Sony acquires Insomniac Games

Discussion in 'Console Industry' started by Shifty Geezer, Aug 19, 2019.

  1. BRiT

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    Maybe it could have been 2019 with a port of Spider-Man.
     
  2. jayco

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    True, it only talks about MP titles. But again, it opens the door for other games to come. Death Stranding is a triple AAA title being published by Sony and there are strong rumours that it will be released on PC.

    MS has already shifted to a dual release model for all their titles (understandable as they also own Windows), but there is really no reason for Sony to not expand their playerbase as much as they can. They can always release first their games on PS consoles and later on PC. Again, there is a lot of more money to be made on SW than on HW.
     
  3. Nesh

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    Is Sony supposed to get extra money from PC sales of Death Stranding?
     
  4. Globalisateur

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    Yes, sure. They'll probably do after giving back their rights of Spiderman to Disney. ;-)
     
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  5. Silent_Buddha

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    As much as I would love to see this happen, I don't see it happening unless things go horribly wrong for the PlayStation and Sony starts to lose money on the console...more than they lost with the PS3. And they would have to screw up really badly for that to happen.

    What we're more likely to see is more and more 2nd party exclusives to come to PC. Quantic Dreams being the latest with Detroit. More and more Japanese developers moving to releasing on PC and PS instead of just PS.

    But it's unlikely for Sony's internal studios to start releasing PC games again, especially their big single player blockbusters. I'd be quite happy to see it happen though. :)

    Regards,
    SB
     
  6. Shifty Geezer

    Shifty Geezer uber-Troll!
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    Ish. Depends on if you control the hardware or not. Currently Sony is making more money than the cross-platform software publishers (EA, Ubi, Sega). If your exclusives are available on another platform that enables people to play them without buying your platform, you lose all ongoing license fees. If the majority of your income come from licensed third-party titles, that's a lot of lost money.

    When we talk about Nintendo going multiplatform, that's because Nintendo's IPs are very strong and the primary reason to own a Nintendo device. What they'd lose in third-party license fee sales from people not owning a Nintendo console, they'll likely more than make up for with sales from their software (although profits per title will be greatly down if paying other people's license fees or just having to sell cheaper on PC). For Sony, third-party losses would be way more significant.

    Sony have to be careful when considering releasing new titles to other platforms that they don't devalue their PS brand enough that people will stop buying it, relying on an alternative platform to play their games. Alternatively, they need to become a software publisher and just build on that, like Sega. Given the current strength of PS at the moment, there's zero reason to consider that, ergo they'll release limited titles to PC. If we see them releasing all and sundry to PC, we know they're getting ready to bail on hardware.
     
  7. Xbat

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    It's just the beginning. What's happening with streaming services now like Netflix,Amazon Prime, Disney and now Apple TV is going to happen on the gaming side. Content for your network/hardware is king.

    So it's do everything you possibly can to get people to subscribe/buy your network/hardware. I wouldn't be surprised if next gen they give you good deals on the hardware if you take a 24 month contract for Plus/Live.
     
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  8. Picao84

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    That might be an interesting proposition if hardware cost is high.
     
  9. Shifty Geezer

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    Except Sony doesn't have a network, and when you have lots of similar completing platforms, they'll start to compete on profits as opposed to the walled-garden monies that the big earners have. Where Sony've tried in the past, they've failed, except regards their lucrative hardware platform. Maybe in ten years' time, things will be different, but this Insomniac acquisition is all about PS5 and exclusives as usual and anyone reading about Sony's plans to release games on PC and other platforms and thinking, "woohoo, I don't need to buy a PS5 and can play all their games on PC," is almost certainly going to be disappointed. You won't get first-party titles moving to PC and mobile and XB until that makes more money than keeping them exclusive.
     
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  10. Xbat

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    I think of PS+ and console as Sony's network.

