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Sony has purchased Housemarque & Nixxes Software for an undisclosed sum

M&A | ANNOUNCEMENT DATE 29 JUN 2021, 01 JUL 2021
WRITTEN BY | 03 Jul 2021
Sony has purchased Housemarque & Nixxes Software for an undisclosed sum
M&A

💵 Acquisition 

  • Sony Interactive Entertainment (TYO: 6758; NYSE: SONY) has acquired Finnish studio Housemarque, the developer of Returnal and Resogun, for an undisclosed sum. Sony and Housemarque have worked together on eight PlayStation exclusive projects in the span of 15 years — their most recent project is a roguelike third-person shooter Returnal for PS5
  • Soon after, Sony has completed the acquisition of Nixxes Software BV, the Dutch studio that specializes in video game porting and optimization, for an undisclosed amount as well

💠 Strategic Rationale

  • The acquisition of Housemarque allows the studio to use Sony’s vast resources to tackle bigger projects in the future. Housemarque also wants to secure its legacy as one of the oldest game studios in Finland with the help of SIE. 
  • Nixxes’ expertise in converting games lends itself well to Sony’s recently increased focus on porting its console exclusives to PC. Sony intends to have the Nixxes team support other teams in the company so that they could focus on creating unique content. Nixxes is looking forward to working on the many big IPs under Sony’s belt

🎲  Products

Housemarque — PC&console game developer

  • Housemarque’s game portfolio includes 8 PS exclusive and mostly arcade-inspired games. Some of them are:
  • Shoot ’em up Super Stardust HD, which was released in 2007 on PS3 to favorable reviews. It was the first game Housemarque developed exclusively for Sony and the first title with trophy support on the console
  • Voxel-based side-scrolling shoot ’em up Resogun, which was released in 2013 for the PS4, PS3, and PS Vita and received a generally positive response from critics
  • The studio’s first AAA title Returnal, a third-person bullet-hell roguelike developed for and released exclusively on the PS5 in Apr’21. The game received mostly positive reviews and reached #3 and #4 in sales that month in US/Canada and Europe respectively, and #2 and #3 in US/Canada and Europe respectively in May’21 (which is impressive if you consider that it lacked marketing and was up against the extremely hyped-up Resident Evil VIII)

Nixxes Software — PC&console conversion and technology support studio

  • Nixxes has worked extensively with Crystal Dynamics, porting many entries in its popular Tomb Raider franchise, including the Tomb Raider reboot trilogy
  • Nixxes also ported to PC the 2 most recent Deus Ex games for Eidos Montreal as well as Hitman: Absolution for IO Interactive
  • The development of versions for different platforms is often happening simultaneously so Nixxes’ port is available upon release 

💸 Previous investments/M&As

  • Since the beginning of 2021 Sony has been increasing its M&A and investments activity. The company has already completed more transactions than it did in all of 2020 (that year there were only 3). Some of the recent ones include the following:
  • PlayStation has invested an undisclosed sum in Haven Entertainment Studios, the debut title of which is announced to be an original IP for PS
  • Sony, along with Square Enix and Actoz, has participated in a funding round led by Tencent. The funds were raised for the Tokyo-­based cloud gaming tech company Ubitus and estimated proceeds amounted to around $45m at a valuation of less than $400m
  • Sony has acquired Evolution Championship Series, one of the largest esports fighting events in Las Vegas, for an undisclosed sum through a joint venture partnership with the esports venture RTS to launch a new series of online esports competitions
  • Sony Interactive Entertainment has made a minority investment as part of Discord’s Series H round and will possibly integrate the service into its consoles
  • Epic Games has completed a $1B round of funding, which includes an additional $200m investment from Sony Group Corporation
  • Sony Innovation Fund has become an investor for the in-game advertising platform Anzu, which has raised $9m (£6.56m) in its latest round of funding
  • Housemarque and Nixxes are Sony’s first gaming company acquisitions since Aug’19, when SIE bought Marvel’s Spider-Man and Ratchet & Clank developer Insomniac Games for $229m

📢 Rumors

  • A deleted tweet from PlayStation Japan welcomed Bluepoint, the studio behind the remakes of Demon’s Souls and Shadow of the Colossus, to PlayStation Studios instead of Housemarque. The appearance of this tweet suggests that the acquisition of Bluepoint by Sony is in the makings

Sources: SONY, BUSINESSWIRE

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M&A
Nixxes Software
  • Established in 1999
  • Headquarters – Utrecht, Netherlands
  • Founded by Jurjen Katsman
  • PC&console conversion and technology support studio
Housemarque
  • Established in 1995
  • Headquarters – Helsinki, Finland
  • Founded by Ilari Kuittinen and Harri Tikkanen
  • PC&console game developer
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