PlayStation acquires Returnal developer Housemarque

Returnal Review
(Image credit: Sony)

PlayStation has announced the acquisition of Returnal developer Housemarque.

Announced today on the PlayStation Blog, Head of PlayStation Studios Herman Hulst revealed the news that Housemarque is officially the 13th studio to join PlayStation's publishing arm. 

The Finnish developer has a long history with PlayStation, creating games such as the PS5 exclusive Returnal, Nex Machina, Super Stardust HD, and Dead Nation. Housemarque's co-founder and managing director Ilari Kuittinen said: "This gives our studio a clear future and a stable opportunity to continue delivering on gameplay centric approaches, while still experimenting with new methods of narrative delivery and pushing the boundaries of this modern artform."

Kuittinen added: "With the backing of SIE and its family of studios supporting us, we can truly grow into our place in the industry and show what Housemarque can create with no limitations. We can’t wait to show everyone what will be in store in the upcoming years, and we hope to usher in more lasting memories and exhilarating titles for the next quarter century and beyond."

While terms of the acquisition, such as how much the deal has cost, hasn't been revealed by Sony or Housemarque due to contractual commitments, it's been confirmed in a separate press release that the day-to-day management of the studio will still be run by Housemarque's internal team in conjunction with PlayStation Studios External Development team.

It's perhaps not a great surprise that PlayStation has brought the Returnal developer onboard. Their first PS5 game saw the studio tweak the action it's known for by introducing a new narrative focus that won over both fans and critics. In our review, we said the game was "an unexpectedly daring step forward for a developer who has refined what makes its style so compelling while adding in new elements."

PlayStation has also been known in recent years to acquire studios that produce well-received console exclusives. For instance, after the success of Marvel's Spider-Man, it was revealed that PlayStation had acquired Insomniac Games. Of course, this also comes at a time when Microsoft has sent shockwaves across the industry with its own acquisitions, including the one of Fallout and The Elder Scrolls creator Bethesda.    

For PlayStation though, all eyes will now fall on what's next for Housemarque. We'd be partial to another Returnal if they're taking requests...

For more on the developers working with PlayStation, check out our guide to PlayStation Studios

Ben Tyrer

Hello, I'm GamesRadar's News Editor. I've been working in the games industry since 2013, after graduating from Bournemouth University with a degree in multimedia journalism. Since then I've worked for Official PlayStation Magazine as a staff writer and games editor, as well as writing for Official Xbox Magazine, Edge, PC Gamer, GamesMaster, PC Games N, and more. When I'm not moaning about being beaten on FIFA and Warzone, I'm writing news, features, and reviews for this wonderful site.