In the fight for who has more development studios, Sony gets a stake in the creators of the Soulsborne genre.
Purchases, purchases, and more purchases of video game developers. Throughout 2022, the development studio market has had a lot of movement – from Microsoft buying Activision Blizzard to Embracer Group buying Crystal Dynamics, Eidos Montréal, Tomb Raider, and more IP. It’s a lot of moves for a lot of money.
Today, Sony is once again in the spotlight after buying Savage Game Studios earlier this week and Bungie earlier this year. After years of collaborations on each of their titles, From Software finally becomes part of PlayStation — but not entirely. Sony only managed to get less than a quarter of the total shares of the company.
The developer with the golden eggs
From Software is recognized as one of the most important video game developers in the industry. Since the release of Dark Souls, it has been all good results for the company. In fact, almost all of its titles are GOTY contenders including their most recent release: Elden Ring. That’s something that very few companies can boast.
This is something that has always caught the attention of PlayStation. Besides the fact that they follow the same guideline as the leading company in video game consoles, they have a clear objective: to make players have fun. Therefore, it was to be expected that Sony would buy shares in the company. But From Software did not want to sell the whole company.
This is why both Sony and Chinese giant Tencent were initially able to buy less than 5% of From Software’s shares in 2021. But, after many talks with the management, this decision changed its mind.
Today, through a press release, Kadokawa Corporation announced that Sony will buy 14.09% of From Software’s shares. In addition, Tencent has acquired 16.25% of the shares. This leaves Kadokawa Corporation with 69.66% of the shares, Tencent with 16.25%, and PlayStation with 14.09%.
A purchase in favor of launching exclusive games
As they have shared through the press release, the objective of this purchase is aimed at creating exclusive content. After the loss of several exclusive games, PlayStation is looking to once again create a catalog of must-own exclusives. After the purchase of Heaven Studios months ago with this in mind, it was clear that PlayStation was looking to achieve the same goal with From Software.
This is something they made very clear at the time of the purchase. Surprisingly, Kadokawa Corporation has accepted the terms. The games will likely not be 100 percent PlayStation exclusive. Even so, they plan to make great collaborations that will be exclusive to PlayStation.
“Through the implementation of the fund procurement, From Software will aim to proactively invest in the development of more powerful game IP for itself to strengthen From Software’s development capabilities and will seek to establish a framework that allows the expansion of the scope of its own publishing in the significantly growing global market,” the company says in the press release.
While this may seem like a very large purchase, in reality, it’s not very relevant. As Tencent is behind it with a percentage of shares, exclusivity is hardly possible. Therefore, PlayStation will have to opt for the purchase of other development studios or have its studios come up with exclusive developments, but they won’t see the light of day for years.