Housemarque, a Finnish studio best known for PlayStation games including Super Stardust HD, Resogun, and, most recently, Returnal, has been formally purchased by PlayStation. Housemarque is Finland’s longest-running development firm, with origins dating back over 25 years and a reputation for console arcade experiences.
The team has consistently upped the standard in this area over the years, but they stopped working on arcade games a few years ago due to the genre’s gradual decline. The team appears to have focused its efforts on two projects after making such a stunning statement in late 2017, following the release of side-scrolling shooter Matterfall.
One such project was Housemarque’s battle royale game Stormdivers, which was canceled in 2020. Returnal, Housemarque’s most recent effort, was released this past spring, introducing PlayStation players to a new hero and a new sort of Housemarque gaming experience. Fans weren’t the only ones who were thrilled about the band’s future.
Housemarque, the developer of Returnal, was acquired by PlayStation Studios today, June 29. In a PlayStation Blog article, PlayStation Studios Head Hermen Hulst announced the announcement, saying that the acquisition “enhances the creative energy” of the company.
Ilari Kuittinen, Housemarque’s Co-Founder and Managing Director, added his own statement, recalling the team’s PlayStation history and stating that such cooperation had been years in the making. Most significantly, the acquisition provides Housemarque with stability and a “clear future,” allowing it to continue creating amazing gaming experiences. “With the support of SIE and its family of studios, we can fully develop into our role in the industry and show what Housemarque can produce without restrictions,” Kuittinen continued.
— Housemarque (@Housemarque) June 29, 2021
This is PlayStation’s first studio purchase since a deal with Insomniac Games was finalized in August of this year. That, too, was a wise decision that had been a long time coming, especially considering Insomniac’s extensive history as a PlayStation second-party partner.
While Sony made its first studio purchase in over two years today, the firm has made significant investments in other areas in recent months. It has, for example, consistently formed second-party ties with newcomers like Jade Raymond’s Haven Studios and Firewalk Studios. Sony’s involvement in other parts of the business has been bolstered by investments in Discord, Evo, and Epic Games.