Just days after announcing the acquisition of Returnal developer Housemarque, Sony today revealed that Dutch studio Nixxes will be the next member of the growing PlayStation Studios family.
If the name Nixxes doesn’t ring a bell for most gamers, that’s because the studio hasn’t developed any original projects in its over-20-year history. Instead, Nixxes has primarily specialized in creating a variety of PC and console ports for games from the likes of Eidos Montreal and Crystal Dynamics (both now Square Enix subsidiaries).
That makes Nixxes an especially intriguing acquisition for Sony, which has been slowly dipping an increasing number of toes into the PC gaming space in recent years. After Horizon: Zero Dawn hit the PC last year, Sony said in its annual report that it “will explore expanding our 1st party titles to the PC platform in order to promote further growth in our profitability.” Then, in May, Sony listed Uncharted 4 under the “more PC releases planned” section of an investor report, alongside the recent PC port of former PlayStation exclusive Days Gone.
Head of PlayStation Studios Hermen Hulst hinted at Nixxes’ porting focus in a statement, saying the studio has “a passion for improving games and for delivering the best possible experience for gamers.” Nixxes founder and Senior Director Jurjen Katsman said the studio “can’t wait to get to work and [is] so excited to bring our technical and development expertise to an IP powerhouse like PlayStation Studios.”
Acquiring two studios in the space of a week is highly unusual for Sony, whose last major developer acquisition was Spider-Man studio Insomniac for $229 million in 2019. Speaking to British GQ magazine earlier this week, though, Hulst said Sony isn’t trying to keep up in an arms race with Microsoft’s many recent studio purchases.
“We’re very selective about the developers that we bring in,” Hulst told GQ. “I’m always looking for people that have a similar set of values, similar creative ambitions, and work very well with our team that we can further invest in and help grow as creators. It’s not like we’re going around and just making random acquisitions. They’re very, very targeted acquisitions of teams that we know well.”
Could there be more Sony studio purchases coming soon? Observant Sony-watchers noticed that the PlayStation Japan Twitter account revealed the Housemarque acquisition with an image containing the logo for Bluepoint Games, best known for remasters and remakes, including the PS5 version of Demon’s Souls. That seems like a very strange error to make unless that image was already sitting in a social media manager’s folder, waiting for the upcoming announcement to be public. And who knows what else we might see from that folder in the near future…