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Sony Acquires ‘Spider-Man’ Developer Insomniac Games

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Sony is gobbling up Insomniac Games, the studio behind the wildly successful Marvel’s Spider-Man and the long-running Ratchet & Clank franchise. When the deal is done, the studio’s 25+ year run as an independent developer will draw to a close.

Of course, nobody would blame you for thinking that Insomniac was already owned by Sony, given their long history of making Sony exclusives. In fact, Insomniac has made a number of titles for other platforms over the years.

This news means no more Microsoft exclusives like the wacky Sunset Overdrive and probably no more Oculus Rift games—Insomniac will likely focus on PS VR content if it continues to develop virtual reality titles, something Sony will no doubt want to capitalize on.

Sony also announced that Marvel’s Spider-Man was the best-selling Spidey game of all time, selling 13.2 million copies worldwide by the end of July, 2019. That’s impressive especially given the fact that it was a PS4 exclusive (though clearly far too many didn’t buy the game and need to—it’s well worth your time and money).

Insomniac Games will be the 14th in-house developer for Sony Interactive Entertainment’s Worldwide Studios (SIE WWS). The details of the acquisition, including the amount Sony paid to buy the studio, remain confidential. Current management is expected to remain in charge post-acquisition, working in conjunction with SIE WWS San Mateo.

The really good news here—though it’s entirely unsurprising—is that a Spider-Man sequel is even more likely now, almost certainly for the PS5 though possibly for both PS4 and PS5.

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Gaming News

1994: The Year of the Game Changer | 25YL

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25 Years Ago, in the world of video gaming it was, to put it mildly, a “fantastically exciting time” to be playing video games and to think to yourself “What is coming next?” “What will the next Mario game look like on a new next-generation console?”.

The year would have been 1994 at the time of writing this piece and we had been enjoying (and in some cases not) some of the most amazing games of all time during what I call the “16-Bit Era” of games. At least, in my opinion, that is. SEGA’s Mega Drive (Genesis for any American readers) had been a big success for its creators and went toe to toe with Nintendo’s Super Nintendo (Super Famicom if you happened to be in Japan).

Super Nintendo and Sega Mega Drive consoles from 1994

We had been treated to some astonishing games up until this point with the likes of Super Mario World, Sonic The Hedgehog 2 a few iterations of Street Fighter 2 (Turbo and Special Championship Edition’s, etc). We had Super Metroid, Super Soccer (ok maybe not that one!) and we had just got a glimpse of the future with games such as Star Wing (Star Fox for readers outside of Europe) and Virtua Racing. These showed the way with Polygons making the graphics we saw on screen whilst playing these games and things looked 3D…remember when 3D gaming was all the rage? I certainly do!

In the Arcades, we were starting to see games that would hit home consoles in the coming years. Big titles such as Ridge Racer which made Virtua Racing look very primitive and Tekken which made you think “If only Street Fighter 2 was like this!”. Then… we began to hear about some exciting “Super Consoles” that would appear on store shelves in Japan at the end of 1994. Those would be the Saturn from SEGA and a newcomer was about to enter the world of video gaming… Sony. The PlayStation would be in the hands of Japanese gamers by December of 94.

screen shot of Ryu vs Blanka in Street Fighter 2 on the SNES

Little did we know at the time the PlayStation would turn out to be a major big hit for Sony! Now some of the amazing looking experiences you had in the Arcades when you played the likes of Ridge Racer and Virtua Fighter were coming home on these new “Super Consoles”. In future articles, I will go into more depth about both the SEGA Saturn and Sony’s PlayStation. It would be a couple more years until Nintendo would release its challenger to what I call the “32-Bit CD-ROM Era”… the N64! The N64 wouldn’t follow what SEGA and Sony did and be a 32-Bit CD-ROM console, however, Nintendo stuck with Cartridges which at the time seemed a very odd thing to do especially given how much larger the games could be on a CD-ROM rather than a traditional ROM Cartridge. This, in my opinion, was a pretty bad move by Nintendo as it hampered Developers when it came to content. Often they would have to cut content out of the N64 version. 1 Such example that I knew back in the day was FIFA 98. Its play by play Commentary from the Legendary John Motson was incredibly limited when compared to the same game released on Nintendo’s competitor’s hardware.

Playstation 1, Sega Saturn and Nintendo 64 consoles

To finish up, it is unbelievable to think that the Sony PlayStation and SEGA Saturn are about to turn 25 years old at the end of 2019. Where has the time gone? What do you remember when someone mentions games from 1994? Did you remember hearing about the “Super Consoles”? Oh and RIP Commodore. They went bankrupt in April of 1994 and I remember being very sad as a young boy who spent a lot of his childhood playing games on a Commodore 64 and being wowed by the Commodore Amiga 500.


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