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Sony boss Jim Ryan says the company is considering studio mergers and acquisitions

Sony Interactive Entertainment president and CEO Jim Ryan has confirmed the company is looking to acquire new studios, be that via mergers or acquisitions, as it competes against an increasing number of companies like Google and its new streaming service, Stadia.

In an interview with Nihon Keizai Shimbun – as translated by Gematsu – Ryan reportedly said: “Content is becoming more important than ever before. Companies new to the games industry looking at the market with hope is something we definitely welcome. 

“Sony Interactive Entertainment has 25 years of experience in the games industry and has big assets.”

It’s certainly been a focus of Microsoft for some time now. At Xbox E3 briefing last month, Microsoft announced it was acquiring Tim Schafer’s studio, Double Fine Productions, bringing the total number of development studios now working under the Xbox Game Studios brand to 15.

“In the past year, we welcomed seven new game development studios to Xbox,” said Matt Booty, head of Xbox Game Studios, at the time. “It’s great to see some of them already sharing new projects on our E3 stage this year.  I have the privilege of working with some of the best creators in the world, and for me successful studios all come down to great people, teams and ideas.

“We’re always looking for people who share our vision for the future of gaming, teams who have built games over years through both success and adversity, and ideas that become beloved games. That’s why I’m honoured today to announce our intent to acquire legendary game development studio Double Fine Productions.”

Microsoft announced at the end of last year it was adding Obsidian Entertainment and inXile to its portfolio of development studios. Obsidian is behind fan-favourite role-playing games like Pillars of Eternity, Fallout: New Vegas, and South Park: The Stick of Truth, while InXile created Torment: Tides of Numenera, The Bard’s Tale 4, and Wasteland 2 and 3.

This comes on the back of other acquisitions Microsoft publicised at E3 2018 when it added four new studios – Playground Games, Ninja Theory, Undead Labs, and Compulsion Games – to its first-party lineup, as well as establishing new studio, The Initiative.

“With the addition of Double Fine, there will be a total of 15 unique, standalone studios that comprise Xbox Game Studios, including our newly-created Age of Empires studio headed by Shannon Loftis and our Publishing group headed by Peter Wyse,” Booty added. “We are committing more resources and dedicated leadership to the Age of Empires franchise to ensure that its legacy on PC continues in service of the passionate community of faithful fans.

“I’m proud of the 14 games we showcased from Xbox Game Studios today – the most we’ve ever had in our E3 briefing. We have the full depth and breadth of talent in our studios focused on creating new games for Xbox players, and we’re committed to making them great.”

About Vikki Blake

It took 15 years of civil service monotony for Vikki to crack and switch to writing about games. She has since become an experienced reporter and critic working with a number of specialist and mainstream outlets in both the UK and beyond.

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