Microsoft: "Studio takeovers are healthy for the industry"

Microsoft: Studio takeovers are healthy for the industry


In the recent past there have been increasing reports of takeovers of numerous developer studios by large manufacturers or publishers. For example, Sony recently bought the Housemarque team. Microsoft has also shown itself to be very enterprising in this regard and has snapped up Bethesda, among others. Quite a few gamers are critical of these takeovers - not so the Xbox boss Phil Spencer.

In an interview with IGN magazine, Spencer said that he even considered the takeover of studios to be positive for the entire industry look at. You always have to keep an eye on both sides:

"Starting a new studio - starting a small business at all - is a very risky undertaking. Starting a video game studio is especially important Team is actually taking the risk of starting a new company, building a studio out of the ground, building it over the years and creating value in the process; telling this team not to sell is very short-sighted that every team should end up selling their studio, but I think it's a natural and healthy part of our industry. "

Incidentally, with regard to Microsoft, Spencer also sees potential for improvements in his own portfolio. There is definitely a need, especially with regard to the family-friendly content. Accordingly, Microsoft is still on the lookout for further takeover candidates, but without naming them in public.

How do you stand on this topic? Are the increased takeovers of developer studios really good for the industry or is it completely different for you? Let us know in the comments!

Source: IGN

The Microsoft And Sony First Party Arms Race Has Dueling Strategies

This week, Sony acquired Housemarque, maker of Returnal, and may have leaked they’re about to acquire Bluepoint too. This comes in the wake of their acquisition of Insomniac in 2019.

In a recent interview with GQ, Sony’s Hermen Hulst was asked if he viewed what was going on between Sony and Microsoft as an “arms race” of sorts, with Microsoft scooping up an enormous number of developers to bolster its first party offerings, culminating in a massive $7 billion purchase of Bethesda and all its IPs.

Here’s what Hulst had to say about it:

“We're very selective about the developers that we bring in. Our last new acquisition was, which has worked out very well. I'm always looking for people that have a similar set of values, similar creative ambitions and work very well with our team that we can further invest in and help grow as creators. It's not like we're going around and just making random acquisitions.”

While Hulst may not like the “arms race” terminology, whatever you want to call it, of course Sony and Microsoft are both trying to make sure they’re more well-stocked than the other so they can lure potential consumers with a roster of must-have first party games. Sony has been doing this to great effect for a while now, and Microsoft understood it was a main problem of their last generation, hence all the acquisitions now.



But I agree with Hulst that it’s dramatically different tactics. Both Housemarque and Bluepoint, and Insomniac before them, were studios that Sony has worked with for years, sometimes decades, and Sony has a habit of taking smaller developers, growing them over time, and then unleashing them with full blockbusters, which is how we get the likes of Horizon Zero Dawn, Ghost of Tsushima and Spider-Man.

Microsoft is sort of doing this, though many of its longtime studios like 343 and The Coalition are attached to ongoing series like Halo and Gears. So they bought up a number of developers that had proven records of making good games, which I would hardly classify as “random,” and you certainly don’t “randomly” drop $7 billion on a studio like Bethesda. Given Microsoft’s size as a company, they’re the only ones who probably could have even afforded to make an acquisition investment that large, and so the move makes sense for them. But it makes just as much sense for Sony not to get into the massive acquisition game, and keep focusing on growing their existing longtime devs the way they’ve been doing successfully for years.

More on all this in my video above.

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