The 18 most expensive game studio acquisitions

Sony has paid almost $229 million for Insomniac Games. Will it be worth it?

The 18 most expensive game studio acquisitions

Sony has revealed to the US Securities and Exchange Commission stating that it paid ¥24,895 million (almost $229 million) for Insomniac Games, reported.

That is a lot of money. Not only in real terms, but also relative to the cost of making big-budget games and the price tag of other game studios.

Wikipedia editors maintain a list of video games that cost the most to make (and market), along with a list of sources. It is almost definitely not a complete list, but it does show that even big-budget games rarely cost more than $40 million.

In 2019, Insomniac only released two games: Stormland for Oculus VR and Strangelets for the Magic Leap One. Magic Leap One is an augmented reality virtual retinal display. The cost of development and revenue earned from these games was not disclosed.

However, while there may be some doubts about the profitability of the studio's niche VR titles, Insomniac Games is also the original developer for powerhouse franchises for Sony's PlayStation. These include Spyro the Dragon, Ratchet & Clank, and Resistance.

Insomniac also developed the acclaimed Marvel's Spider-Man for PlayStation 4, and Sunset Overdrive for Windows and Xbox One.

Most expensive game studio acquisitions of all time

Of all publicly disclosed game studio acquisitions, Insomniac's price tag was the 18th highest of all time.

It is in grand company. There are only five studios in the list below that make console and PC games (six, if you count PopCap). The rest are mostly mobile developers, with a handful of platform companies.

|Rank|Buyer|Seller|Year|Deal Value (USD)
|1|Tencent|Supercell|2016|$8.6 billlion|
|2|Activision Blizzard|King|2015|$5.9 billion|
|3|Microsoft|Mojang|2014|$2.5 billion|
|4|Facebook|Oculus VR|2014|$2 billion|
|5|Zhongji Holding|DianDian Interactive|2014|$960 million|
|6|Churchill Downs Incorporated|Big Fish Games|2014|$885 million|
|7|Electronic Arts|BioWare and Pandemic Studios|2007|$775 million|
|8|Electronic Arts|PopCap Games|2011|$750 million|
|9|Electronic Arts|Jamdat Mobile|2005|$680 million|
|10|Disney|Playdom|2010|$563 million|
|11|Zynga|NaturalMotion|2014|$527 million|
|12|Nexon|Gloops|2012|$486 million|
|13|DeNA|ngmoco|2010|$400 million|
|14|Electronic Arts|Playfish|2009|$400 million|
|15|Tencent|Riot Games|2011|$400 million|
|16|Sony Computer Entertainment|Gaikai|2012|$380 million|
|17|Microsoft|Rare|2002|$375 million|
|18|Sony Interactive Entertainment|Insomniac Games|2019|$229,000,000|

The question is, will it be worth the price Sony paid?

Simply put, Insomniac makes good games that sell well, while experimenting on the bleeding edge with VR and augmented reality.

It also brings the clout of its name to the table. It is associated with some of PlayStation's most beloved franchises, even if it does not own the intellectual property rights to Spyro the Dragon and Ratchet & Clank.

So, yes. It will be worth every Yen that Sony spent.

Photo by Caspar Camille Rubin on Unsplash.