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Forums - Sony Discussion - Sony acquires FireSprite Studios

DonFerrari said:
Dulfite said:

Really? You don't think MS, a company that is constantly entering markets it hasn't been in, isn't looking into VR? If Sony is making profit off of it then Microsoft absolutely would make profit off of it and will no doubt get into it. What better way to enter it than having proven developers that have made VR games? I stand by that this was a preventative move.

MS have said they would invest on AR for X1 ever since before releasing X1X, but so far nothing.

So far nothing revealed. When they are ready to make their move they will announce it and not before that.



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Dulfite said:

As I said before, why would Sony care if a third party company absorbed another third party company? They could still have the same studio make exclusive games for their device being part of Embracer Group just like they could with them being independent. 

I'm curious to know how many PS developed exclusives Sony has had published from a 3rd party owned gaming studio?

Whoever owns that studio has the say on whatever partnership Sony can form,.and most likely will want the IP for their own.

Sony loses not only direct access to that studio, but IP rights, too. 

They're buying out the studios because they've worked with them and see the value they can bring to SIE and PS, and want to be able to work with them indefinitely. 

Last edited by twintail - on 10 September 2021

Dulfite said:
DonFerrari said:

MS have said they would invest on AR for X1 ever since before releasing X1X, but so far nothing.

So far nothing revealed. When they are ready to make their move they will announce it and not before that.

They have announced in the past, things for windows in PC and that there would be compatibility on Xbox, but nothing after that.



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Dulfite said:
Dallinor said:

I honestly think the sentiment is correct, but the company is wrong. It's not MS they're worried about, I think their eyes are on Embracer Group (77 studios) who are having an absolute field day snatching up developers all across Europe.

Nixxes, Housemarque and FireSprite are all European developers. 

As I said before, why would Sony care if a third party company absorbed another third party company? They could still have the same studio make exclusive games for their device being part of Embracer Group just like they could with them being independent. EA/Ubisoft/Embracer/Blizzard/etc. are not threats to any of the Big Three. They make deals all the time to create exclusives for specific devices, especially Platinum, all it requires is cash up front just like any other exclusive deal with independent studios. But if Nintendo or Microsoft buy a studio (or Apple/Amazon/Google if any of them can get their act together), then that locks those games behind their platform/service. Nintendo isn't a threat for that since they buy studios so rarely. Microsoft wants to take over whatever industry they set their eyes on. They don't always fully commit, more so in the past, such as the Zune, and fail because of that. But when they do commit, they dominate. All the purchases MS has made in the last 5 years tells me one thing: They are here to dominate. And they have an absurd amount of money. All those juicy profits coming from Officer 365 subscribers are being pumped into taking over so many industries and gaming is one of them they have set their eyes upon.

Sony isn't in a position to buy studios like MS is, so when they have an opportunity to do so they have to take it. Their former leader just admitted to how gaming expenses are doubling each generation and how that isn't sustainable. He knows exactly what financial situation Sony is in recent history, so for him to complain like that shows how little buying power Sony has right now, whereas Phil Spencer seems like he could reach into any bag in his officer and find butt load of money to buy another developer any minute. This is the atmosphere I was talking about and why I think Sony is defensively buying studios up MS absorbs them into its empire.

So much of this is wrong.

1) A studio being bought by another publisher means Sony can no longer have control on what the studio works on. Its crucial Sony gets more PSVR teams as they are a leader in VR at the moment. Third party companies are not going to put much into VR because its a small userbase atm. Oculus, Valve and PSVR largely fund their own exclusives.

2) Microsoft has had many failures in many industries despite going all in and pouring billions into sunk costs. The idea that throwing money makes you win is a complete fallacy.

