Tech

Insomniac Games acquired by Sony, calls out “a special relationship”

Screenshot of proprietary Sony icons.
Enlarge / One of these PlayStation controller icons is not like the other. Insomniac Games’ logo, third from the left, is now an official part of the Sony Interactive Entertainment family.

Sony / Sam Machkovech

Insomniac Games, one of PlayStation’s most consistent game developers, has been officially acquired by Sony Interactive Entertainment. Monday’s announcement did not include any terms.

“We’ve enjoyed a special relationship with PlayStation practically since our inception,” Insomniac founder and CEO Ted Price said in the acquisition’s announcement. “Our partnership amplifies our potential, and Marvel’s Spider-Man was a testament to this.”

It’s easy to assume that Insomniac already operated as a “first-party” Sony game studio. The developer has been responsible for some of the biggest PlayStation-exclusive franchises throughout that console’s lifespan, including Ratchet & Clank, Resistance, and last year’s phenomenal Marvel’s Spider-Man.

However, the developer began dipping its toes into multi-platform efforts in the ’10s, including the (formerly) Xbox-only platformer Sunset Overdrive and a few Oculus-exclusive VR games. In fact, Insomniac is still putting the finishing touches on Stormlands, arguably the most impressive Oculus-exclusive VR game to date, which doesn’t yet have a release date in spite of over a year of public demos.

In an emailed response to Ars Technica, Facebook officials confirmed that “Stormlands will launch as planned” in spite of this acquisition. The VR game is currently an Oculus exclusive, and we don’t yet have reason to believe that will change, in terms of the game eventually landing on Sony’s own PlayStation VR headset.

The news comes on the heels of Sony’s biggest console-making rival, Xbox, announcing a series of major game studio acquisitions for its own Xbox Game Studios over the past year. Microsoft’s series of acquisitions is part of a larger course correction by Xbox after the disastrous results of the console’s Don Mattrick era, which ended in 2013 with Phil Spencer taking the Xbox helm. We can only guess whether Microsoft (or any other gaming platform holders) had been chasing a similar acquisition deal before Insomniac signed with Sony.


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