Among the 3 main platform holders, Sony Interactive Entertainment, and Nintendo Co., Ltd. are the two that put the most effort into their own first party game development. And both have been making moves to expand their development arms as industry consolidation forces platform holders to prioritize exclusive content.
PlayStation Studios is SIE's main development arm, led by Herman Hulst. Consisting of 17 global development teams such as Naughty Dog, Santa Monica Studio, XDev, and Insomniac Games. Each one bringing their own franchises and flavor to PlayStation consoles with hits like Uncharted, Ratchet and Clank, Gran Turismo, Astro Bot, and Horizon. PS Studios has recently been making major expansions with new additions like Housemarque, Bluepoint, Firesprite, Nixxes, and Valkyrie Entertainment. They're also working with new start ups such as Deviation Games, Haven Studios, and Firewalk on brand new projects. PS Studios also gained a brand new ally recently with Sony's acquisition of Destiny developer Bungie. While operating as a separate entity from PS Studios, Bungie's technology and expertise in the live-service multiplayer genre will come in handy for the PS Studios teams.
In the other corner, there's the Entertainment Planning & Development Division (EPD) at Nintendo. Headed by Shinya Takahashi, consisting of 11 software production units working on a variety of titles from around the world. EPD's key component, is its internal game development group, which develops Nintendo's biggest franchises such as Mario, The Legend of Zelda, Splatoon, and Animal Crossing, in addition to promising new IP such as ARMS, Ring Fit Adventure, and Game Builder Garage. In addition to its in-house studio, Nintendo EPD also runs various subsidiary studios such as MonolithSoft in Tokyo, Retro Studios in Texas, and support houses such as Nintendo Software Technology (NST) and Nintendo European Research and Development (NERD), and works with various independent second parties such as Intelligent Systems, Game Freak, HAL Labrotory, Grezzo, Platinum Games, and indiesZero as well.
The division is recently going through some major expansions. Nintendo is investing almost $1 billion into game development, by renting office space in a Kyoto facility near its HQ, and building a second development center in place of its former HQ. This is an effort to get more internally developed projects going rather than relying on outside developers. Next Level Games, a long time Nintendo partner known for Luigi's Mansion has also recently joined the EPD family last year.
Both Sony and Nintendo have different strategies with First party games. EPD generally outpaces PS Studios in raw yearly output, while PS Studios generally focuses on fewer, but bigger releases. EPD is prioritizing internal expansion rather than pure acquisitions, while PS Studios is making more pro-active moves in seeking out studio start ups like Firewalk. Between recent releases and upcoming developments, which first party organization do you like better?Last edited by TheMisterManGuy - on 12 February 2022