Sony Acquires Returnal Developer Housemarque
Today Sony has announced that they have purchased Housemarque, the developer of the recent hit AAA rougelite Returnal.
This may not come as a huge surprise to some. Housemarque, which formed in 1993, has put out 8 games that were PlayStation exclusive. Besides the recent Returnal, which you can read our opinions about here (spoiler alert: it’s extremely good), they’ve put out several well-received games. This includes the Super Stardust series of twin-stick shooters, zombie twin-stick shooter Dead Nation, its sci-fi follow-up Alienation, well-beloved PlayStation 4 launch title Resogun, and cyberpunk side-scrolling shooter Matterfall. All of these games I’ve mentioned were PlayStation exclusives, so it’s likely a close working relationship with Sony contributed to this deal.
While they were known for that, Housemarque did occasionally dabble in other platforms. Outland, an action platformer where you had to change colors to avoid attacks and fought giant bosses, saw release on PC and Xbox as well. In 2017 Housemarque put out Nex Machina, a score-chasing sci-fi twin-stick shooter that reviewed well, but ultimately caused the studio to announce they would no longer make arcade-styled games. Also, they remastered the Angry Bird games for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, which is a little weird but felt like it’s worth noting.
As a bit of an interesting aside, it seems Sony may have also acquired Bluepoint Games, which recently put out the PlayStation 5 exclusive Demon’s Souls remake. While it has not been confirmed, Sony Japan accidentally tweeted out the Housemarque announcement with a picture of Bluepoint Games’ logo instead. This could have been an honest mistake, but this is also another company that has worked very closely with Sony and has put out several remasters and remakes exclusively for their consoles.
Either way, you can always grab Returnal exclusively on PlayStation 5, or you can grab Housemarque’s criminally underappreciated action platformer Outland on Steam.