    I know it's probably not the right term to use? Walled garden just seems so cumbersome to use all the time :)
     
  11. ultragpu

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    The potential for Insomniac as a Sony first party dev is immense, in my head I picture that as a Charizard getting the Mega stone and Mega evolves into Mega Charizard X with stupidly enhanced stats.
    Also buy Crytek and Remedy next. Those two sorely needed the mega budget to do something great with all their graphics tech expertise. I need to see Crysis 4 and Alan Wake 2 designed with the almighty PS5 hardware with budget and manpower that would bury a mountain!
     
  12. DSoup

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    Currently re-playing Ratchet & Clank on PS4. This is a game design, that even back on PS2, nailed the infamous Bungie quote of "30 seconds of fun" loop. I think it's why I've never tired of R&C unlike Uncharted.

    For me R&C is onle of rare pinnacles of fun characters, fun story, great tech, fun gameplay. It doesn't really matter what you are doing in R&C, it's just fun to destroy and reap bolts to spend on more ways to destroy. I enjoyed Spider-Man but nowhere near as much as I have every R&C game.

    And maybe we'll get a Resistance remaster. Resistance didn't appeal to me in the slightest as a PS3 launch but I eventually got the free demo and was hooked. Again, great tech, great game design, good story, believable characters. I'd like to see the original two games re-imagined.
     
  13. Silent_Buddha

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    In a similar way to Insomniac Games being a natural fit for Sony, Remedy is a far more natural fit for Microsoft.
    • Only one of their games hasn't been released on Windows and that was an iOS mobile game.
    • Only 2 of their 8 released games has appeared on Playstation, while 5 of them have appeared on Xbox.
      • Not counting the upcoming Control as it hasn't been released yet.
    I'm sure MS has approached them about being a 1st party studio due to their close ties to MS, but they prefer to stay independent for the moment.

    So, while it could happen, I'm doubtful that Sony would be that much more attractive than MS for them.

    [edit] One thing I forgot to add is that they recently became a publicly traded company in order to facilitate growing into a multi-title development house. Basically all their moves in recent years has been to strengthen their ability to remain independent.

    Regards,
    SB
     
    #53 Silent_Buddha, Aug 24, 2019
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2019
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  14. Rootax

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    I loved Spiderman but R&C bored me to death. Let see what they can do next.
     
  15. DSoup

    DSoup meh
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    Something you hear a lot from Sony's first/second party developer's is Sony's Worldwide Studio's management giving the freedom to try new things. Uncharted, Resistance, Infamous, The Last of us, DriveClub (ok, maybe not a good ending), Horizon Zero Dawn and Spider-Man were all departures from past franchises successes that Sony gambled on. I think this appeals a lot to creative types.

    I don't know how Microsoft fare. Obviously it difficult to overlook the Bungie-shaped elephant in the room, where the team literally had to leave Microsoft Studios to stand any chance of working on anything other than Halo until they all died. Do you remember the interesting looking new IP from Back Tusk Studios at Microsoft E3 2013 event? You've probably forgotten, that was killed and Black Tusk was renamed The Coalition following Microsoft buying the Gears IP and The Coalition are cranking out Gears games.

    I think Microsoft Studios' management have a bit fo a blindspot for not knowing when to let a franchise fade away, or just give it a decade to slumber and refresh itself. Microsoft aren't Nintendo who somehow have perfected the art of selling the exact same game to the exact same person five or six times. :runaway:
     
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  16. Shifty Geezer

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    Sony apparently mandated a change in direction, which not everyone was happy with.
    https://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2011-09-22-uncharted-started-out-as-a-fantasy-game

    Although that story is at odds with this one where Sherr wanted to make an Indian Jones type game from the get-go. I guess Sony wanted more realistic and gritty and and made those who created the likes of Jak and R&C go in different directions even if they didn't want to, and as a result of this push, Sherr got to make this game he wanted. He still had to create a pitch though to get Sony to greenlight it.

