Returnal studio turned down "big players" before being acquired by Sony

(Image credit: Housemarque)

Returnal developer Housemarque turned down acquisitions from "big players" prior to being acquired by Sony.

Speaking to Finnish publication Yle in a new interview (and translated by VGC), Housemarque CEO Ilari Kuittinen revealed the developer also received buyout offers from other companies aside from Sony. "Big players in the sector from China, Sweden, and the US," Kuittinen said when asked about who attempted to acquire Housemarque.

"I have to say that we have had a very special spring and the fact that we were being competed for even feels a little surreal," the CEO continued. "It was clear from our discussions that Sony wanted to buy us because we were doing something that other people weren’t doing. Their starting point has not been that we would start making games according to a formula defined by Sony."

This obviously follows after news broke last week that Housemarque was being acquired by Sony, to join the PlayStation Studios umbrella. Announced by PlayStation Studios head Herman Hulst, Housemarque was revealed to be the thirteenth developer under the PlayStation Studios tentpole, while PlayStation revealed that the Finnish developer would still be run by Housemarque internal team, in conjunction with PlayStation's external development team.

It shouldn't come as a massive surprise that Housemarque was acquired by Sony to develop PlayStation games. The developer has a storied history of releasing PlayStation-exclusive games, and over the past decade in particular launched both Resogun and Nex Machina for the PS4. With Returnal having launched earlier this year as a PS5 exclusive game, it makes sense for Sony to acquire a studio that has typically been dedicated to PlayStation-exclusive games.

PlayStation themselves are no stranger to acquisitions, of course. Off the back of the success of Marvel's Spider-Man on PS4, Sony announced that they would be purchasing developer Insomniac. The studio then went on to releases Spider-Man: Miles Morales exclusively for both the PS4 and PS5 last year in 2020, while Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart launched just last month in June as a next-gen exclusive game.

If you're wondering what all 13 of Sony's studios are up to right now, you can head over to our PlayStation Studios guide for more.

Hirun Cryer

Hirun Cryer is a freelance reporter and writer with Gamesradar+ based out of U.K. After earning a degree in American History specializing in journalism, cinema, literature, and history, he stepped into the games writing world, with a focus on shooters, indie games, and RPGs, and has since been the recipient of the MCV 30 Under 30 award for 2021. In his spare time he freelances with other outlets around the industry, practices Japanese, and enjoys contemporary manga and anime.