  • Xbox has been distant third in all gens bar one despite MS having all that money.
  • MS Groove was absolutely demolished by a startup with a fraction of the money: Spotify.
  • Internet Explorer got destroyed by Chrome, despite MS using their entire Windows ecosystem to push IE.
  • MS smartspeakers are basically dead
  • MS bought a part of Nokia for $7B to start a smartphone line. It still flopped and is now dead alongside Windows Mobile OS.
  • Surface makes like a single percentage marketshare compared to iPad and Macbook.

3) Its hilarious to suggest Sony doesn't have money in the gaming space LMAO. The tenth richest company in the world by cash reserves, with $44B in cash apparently has no money. Mergers are financed with stock and debt. With $44B and Sony stock doing well Sony can buy any gaming company in the world.

4) If MS has such a big money bag then why are they constantly getting dominated by Sony in third party deals. FF7R, FF16, Forspoken, SF5, KOTOR, Ghostwire, even marketing rights COD, GTA etc.... its because money doesn't buy you marketshare. Something MS has learnt numerous times in the past.



Robert_Downey_Jr. said:
Pemalite said:

A purchase, any purchase... Is inorganic growth.

Already owning a studio and growing it creatively and via investment is organic growth.

Sony and Microsoft are doing both, Sony more so as their wallets aren't as fat as Microsoft's.

I just disagree entirely with your first line.  If you helped them grow and you've been partners for years including exclusives for their biggest games thats organic to me.

Going by the literal definition... And not twisting/changing a definition around like you have... (So whilst you are free to disagree, you are certainly incorrect!)

https://www.investopedia.com/terms/i/inorganicgrowth.asp

Inorganic growth is when a company purchases another.



--::{PC Gaming Master Race}::--

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src said:

3) Its hilarious to suggest Sony doesn't have money in the gaming space LMAO. The tenth richest company in the world by cash reserves, with $44B in cash apparently has no money. Mergers are financed with stock and debt. With $44B and Sony stock doing well Sony can buy any gaming company in the world.

Sony also has a 30%+ stake in MC Inc (market cap of nearly 50 Billion), BiliBili & Epic Games that could be leveraged in the long term. 



src said:
Dulfite said:

As I said before, why would Sony care if a third party company absorbed another third party company? They could still have the same studio make exclusive games for their device being part of Embracer Group just like they could with them being independent. EA/Ubisoft/Embracer/Blizzard/etc. are not threats to any of the Big Three. They make deals all the time to create exclusives for specific devices, especially Platinum, all it requires is cash up front just like any other exclusive deal with independent studios. But if Nintendo or Microsoft buy a studio (or Apple/Amazon/Google if any of them can get their act together), then that locks those games behind their platform/service. Nintendo isn't a threat for that since they buy studios so rarely. Microsoft wants to take over whatever industry they set their eyes on. They don't always fully commit, more so in the past, such as the Zune, and fail because of that. But when they do commit, they dominate. All the purchases MS has made in the last 5 years tells me one thing: They are here to dominate. And they have an absurd amount of money. All those juicy profits coming from Officer 365 subscribers are being pumped into taking over so many industries and gaming is one of them they have set their eyes upon.

Sony isn't in a position to buy studios like MS is, so when they have an opportunity to do so they have to take it. Their former leader just admitted to how gaming expenses are doubling each generation and how that isn't sustainable. He knows exactly what financial situation Sony is in recent history, so for him to complain like that shows how little buying power Sony has right now, whereas Phil Spencer seems like he could reach into any bag in his officer and find butt load of money to buy another developer any minute. This is the atmosphere I was talking about and why I think Sony is defensively buying studios up MS absorbs them into its empire.

So much of this is wrong.

1) A studio being bought by another publisher means Sony can no longer have control on what the studio works on. Its crucial Sony gets more PSVR teams as they are a leader in VR at the moment. Third party companies are not going to put much into VR because its a small userbase atm. Oculus, Valve and PSVR largely fund their own exclusives.

2) Microsoft has had many failures in many industries despite going all in and pouring billions into sunk costs. The idea that throwing money makes you win is a complete fallacy.

