Returnal Dev Housemarque Joins Sony PlayStation Studios As Console Battle Lines Form
Housemarque Oy, better known as simply Housemarque, is a Finnish video game developer that has been in operation since July 1995. They are the oldest video game developers in Finland and have created quite a few games for PlayStation devices in the past. Their first PlayStation game was Super Stardust HD, which was released for the PlayStation 3 in 2007. Some of their other popular games include Dead Nation, Nex Machina, and most recently Returnal. Returnal was released exclusively for the PlayStation 5 this past spring and has received overwhelmingly positive reviews.
Ilari Kuittinen, Housemarque Co-founder and Managing Director, stated that the acquisition, “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.”
Video game fans often worry that the quality of games from smaller developers will decline if that developer is purchased by a large publisher. However, Kuittinen assured fans that the acquisition will not impact the character or quality of their games. They noted, “We are also not known for shying away from running our own course and trying out new combinations. 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.” PlayStation Studios has further commented that Housemarque’s day-to-day operations will not change. There are no further details about the acquisition because of contractual commitments.
Housemarque is the 13th video game developer to be acquired by PlayStation Studios. PlayStation Studios is reportedly working diligently to create new games that push creative boundaries. Hermen Hulst, Head of PlayStation Studios, recently stated in an interview, “Ultimately, I want PlayStation Studios to be fiercely daring, to take risks. I want us to continue to embrace the legacy of PlayStation, pushing the boundaries of gaming, keep making games that matter. Games that, probably, wouldn’t have been made anywhere else.” Games like Returnal certainly fit with this goal. It was further noted that the studio is currently working on twenty-five new games, over half of which are new IPs.
Images of Returnal courtesy of PlayStation.com.