Sony Interactive Entertainment president and CEO Jim Ryan recently conducted an interview with The Nikkei. For those not in the know, The Nikkei is the world’s largest financial newspaper. In the interview Jim Ryan is considering the acquisition and merger of game development companies.
This decision comes after the announcement of Google entering the video game console market. Gematsu picked up the story from Nikkei, and according to Ryan, “content is becoming more important than ever before”. In other words, Sony wants to gobble up companies before the deep pockets of Google does.
A few years ago I would have applauded this announcement. The idea of Sony swooping in and rescuing small up and coming game development companies from Googles evil grasp would have filled me with hope. Today however, I feel like I am watching two big rats fighting over all the cheese crumbs. Google and Sony have both showed their willingness to censor video games, so whoever wins this fight it is clear we gamers lose.
As of right now we have no idea which companies Sony is eyeing. However, Jim Ryan may have given us a clue about Sony’s plans in his interview. Ryan remarked to The Nikkei that “Companies new to the games industry looking at the market with hope is something we definitely welcome”. It would seem any companies with little to no established reputation are the ones Sony is looking to target.
This could conflict with EA’s plan to offer sweetheart publishing deals to indie companies. I touched on EA’s plans in an article I wrote for One Angry Gamer that can be read here. I imagine that Nintendo and Microsoft are going to announce similar plans to Sony and EA soon. This is going to bring us one step closer to a video game industry dominated by just a handful of huge mega companies. A future in which only party approved games will exist.