  • Xbox has been distant third in all gens bar one despite MS having all that money.
  • MS Groove was absolutely demolished by a startup with a fraction of the money: Spotify.
  • Internet Explorer got destroyed by Chrome, despite MS using their entire Windows ecosystem to push IE.
  • MS smartspeakers are basically dead
  • MS bought a part of Nokia for $7B to start a smartphone line. It still flopped and is now dead alongside Windows Mobile OS.
  • Surface makes like a single percentage marketshare compared to iPad and Macbook.

3) Its hilarious to suggest Sony doesn't have money in the gaming space LMAO. The tenth richest company in the world by cash reserves, with $44B in cash apparently has no money. Mergers are financed with stock and debt. With $44B and Sony stock doing well Sony can buy any gaming company in the world.

4) If MS has such a big money bag then why are they constantly getting dominated by Sony in third party deals. FF7R, FF16, Forspoken, SF5, KOTOR, Ghostwire, even marketing rights COD, GTA etc.... its because money doesn't buy you marketshare. Something MS has learnt numerous times in the past.

1) They absolutely can. All they have to do is make a contract, offer money, and have that studio sign it. How do you think they got the KOTOR console exclusivity? Or the FF7R console exclusivity? Whether timed or permanent, they can get exclusives by going to 3rd party mega companies (EA/Blizzard/Ubisoft) just as much as independent 3rd party companies.

2) I mentioned they failed before, and particularly in recent memory they have focused on dominating industries with their wallet. I'm not talking much about 1990's-2010 Microsoft, moreso about 2010-2021 Microsoft. Also, while Xbox has been third in sales, they have made tremendous profit off of Xbox Gold for many years and now are making a lot off of Gamepass. Who cares about hardware sales when profits are up based on smart software moves? I don't know anything about Groove or MS smartspeakers, which means MS obviously didn't even attempt to make a major splash otherwise those attempts would be well known by basically everyone. I keep up with all kinds of news and so if I haven't heard of those, I'm sure many other millions of consumers haven't either. IE failed after years of complacency, and what did MS do? They didn't give up. They came out with Edge, which is far and away a better product than IE and consumes a lot less RAM than Chrome. Their phone line was a major push that flopped, I didn't say they were perfect just that most of their major investments in recent years lead to domination. They absolutely failed (so far) on the phone front, including their surface phones which have sold horribly due to how expensive they are.

3) Before that ex-boss said what he said, I had no idea Sony was in a struggling situation. I was basing that part solely on what he said about games doubling cost from $100 million last gen to $200 million this gen and how that isn't sustainable for Sony. I assumed that a former boss of Sony would know what he is talking about, but if what you said about their cash reserves is correct then I don't know what he is complaining about?

4) I could spin that part on you bringing up Sony. If they have such a big cash reserve, why did they allow MS to buy Bethesda and all the other studios? Money does buy you a degree of marketshare from studios that want to make the most money off selling, but nothing can buy out stubborn individuals that own companies that don't want to sell or don't want to sell to a specific company. I'm sure there are companies that would't want to sell to Saudi Arabia, or EA, or Tencent for moral reasons, and then there are companies that wouldn't care because their owners want to make the most money. Then you have countries that have laws preventing international takeovers; I have heard Japan has some laws preventing that sort of thing. I think Microsoft would rather own a studio than make exclusive deals with them. That whole Platinum dragon game probably made them hesitant to make those sorts of deals with companies they have virtually no control over. Not saying they won't or don't have those deals in place, I just doubt they will happen very often on a AAA level, whereas Sony is very willing to do that. That leaves Sony able to make those deals by adding a bunch of cash to prevent a multiplatform release (or at least a timed deal). If MS bid on the same game to be exclusive or not to their platform as Sony, there is absolutely no way Sony could win that bid battle.



Dulfite said:
src said:

So much of this is wrong.