    My main point being that it's probably not safe to assume Sony gives its devs free reign. They aren't above mandating certain directions. It's probably true to say they provide freer reign. There's evidently an approval process for the first-party studios.
     
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  17. ultragpu

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    I don't know, Shu Yoshida's recent visit to their studio probably indicated that Remedy is still interested in getting purchased. As far as MS is concerned, Quantum Break's poor sales did not meet expectation and MS most likely lost a significant amount of money through it so the incentive to shell out a huge number for purchase was absent. Shu probably has good faith in Remedy in terms of how the convergence with his own first party studios and support would give Remedy a good leg up to reach true greatness. Imagine getting Neil Druckman directing Alan Wake 2 for kicks. Things are getting really interesting now but what's more important is for the devs to get their necessary budget to realize their vision.
     
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  18. DSoup

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    Don Poole's comments contradict multiple accounts from ND heads (including Amy Hennig) and branch heads across all departments, not to mentions videos, GDC presentations and interviews for the best part of a decade - please bear that in mind.

    No, and Sony would be quite stupid to give free reign to any team, which is very different for entertaining pitches for new ideas, which is all I've read about. Even with second parties like Insomniac when making Spider-Man. Insomniac's account suggests they had overall creative control other than what Marvel felt were out of bounds for the IP. And that in itself is a huge sign of trust, Marvel's Spider-Man is probably the biggest licensed IP Sony Worldwide Studios have ever handled and they trusted a second part studio to oversee it.

    Perhaps Microsoft Studios do this too. I've just not seen anything to suggest it.
     
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  19. Shortbread

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    I believe Microsoft Gaming Division has become more flexible with Spencer at the helm. A emphasis towards this change was on display at this year's Xbox E3 showing, by having 'Double Fine Productions' Tim Schafer and Spencer banter (a little awkward though) about the freedom and creativity towards games in which DFP wants to provide as a first-party company.

    That being said, I think some feathers got ruffled over at Remedy dealing with Quantum Break and Microsoft. Nothing like Bungie... but big enough for one of the developers (head developer I believe) to make some snide remarks of thanking Microsoft for allowing them to put Control on their system.
     
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  20. Silent_Buddha

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    Oh definitely. There was a period where MS exerted almost an iron grip of control, but that was most likely due to the excesses and missed deadlines at Lionhead (Peter Molyneaux) while they were part of Microsoft. Lionhead when they were acquired had absolutely free rein over everything, and that ended up being a disaster.

    Up to that point, virtually all of Microsoft's 1st party developers had free reign to make what they wanted. I'm pretty sure the whole experience with Lionhead scarred Microsoft's gaming division for years.

    But, at least at the moment, it appears that things are returning back to how they were before MS starting having troubles with Lionhead. All of their recent signings have been given free rein to create whatever they want to create however they wish to create them. IE - MS isn't seeking to alter the development culture at any of the studios they've acquired recently.

    You can see this with Ninja Theory. Their first game release under Microsoft will be one they've been working on as a small side project (Bleeding Edge) for years now that is kind of at odds with the direction that Microsoft is looking to go going forward. But it's been sort of a passion project over there and they'd like to release it, so Microsoft is obliging them by giving them the time and funds to finish and release it. It's something that could bring some customers to Game Pass, but isn't the Single Player experience that Microsoft is hoping they'll be able to create for them. Almost no-one, likely including Microsoft is expecting it to make a significant splash. But Ninja Theory wants it, so why not? Maybe it'll scratch an itch that gamers didn't know they had.

    Now, whether this continues going forward, we'll just have to wait and see, but at least from what all the acquired developer's have said is that Microsoft committed to a hands off approach to game development and that was one of the main reasons they agreed to be acquired.

    And I tend to believe it. Tim Schaefer and Double Fine Productions don't work well...or even at all...under heavy handed leadership.

    Hell, even with their current studios, can you imagine the Microsoft of 2013 allowing Rare to work on and release something like Battletoads?

    Regards,
    SB
     
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