insomniac Games?