1) A studio being bought by another publisher means Sony can no longer have control on what the studio works on. Its crucial Sony gets more PSVR teams as they are a leader in VR at the moment. Third party companies are not going to put much into VR because its a small userbase atm. Oculus, Valve and PSVR largely fund their own exclusives.

2) Microsoft has had many failures in many industries despite going all in and pouring billions into sunk costs. The idea that throwing money makes you win is a complete fallacy.

  • Xbox has been distant third in all gens bar one despite MS having all that money.
  • MS Groove was absolutely demolished by a startup with a fraction of the money: Spotify.
  • Internet Explorer got destroyed by Chrome, despite MS using their entire Windows ecosystem to push IE.
  • MS smartspeakers are basically dead
  • MS bought a part of Nokia for $7B to start a smartphone line. It still flopped and is now dead alongside Windows Mobile OS.
  • Surface makes like a single percentage marketshare compared to iPad and Macbook.

3) Its hilarious to suggest Sony doesn't have money in the gaming space LMAO. The tenth richest company in the world by cash reserves, with $44B in cash apparently has no money. Mergers are financed with stock and debt. With $44B and Sony stock doing well Sony can buy any gaming company in the world.

4) If MS has such a big money bag then why are they constantly getting dominated by Sony in third party deals. FF7R, FF16, Forspoken, SF5, KOTOR, Ghostwire, even marketing rights COD, GTA etc.... its because money doesn't buy you marketshare. Something MS has learnt numerous times in the past.

1) They absolutely can. All they have to do is make a contract, offer money, and have that studio sign it. How do you think they got the KOTOR console exclusivity? Or the FF7R console exclusivity? Whether timed or permanent, they can get exclusives by going to 3rd party mega companies (EA/Blizzard/Ubisoft) just as much as independent 3rd party companies.

2) I mentioned they failed before, and particularly in recent memory they have focused on dominating industries with their wallet. I'm not talking much about 1990's-2010 Microsoft, moreso about 2010-2021 Microsoft. Also, while Xbox has been third in sales, they have made tremendous profit off of Xbox Gold for many years and now are making a lot off of Gamepass. Who cares about hardware sales when profits are up based on smart software moves? I don't know anything about Groove or MS smartspeakers, which means MS obviously didn't even attempt to make a major splash otherwise those attempts would be well known by basically everyone. I keep up with all kinds of news and so if I haven't heard of those, I'm sure many other millions of consumers haven't either. IE failed after years of complacency, and what did MS do? They didn't give up. They came out with Edge, which is far and away a better product than IE and consumes a lot less RAM than Chrome. Their phone line was a major push that flopped, I didn't say they were perfect just that most of their major investments in recent years lead to domination. They absolutely failed (so far) on the phone front, including their surface phones which have sold horribly due to how expensive they are.

3) Before that ex-boss said what he said, I had no idea Sony was in a struggling situation. I was basing that part solely on what he said about games doubling cost from $100 million last gen to $200 million this gen and how that isn't sustainable for Sony. I assumed that a former boss of Sony would know what he is talking about, but if what you said about their cash reserves is correct then I don't know what he is complaining about?

4) I could spin that part on you bringing up Sony. If they have such a big cash reserve, why did they allow MS to buy Bethesda and all the other studios? Money does buy you a degree of marketshare from studios that want to make the most money off selling, but nothing can buy out stubborn individuals that own companies that don't want to sell or don't want to sell to a specific company. I'm sure there are companies that would't want to sell to Saudi Arabia, or EA, or Tencent for moral reasons, and then there are companies that wouldn't care because their owners want to make the most money. Then you have countries that have laws preventing international takeovers; I have heard Japan has some laws preventing that sort of thing. I think Microsoft would rather own a studio than make exclusive deals with them. That whole Platinum dragon game probably made them hesitant to make those sorts of deals with companies they have virtually no control over. Not saying they won't or don't have those deals in place, I just doubt they will happen very often on a AAA level, whereas Sony is very willing to do that. That leaves Sony able to make those deals by adding a bunch of cash to prevent a multiplatform release (or at least a timed deal). If MS bid on the same game to be exclusive or not to their platform as Sony, there is absolutely no way Sony could win that bid battle.

