In a surprise announcement, Sony announced yesterday the acquisition of Insomniac Games, the American video game developer known for the Spyro and Ratchet & Clank series, as well as the PlayStation 4 exclusive Marvel’s Spiderman. The latter has just become the best-selling superhero video game of all-time in the U.S, also crossing more than 13.2 million copies worldwide as of July 28, 2019.
This new studio acquisition is a major win for Sony, especially since Marvel’s Spiderman has quickly become a system seller for the PlayStation 4. "Insomniac Games is one of the most highly-acclaimed development studios in the industry and their legacy of best-in class storytelling and gameplay is unparalleled," said Shawn Layden, Chairman, SIE WWS. "We have enjoyed a strong collaborative partnership with the studio for many years, and are thrilled to officially welcome them to the Worldwide Studios family.”
Insomniac Games will be the 14th game developer to integrate Sony Interactive Entertainment (SIE), along with Naughty Dog (Uncharted, The Last of Us), Santa Monica Studio (God of War), and Guerrilla Games (Horizon Zero Dawn). In comparison, Xbox Game Studios now includes 15 different developers after Microsoft acquired Ninja Theory, Compulsion Games, and Double Fine Studios in the past couple of months.
For Xbox fans, Insomniac Games is probably remembered as the developer of Sunset Overdrive, an Xbox One exclusive released back in 2014 that has since made its way to Windows. Sunset Overdrive is often considered as one of the best Xbox One exclusives of this console generation, earning much greater recognition than other Xbox Game Studios titles developed by third-party developers (Ryse: Son of Rome, ReCore, Super Lucky’s Tale, to name a few).
Speaking with Hollywood Reporter, Chairman of SIE Worldwide Studios Shawn Layden said that he wasn’t sure yet if the game could eventually make its way to the PlayStation 4. “As far as the IP itself, we really haven’t turned over the files on that one to see what that actually means, to be honest. We like what they’ve been doing in the Spider-Man franchise and things like Ratchet & Clank are certainly vital series in the present and future. That’s what we’re concentrating on,” he explained.
Sony has definitely built an impressive roster of game studios over the years, but so did Microsoft which made a great move by acquiring Minecraft developer Mojang back in 2014. However, Microsoft has been unable to release critically-acclaimed single player games during this console generation, something Sony currently excels at. That's something the Xbox team is definitely willing to address with the recent expansion of Xbox Game Studios, as confirmed recently by Phil Spencer on Twitter.
Yes, I can confirm. With the additions to XGS we have a lot of teams that have built strong SP focused games and we want that to continue.
— Phil Spencer (@XboxP3) August 7, 2019
Creating video games requires a lot of work, and we may have to wait a couple of years before Microsoft's recent studio acquisitions start to really make a difference. With the PlayStation 5 and next-gen "Project Scarlett" Xbox console releasing next year, we hope that Microsoft will have a solid lineup of first-party games to support its new console at launch.