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SONY Pursues Inorganic Growth to Enhance Gaming Division

Sony Group Corporation SONY is actively pursuing an inorganic growth strategy to augment its gaming software division to better compete with rivals like Microsoft Corporation MSFT, Nintendo Co. NTDOY, and Alphabet Inc. GOOGL. The acquisition binge also strengthens its long-standing business relationships with the game developers, as it intends to create more ambitious projects in the future by leveraging their rich talent pool and zest for gameplay-centric approaches. At the same time, it aims to experiment with newer methods of narrative delivery to push the boundaries of the gaming arena.

Sony recently acquired game developer Bluepoint Games that has long been associated with various blockbuster remakes and remasters for PlayStation Studios system. Since its inception in 2006, Texas-based Bluepoint Games has had close ties with Sony and developed the PS3 downloadable game Blast Factor. Thereafter, it was entrusted with remakes and remasters of PlayStation games like God of War, Gravity Rush, Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection, Shadow of the Colossus, and Demon's Souls. With each of these projects, Bluepoint Games managed to excel expectations by raising the bar with console-defining visuals and gameplay and received critical acclaim for the PS4 remake of Shadow of the Colossus and PS5 remake of Demon's Souls that recorded 1.4 million sales at launch.  

Although Bluepoint Games has largely gained widespread industry recognition on revisiting other developers’ work, it is reportedly focusing on original content at present, which has been kept under wraps. Probably this could have been the most deciding factor behind its acquisition by Sony as demand for gaming consoles continues to witness healthy growth. Moreover, the fact that Bluepoint Games knows PlayStation better than any other entity made it logical to capitalize on the developer’s insight by combining it within the PlayStation Studio banner for a mutually beneficial relationship in the long run.

In June, Sony acquired game development studio Housemarque for an undisclosed amount. Since its inception in 1995, Finland-based Housemarque has developed a name for itself as a leading game developer with stratified mechanics and impeccable audiovisual execution for euphoric gaming experiences. It has developed several PlayStation-exclusive games, including, Super Stardust HD, Dead Nation, Resogun, and Matterfall. However, its latest game Returnal, which is featured in PlayStation 5 gaming console, has hogged the limelight with several critical acclaims.  

Leveraging the rich talent pool of Housemarque and its zest for gameplay-centric approaches while experimenting with newer methods of narrative delivery to push the boundaries of the gaming arena, Sony aims to extend its leading market share in gaming software. The deal also strengthens its long-standing business relationship with the game developer. The company further aims to capitalize on its immense popularity to create more ambitious projects in the future. Post acquisition, Housemarque will continue to be run by its management team with inputs from PlayStation Studios personnel.

Earlier this year, Sony also acquired PC-port specialists Nixxes, and the U.K.-based developer Firesprite to extend its leading market share in gaming software. The strategic buyouts are likely to augment its gaming arsenal and capitalize on the PS5 frenzy.

Sony launched PS5 in November last year to capitalize on the uptick in pandemic-induced nesting activities — games, streaming video, and home fitness. The gaming console was an instant hit with customers and was immediately sold out worldwide, reportedly more than 10 million units to date. Sony has loaded the product with updated graphics, a newly-redesigned controller, and a collection of exclusive games. With a powerful 8-core AMD Zen 2 processor, 10.3 teraflops of graphics power, gorgeous 4K visuals, and an immersive end-user experience, the PS5 promises one of the best performances witnessed in a gaming console. Moreover, PS5 loads games about 10 to 20 seconds faster than the PS4 Pro and can even read physical discs a few minutes faster, making it an ideal choice for tech-savvy gamers.


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