1) You do understand that its an agreement with two parties. Sony can't just chuck money at RAD that Facebook owns and say make a PSVR exclusive. Facebook can say never. A third party can simple say no, I want to cultivate fans on all platforms etc.

2) Gamepass is not profitable. MS has never published Xbox profits so who knows. Edge uses Chromium, its a direct admittance by MS that they can't compete with Chrome and so had to fork Chrome, rather than use their own browser engine. Point is, MS might have money but they often don't have the creative/engineering talent and vision to make popular products. Nearly all their new arms have been by buying out already successful companies.

3)  Sony sells 60M games a year. They make 1B+ in profits from their first party games alone. Playstation can afford to make games that have budgets of 100-200M because their games sell a lot. UC 20M, TLOU 20M, Spiderman 20M, GoW 15M, Horizon 15M, Ghost will probably sell 10M+.

4) Because for Sony Bethesda is massively overpriced at 7.5B. They bought Insomniac for 200M and they're going to have 2 20M+ selling games, and 2 10M+ games. MS overpayed for Bethesda because they desperately needed bigger IPs to compete with Sony. The reason MS can't get AAA big third party exclusives is because Playstation owns like 70% of console software sales. No company is going to easily cut 70% of their console userbase for money. Its also why Sony can get Japanese exclusives so easily, JP pubs are only missing 10-15% of sales. Sony absolutely could win a bid because MS might not value the get as much as Sony. Its also about how much value the acquisition brings.



src said:

4) Because for Sony Bethesda is massively overpriced at 7.5B. They bought Insomniac for 200M and they're going to have 2 20M+ selling games, and 2 10M+ games. MS overpayed for Bethesda because they desperately needed bigger IPs to compete with Sony. The reason MS can't get AAA big third party exclusives is because Playstation owns like 70% of console software sales. No company is going to easily cut 70% of their console userbase for money. Its also why Sony can get Japanese exclusives so easily, JP pubs are only missing 10-15% of sales. Sony absolutely could win a bid because MS might not value the get as much as Sony. Its also about how much value the acquisition brings.

Microsoft didn't "only" buy Bethesda. They bought the entire conglomerate known as "Zenimax".

That includes:

* Arkane Studios.
 - Arx Fatalis.
 - Dishonored.
 - Prey.
 - Redfall.

* Alpha Dog Games.
 - Wraithborne.

* Bethesda Softworks.
  * Bethesda Game Studios Rockville.
     - Fallout 3.
     - Fallout 4.
     - Morrowind.
     - Oblivion.
     - Skyrim.
     - Starfield.
  * Bethesda Game Studios Austin. (Battlecry Studios)
     - Co-Developed Doom 2016.
     - Fallout 76.
  * Bethesda Game Studios Dallas.
     - Co-developed Rage.
     - Assisting with Starfield.
     - Lots of mobile.
  * Bethesda Game Studios Montreal.
     -  ?

* iD Software.
   * iD Software Texas.
        - Doom.
        - Wolfenstein.
        - Quake.
        - Commander Keen.
        - Rage.

   * iD Software Frankfurt.
     - ?

* Machine Games.
     - Wolfenstein.
     - Quake.

* Tango Gameworks.
   - The Evil Within.
   - Ghostwire Tokyo.

* Roundhouse Studios. (Prior Human Head Studios.)
   - ?

* Zenimax Online Studios.
   - Elder Scrolls Online.
   - Fallout 76.


12 Studios/developers in total.

But then add on technologies such as the Creation Engine, iD Tech which will also augment Azure Gamestack... And apparantly holds a heap of VR patents... (As per the Oculus lawsuit) And will assist in pushing gamepass as Elder Scrolls Online is one of the largest MMO's ironically... And Doom, Quake, Elder Scrolls, Fallout are some of the biggest NAMES in gaming... I think it is safe to say they got a good deal...

