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How buying Insomniac is just the start of Sony's ramp-up to the PlayStation 5

5 months ago by Jared Russo in M&A

Sony (NYSE: SNE) wants to swing into 2020 with a lot of momentum, and its acquisition of Insomniac Games is just the first step to doing that. 

Insomniac (PRIVATE:INSOMNIACGAMES) is the 14th studio owned by Sony, and we can see in hiring trends that the ramp up for PlayStation 5 production is in full swing now. Growth in the number of total job listings and the increase to global marketing, product development, and software engineers staffs means the worldwide leader in gaming won't rest on its laurels for the fight against Google, Microsoft, Nintendo, Apple, Amazon, or anyone else.

The investment in Insomniac, a longtime partner-in-crime with Sony, was a no-brainer after the smashing success of Marvel's Spider-Man last October. A sequel is all but guarenteed to hit the PS5 in the future, and Sony clearly understood the importance of gaining a talented studio that's doing the best its ever done in its history.

The sales numbers do not lie; Insomniac's latest release, Spider-Man PS4, shot to the top-100 sales ranks at just about every retailer, including Best Buy. After that, Sony almost had no choice but to purchase Insomniac for fear of Microsoft swooping in. Although the Spider-Man license is exclusive to Sony platforms, Insomniac did make an exclusive game for the Xbox One with Sunset Overdrive, a well reviewed critical darling that did not set the world on fire with its sales. That's the opposite story for Spider-Man, which is one of the best selling games almost a full year after its original release.

There is a miniature arms race to snatch up as many quality developers and studios between Sony and Microsoft, with each platform holder making sure to stock up on valuable IP and exclusive games for their next respective consoles. After a slew of signings by Phil Spencer, head of Xbox, Sony finally decided to make a big splash taking Insomniac off the market. We'll see which free agent gets purchased next as the next PlayStation and Xbox are slated to hit store shelves holiday 2020.

About the Data: 

Thinknum tracks companies using information they post online - jobs, social and web traffic, product sales and app ratings - and creates data sets that measure factors like hiring, revenue and foot traffic. Data sets may not be fully comprehensive (they only account for what is available on the web), but they can be used to gauge performance factors like staffing and sales. 

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Jared Russo

Jared is an editor for Thinknum, and has been writing for more than a decade. He previously worked at AOL, Vice, Google, Dotdash, and Sirius XM.

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