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.
>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.
Shawn Layden wasn't talking about Sony's financials. He was talking about the industry as a whole.
His point was that the gaming industry as a whole can't afford these kinds of expenses. Not MS, not Sony, no one.
A 100 billion dollar industry can't afford to spend 150 billion dollars in production and marketing.
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.) 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.
But what about when it's cheaper to buy the studio yourself? That's the point you keep ignoring.
>3.) Before that ex-boss said what he said, I had no idea Sony was in a struggling situation.
Sony isn't struggling. You clearly did not understand what Shawn Layden was talking about. He did not mention Sony once.
> 4.) why did they allow MS to buy Bethesda and all the other studios?
Because it doesn't fit their strategy. MS needs big IPs to make Game Pass successful. Sony already has big IPs that have already made PlayStation successful, and they've a lot of success with creating new ones.
>I think Microsoft would rather own a studio than make exclusive deals with them.
And you seemingly can't imagine that being the case for Sony? Sony has a couple generations worth of history of buying several studios at the start, and often closing them towards the end.
1999-2001 (PS2): Naughty Dog, Bend Studio, Incognito Entertainment
2005-2007 (PS3): Guerilla Games, BigBig, Evolution, Zipper Interactive