Comparatively, Mojang was 2.5~ Billion.

Sometimes the name and the technology holds more value than anything else, I.P can influence things greatly.


Microsoft also spent more than 7.5~ Billion. The total bill was about 8.1~ Billion.



--::{PC Gaming Master Race}::--

Pemalite said:
src said:

4) Because for Sony Bethesda is massively overpriced at 7.5B. They bought Insomniac for 200M and they're going to have 2 20M+ selling games, and 2 10M+ games. MS overpayed for Bethesda because they desperately needed bigger IPs to compete with Sony. The reason MS can't get AAA big third party exclusives is because Playstation owns like 70% of console software sales. No company is going to easily cut 70% of their console userbase for money. Its also why Sony can get Japanese exclusives so easily, JP pubs are only missing 10-15% of sales. Sony absolutely could win a bid because MS might not value the get as much as Sony. Its also about how much value the acquisition brings.

Microsoft didn't "only" buy Bethesda. They bought the entire conglomerate known as "Zenimax".

That includes:

* Arkane Studios.
 - Arx Fatalis.
 - Dishonored.
 - Prey.
 - Redfall.

* Alpha Dog Games.
 - Wraithborne.

* Bethesda Softworks.
  * Bethesda Game Studios Rockville.
     - Fallout 3.
     - Fallout 4.
     - Morrowind.
     - Oblivion.
     - Skyrim.
     - Starfield.
  * Bethesda Game Studios Austin. (Battlecry Studios)
     - Co-Developed Doom 2016.
     - Fallout 76.
  * Bethesda Game Studios Dallas.
     - Co-developed Rage.
     - Assisting with Starfield.
     - Lots of mobile.
  * Bethesda Game Studios Montreal.
     -  ?

* iD Software.
   * iD Software Texas.
        - Doom.
        - Wolfenstein.
        - Quake.
        - Commander Keen.
        - Rage.

   * iD Software Frankfurt.
     - ?

* Machine Games.
     - Wolfenstein.
     - Quake.

* Tango Gameworks.
   - The Evil Within.
   - Ghostwire Tokyo.

* Roundhouse Studios. (Prior Human Head Studios.)
   - ?

* Zenimax Online Studios.
   - Elder Scrolls Online.
   - Fallout 76.


12 Studios/developers in total.

But then add on technologies such as the Creation Engine, iD Tech which will also augment Azure Gamestack... And apparantly holds a heap of VR patents... (As per the Oculus lawsuit) And will assist in pushing gamepass as Elder Scrolls Online is one of the largest MMO's ironically... And Doom, Quake, Elder Scrolls, Fallout are some of the biggest NAMES in gaming... I think it is safe to say they got a good deal...

Comparatively, Mojang was 2.5~ Billion.

Sometimes the name and the technology holds more value than anything else, I.P can influence things greatly.


Microsoft also spent more than 7.5~ Billion. The total bill was about 8.1~ Billion.

Perhaps the engine and VR tech will come in handy later but atm Bethesda seems overpriced. I would estimate their revenue to be 1-1.5B annual so you're looking at a premium of x5-8. Warner bros pulled in 2B revenue was was seen as overpriced for 4B although that's probably due to their IP still being with Warner.

From a user acquisition point I wonder if it is efficient. Going by games sold in a period (BGS afaik only works on two games at a time)

BGS1: Skyrim - 30M

BGS2: Starfield - ??? Lets say 15M

Doom - 5-6M ?

Arkane, Tango, Machine games < 3M.

60M games sold at 8.1B

Insomniac at $220M will sell 40M (SM 20M, RC 5M, Wolverine 15M) in a similar if not shorter timeframe.

MS needed Bethesda for their big IPs so it makes sense. Was it an efficient user acquisition move? Imo no. I will say it is a lot more efficient than going after a public company that trades stock.