Sony added a new developer to its PlayStation Studios team this week by acquiring Housemarque, the developer of the PlayStation 5 game Returnal. This means that Housemarque is now within the same team as other well-known PlayStation developers like Sucker Punch Productions, Naughty Dog, Santa Monica Studio, and many more. Ilari Kuittinen, the co-founder and managing director of Housemarque, said the studio "can't wait to show everyone what will be in store in the upcoming years."
The acquisition was announced on Tuesday in a PlayStation Blog post featuring Kuittinen's comments on the big change for Housemarque. The developer described Returnal as the studio's biggest foray yet into third-person action and one that put Housemarque in the homes of many people for the first time.
Welcome to the family, @Housemarque!June 29, 2021
"We are so excited to finally join the PlayStation Studios family!" Kuittinen said. "This gives our studio a clear future and a stable opportunity to continue delivering on gameplay centric approaches, while still experimenting with new methods of narrative delivery and pushing the boundaries of this modern artform. Locally here in Helsinki, this also means that we will officially expand the PlayStation family to a growing industry hub and secure the legacy of the oldest game studio in Finland."
Returnal was far from the Housemarque studio's first game, but it has certainly become one of its most notable ones. Part of that success owes itself to the notoriety the game got just from being a PlayStation 5 exclusive during a time when many games were released on both the PlayStation 4 and the newer console. Much more of that still is owed to Returnal itself, a game which was certainly one of the best – and possibly the best – showcases of what the PlayStation 5's DualSense controller can do. The game featured alternative fire modes which utilized the adaptive triggers and used haptic feedback throughout the game to create new kinds of experiences that wouldn't have been possible on the PlayStation 4.
As for the future of Returnal, the developers have still said in the past that they're exploring options for a save system or sorts to appease those who wish the game would've had one to start with. No plans for major new content updates or DLC have been announced, but Returnal as a base game is still plenty worthwhile as you can tell from our review of the game.