According to new reports, it seems that Sony plans to make more investments, read acquisitions, between 2023 and 2024. This certainly falls like a bomb in the heart of many video-game enthusiasts waiting for the PlayStation division to respond properly to Microsoft. To recall, in the past few years, Microsoft made massive acquisitions such as Bethesda and Activision Blizzard. While the latter is yet to be approved, Bethesda already belongs to Xbox. Thanks to that we can find most of the studios’ portfolios inside of Gamepass. Moreover, highly-anticipated titles like Starfield will be exclusive to the Xbox platform.
Sony plans to make more acquisitions
Sony’s PlayStation also made some key acquisitions, but these can’t be compared to what Microsoft did. The Japanese company’s most recent acquisitions were Bungie and Housemarque. Bungie was an exciting purchase. Maybe not be the best choice for legacy PS fans, but it gave Sony ownership of the Destiny series. While the company excels in the single-player experience, it did not have addicting multiplayer titles. Now it has the studio behind Destiny under its control. Housemarque is a long-time partner of the PS maker. More recently, the studio brought PS5-exclusive “Returnal”. The game seems to have served as a test. After all, Sony acquired the studio shortly after the launch of the game.
These were relevant acquisitions, but not on the same level as the ones made by MS. As soon as the deal gets the green light, MS will own the COD series. This is something that Sony tries to break, fearing future exclusivity of COD on Xbox consoles. The giant of Xbox denies it will make COD exclusive. Call of Duty currently stands as the best-selling game on the PlayStation consoles. For that reason, Sony has a good reason to fear the loss of this franchise.
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With all the moves MS has been doing, it’s natural for PlayStation fans to expect Sony to acquire a big studio. For that reason, Square-Enix has been on the radar of PS fans. Right now, there is no hint of a deal between the two parties, but the rumors keep spreading.
Back in 2021, Sony revealed that it was setting about $18.4 billion for investing in the entertainment industry. Recently, the company’s SFO Hiroki Totoki gave some details during a Q&A session for Morgan Stanley. As per him, years into this program, Sony spent about 1.3 trillion yen. Now, it has about $5 billion for the future. These moves will go until 2024. Worth noting, that Sony can allocate more money if needed. But there is a catch! Sony is more than just the PS division.
Square-Enix could be one of PlayStation’s targets.
Right now, there is no way of telling whether Sony’s money will be set to the PlayStation division. Still, if we consider the past, and the importance of this division, the possibilities are high. Since the last year, gaming insiders have been speculating about the purchase of Square-Enix.
The studio has a recurring history of partnerships with PlayStation. Since the PS1, Square-Enix, and PlayStation built a strong partnership with the Final Fantasy series. More recently, this partnership was reinforced with the exclusivity of Final Fantasy VII Remake and Final Fantasy XVI. In fact, some rumors tell that Sony helped Square to improve and optimize Final Fantasy XVI for the PS5.
Last year, Square-Enix sold some of its IPs like Tomb Raider, Legacy of Kain, and Hitman to the Embracer Group. Right now, Square-Enix’s market value is around $5 billion. The good history between the companies can make this acquisition something that makes quite sense. Of course, it would be massive for all lovers of the Final Fantasy series, and other RPG franchises. However, we need to treat this as a rumor.
For now, it’s better to wait to see what Sony has in tow.