Housemarque is the game studio behind one of this year’s most well received PlayStation 5 games- the sci-fi, time loop title Returnal– and today, it has been confirmed that the studio has officially been acquired by Sony , making them the latest devs to become part of the PlayStation Studios family. The acquisition isn’t a huge surprise when you look back at the roster of game titles from the Finnish developers since their debut in 1995. From 2012 onwards, most of their titles were only on the PlayStation console so a team up with Sony to become PlayStation partners makes sense. Hermen Hulst- head of PlayStation Studios- tweeted out the announcement below.
Thrilled to announce @Housemarque has officially joined PlayStation Studios! The extremely talented studio with a proven track record and best-in-class gameplay has a bright future and we couldn’t be more excited to be part of it! pic.twitter.com/B47YlfmgCs— Hermen Hulst (@hermenhulst) June 29, 2021
This is great news for Housemarque but what has really gotten people talking is a tweet that was posted by the PlayStation Japan account which may have leaked yet another game studio acquisition for Sony. Twitter user Nibel managed to grab the image from the PlayStation Japan tweet before it was swiftly removed (is someone getting fired? Because I feel like someone is gonna get fired) which has the same graphics as the “Welcome to the Family” image for the Housemarque announcement. However, this one places the BluePoint Games logo next to the PlayStation Studios one instead. This similarity to the official announcement image has made people think that maybe the image was accidentally sent in place of the Housemarque one. What is also noticeable in the leaked image is that there is one minor change to the background. The background depicts a handful of the iconic characters from the some of the Sony owned PlayStation franchises- such as Ellie from The Last of Us, Ratchet from Ratchet and Clank, Aloy from Horizon Zero Dawn and Jin from Ghost of Tsushima– but in the tweet from PlayStation Japan, Returnal protagonist Selene is shown to be part of the line up too. This seems like way too much of a coincidence.
..so apparently PlayStation Japan uploaded the wrong image with their first tweet on Housemarque’s acquisition, and it actually mentions a Bluepoint acquisition pic.twitter.com/yQBHtLbG5c— Nibel (@Nibellion) June 29, 2021
If this possible leak does come to fruition, it wouldn’t be too surprising as BluePoint- much like Housemarque- have had an affiliation with Sony and PlayStation in the past. BluePoint Games are known for their remakes and remastered ports, with their most well-known being titles Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection in 2015, Shadow of the Colossus in 2018 and Demon’s Souls in 2020. Seeing as these were all originally PlayStation exclusive titles, this partnership is certainly one that would make sense. Imagine the remake possibilities!
I think we should take a moment to pay our respects to that poor PlayStation Japan worker who accidentally tweeted out that post. F in the chat to you, my friend. Make sure to check out the whole press release- and the PlayStation blog entry– for the Housemarque and Sony PlayStation partnership below.
SONY INTERACTIVE ENTERTAINMENT ACQUIRES HOUSEMARQUE, DEVELOPER OF RECENT PLAYSTATION®5 HIT RETURNAL
Highly-acclaimed Game Creators to Join PlayStation Studios Collective of AAA studios to Deliver World-Class Gaming Experiences
SAN MATEO, Calif., June 29, 2021 – Sony Interactive Entertainment (“SIE”) announced today that SIE has completed the acquisition of Housemarque Oy (“Housemarque”), a leading game developer and long-time partner of SIE. Recognized for its extensive experience in the arcade-shooter genre as well as strong creative and technical capabilities, Housemarque has developed eight titles exclusive to PlayStation® consoles including Returnal, Nex Machina and Alienation.
With the recent release of the hugely popular PlayStation 5 exclusive Returnal, Housemarque evolved its trademark style gameplay by weaving a haunting narrative into a 3D bullet-hell shooter. Based in Helsinki, Finland, Housemarque will join the global development operation of PlayStation Studios and will be the 13th studio to join the PlayStation Studios family.
“Housemarque has flexed its creative palette on a wide range of PlayStation games over the years that have continually showcased the power of our hardware,” said Jim Ryan, President & CEO, Sony Interactive Entertainment. “The addition of Housemarque to PlayStation Studios reiterates our commitment to elevating the best development teams in the industry and delivering new experiences that can only be found on the PlayStation platform.”
With a proven track record of creating original games that feature best-in-class gameplay, Housemarque is a highly-accomplished studio and we couldn’t be more thrilled to officially welcome them to the PlayStation Studios family,” said Hermen Hulst, Head of PlayStation Studios. “With its gripping gameplay, haunting story and unforgiving world, Returnal has captivated the PlayStation audience and we’re looking forward to working alongside the team to bring to life their ambitious creative vision on future projects.”
“After more than 15 years of successfully collaborating, we’re excited to amplify our potential even further and join PlayStation Studios,” said Ilari Kuittinen, Co-founder and Managing Director, Housemarque. “Returnal is a testament to our strong relationship with PlayStation Studios and the organization believing in us to take a risk and give us the freedom to explore our creativity and develop something unique. We can’t wait to bring PlayStation fans more fresh, new experiences.”
The day-to-day operations will continue tobe run by Housemarque’s current management team in conjunction with PlayStation Studios External Development team. Terms of this transaction including the acquisition cost are not disclosed due to contractual commitments.
About Sony Interactive Entertainment
Recognized as a global leader in interactive and digital entertainment, Sony Interactive Entertainment (SIE) is responsible for the PlayStation® brand and family of products and services. PlayStation has delivered innovation to the market since the launch of the original PlayStation in Japan in 1994. The PlayStation family of products and services include PlayStation®5, PlayStation®4, PlayStation®VR, PlayStation™Store, PlayStation®Plus, PlayStation™Now, and acclaimed PlayStation software titles from PlayStation Studios. Headquartered in San Mateo, California, SIE is a wholly owned subsidiary of Sony Corporation and has global functions in California, London and Tokyo.
Headquartered in Helsinki, Finland, Housemarque is a game developer working on console and PC. True to our core gamer audience, we prioritize stratified gameplay mechanics and impeccable audiovisual execution to create euphoric gaming experiences. Housemarque was co-founded in 1995 by Harri Tikkanen and Ilari Kuittinen. Prior to joining forces, Harri and Ilari founded two of Finland’s first game development studios – Bloodhouse and Terramarque. Today, Housemarque is one of the most experienced and well-known developers of downloadable games for console platforms, with a successful track record spanning 20+ years. ‘Game is King’ is our motto.