Although Sony doesn’t want to compete with Microsoft, it’s actually not soft.

In recent years in the host industry competition, Sony and Microsoft have no mercy.

Don’t look at the recent moves from the super unicorn Didi , to the daily fresh food and Dingdong grocery shopping in the fresh food e-commerce industry , to the new tea-drinking representative Naxue’s tea , which has been rushing for IPOs. But looking at the world, the hottest track today can be said to be games. From domestic to overseas markets, game manufacturers have become the hottest in investment and mergers and acquisitions, and countless giants are constantly waving banknotes toward game developers.

Although Sony doesn’t want to compete with Microsoft, it’s actually not soft.

According to information disclosed by InvestGame, the amount of mergers and acquisitions and investment and financing in the first quarter of 2021 in the game industry has exceeded that of the entire year of 2020. This also means that the entire game industry is undergoing an unprecedented reshuffle, and ByteDance and Tencent from the Chinese market have undoubtedly become one of the largest buyers. But in overseas markets, just after Microsoft bought Bethesda’s parent company ZeniMax Media for US$7.5 billion, the old rival Sony could not sit still. Sony Interactive Entertainment (hereinafter referred to as SIE) announced that it has completed the Acquisition of Finnish game studio Housemarque.

Housemarque, founded in 1995, is Finland’s most well-known game developer outside of supercell. Although this studio in Helsinki, Finland has only 80 employees so far, it has always been an important partner of SIE. For example, PS5’s exclusive game “Returnal” was created by Housemarque, and previously developed the PS4’s first escort masterpiece “Optical Fighter”, PS VR’s first game “Super Stardust Ultimate VR”, as well as “Death Machine” and “Death Machine”. “The Kingdom of Death” and other works.

Regarding the acquisition, Hermen Hulst, head of SIE’s global studio, said, “The recently launched “Death Return” proves that the studio has an outstanding vision and can create unforgettable games that resonate with the PlayStation community. Housemarque’s joining , It also increases the creativity of SIE Global Studio.”

And Ilari Kuittinen, the co-founder of Housemarque, also retaliated. He said, “With the support of SIE and other studios, they can really improve their position in the industry and create without restrictions. Everyone can’t wait Players will show exciting content in the next few years, hoping to create more deeply rooted works for players in the future.”

It is worth mentioning that when asked by the media whether the recent wave of acquisitions of game studios indicates the beginning of an “arms race” in the game industry, Hermen Hulst denied it and said that SIE’s acquisition was not related to Microsoft is holding an arms race, because the last acquisition of Insomniac was already in 2019.

However, it is undeniable that a new round of arms race in the game industry has actually started. What is shown in the domestic market is that Tencent and ByteDance are spending huge sums of money in order to strangle their opponents/outstanding siege respectively, while overseas is the acquisition of game studios by Microsoft and Sony, which is a clash between the two concepts.

Although Sony doesn’t want to compete with Microsoft, it’s actually not soft.

For Microsoft, in the previous generations, Xbox did not take the lead in the competition with PlayStation, and the reason why it has been able to persist to this day depends on Microsoft’s big business. In order to change this situation, Microsoft has begun to push the XGP subscription service (Xbox Game Pass), trying to break away from the stereotype of console wars and build an integrated game platform on XSX/XSS, PC, and even mobile.

Through early subsidies to reduce player costs, let a large number of light console players and even PC and mobile game players join the XGP camp. Once users form a habit of using it, it will inevitably bring a long and stable cash flow in the future, and it will also be able to completely remove users. Tied up. And the leading user scale will allow Microsoft to get more support from third-party game manufacturers, and ultimately get rid of the disadvantages in the game lineup.

Although Sony doesn’t want to compete with Microsoft, it’s actually not soft.

In this generation, Microsoft’s thinking is actually very clear, which is to try to use the Internet enterprise model to cooperate with cloud gaming technology to create a diversified game ecosystem that spans consoles, PCs, and mobile terminals, and overwhelm Sony with the scale of users. On the other hand, Sony, because PlayStation does not have a subscription service similar to XGP, it is temporarily unable to attack this strategy.

Under such circumstances, Sony’s purchase of third-party game studios, in the view of industry insiders, may be trying to continue its methodology that previously overwhelmed Microsoft, which was put forward by the late Nintendo head Pushan Neipu in the 1990s. Simplified version of “First Party Software Decisive Theory”. That is to use exclusive games to increase user stickiness and loyalty to promote console sales, and this is also the key to PlayStation’s suppression of Xbox before, such as Santa Monica’s “God of War” series, Naughty Dog’s “Uncharted Waters”, “The Last Survivor”, Ranger Studio’s “Horizon: Zero Dawn”, “Kill Zone” and a series of famous masterpieces are undoubtedly the key to players buying PlayStation game consoles.

Although Sony doesn’t want to compete with Microsoft, it’s actually not soft.

Why does the acquisition of a studio make Microsoft and Sony feel that they can achieve their respective strategies at the same time? Because game studios are the productivity of the game industry, especially game studios that have created well-known products and proven their development capabilities are a scarce resource. In the statistics of InvestGame, it also shows that well-known manufacturers or veterans in the game circle are more favored by capital.

From the market background, due to technological progress, the architecture of different platform hosts has become similar, and the threshold for third-party game studios to port games between different platforms almost no longer exists. This also makes host manufacturers almost impossible to form. Binding to third-party developers. Sony and Microsoft now want to make certain games exclusive on their platforms, and the only way is to “drop coins.” Since it all costs money, instead of negotiating with a powerful third-party studio, it is obviously better to just buy it once and for all.

Although Sony doesn’t want to compete with Microsoft, it’s actually not soft.

Microsoft’s XGP wants to achieve its goal, the core theme is undoubtedly “make friends a lot”, and Sony’s PS5 wants to sell better, relying on the game users want to play only here. At this time, every third-party game studio may be a weight that affects the balance. After Microsoft won Bethesda, it turned around and used “Starry Sky” to dominate the PlayStation platform to give Suo Fan a blow. If Sony continues Indifferent, under the gradual cannibalization of Microsoft, the market competitiveness that PlayStation has acquired before will naturally be difficult to guarantee.

Sony and Microsoft want to buy, and many third-party studios actually want to sell. You should know that game development is a business that is very gambling and has a very high sunk cost. There are countless cases in the game industry about investing huge sums of money and losing pants. However, under the wings of giants, they use a certain amount of creative freedom. Obviously it is not difficult to understand in exchange for a more ideal living environment.

So not long after the start of the next-generation game console battle, even if Sony said that it had no intention of entering an arms race with Microsoft, even if it was due to the delayed expansion of the XGP ecosystem, its future footsteps in acquiring third-party laboratories Obviously, it can’t be slow at all.

[Present Ventura sheet from the network]

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