Sony today announced its acquisition of Washington studio Sucker Punch, adding the Infamous developer to its global development group.
Develop has published profiles on each of the 16 studios here, but below we speculate which studios could be next to join.
Quantic Dream / Paris / France
Studio boss David Cage has already told Develop he’s open to a permanent partnership with Sony, and the tax-break-loving studio far exceeded expectations with the PS3 exclusive Heavy Rain.
Novarama / Barcelona / Spain
The Invizimals developer recently signed an exclusivity deal with Sony, further embedding itself in the global company.
Novarama has become a go-to studio for augmented reality games, with PS Vita having that tech at its core.
However, an exclusivity deal may mean Sony has more room to back away than with a outright buyout. In the dicey world of handheld game development, this may be a smarter option.
Housemarque / Helsinki / Finland
In the increasingly lucrative digital age, the Super Stardust developer may be a astute buyout target for Sony. The Finnish studio, founded in 1995, had Sony’s full backing with the acclaimed PSN exclusive Dead Nation, but is also making waves on XBLA with a different set of exclusives.
CCP Games / Reykjavík / Iceland
The biggest obstacle in the way here is, obviously, the price tag. CCP is a profitable group that makes tens of millions each year through Eve Online.
The second obstacle, nearly as mountainous, is the PC question. Eve Online simply wouldn’t work solely on consoles. But the heavily downsized Sony Online Entertainment may just pave the way for a renewed PC push from Sony, and CCP’s proven strength in the MMO market makes it particularly attractive.
Better still is the options for PC to PS3 integration. Sony has signed a deal with CCP to host its FPS Dust exclusively on PlayStation – and the game will somehow interact with Eve Online.
The market response to Dust may be the litmus test before any acquisition offer is made.
Insomniac Games / California / US
As things stand, a buyout deal seems impossible, but never bet on situations staying the same in the games business. Sony surely has made offers in the past, but Insomniac is a vocal advocate of its independence.
Insomniac is however taking immense risks, partnering with EA Partners on a new IP mid-cycle. If it struggles to make an impact, a new buyout offer from Sony may look far more attractive.