Bungivision is over
With the recent news of developer Bungie having their shackles untied from publisher Activision, many Xbox fans are hoping Microsoft pulls out the cheque book to get them back into the first party family. This got me thinking… If I was a hypothetical head of Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo… Which studio would I buy that I think best suits these respective companies? Well, keep reading in order to find out.
If you’re at all connected to the gaming world then you’ve surely heard of Halo, arguably Microsoft’s best franchise and certainly the highest selling by a good margin. Bungie were the original developers and responsible for the trilogy that many gamers hold dear to their heart. It would be a massive get should they go through with it, but it’s looking almost certainly like it won’t happen. They seem to be too big for what Microsoft are envisioning to be in the market for, while the developers themselves seem to be looking forward to independence.
To some it’s a surprise this wasn’t already a thing, Remedy has a relationship with Microsoft that spans to before 2010 when Alan Wake released as an Xbox 360 exclusive. The latter game Quantum Break released in 2016 to mediocre success. With the right guidance and investment, this studio has the potential to be something special.
A foothold in Japan
This suggestion is open to interpretation. Microsoft has forever struggled in Japan and seem to desperately need the resources to be able to gain a foothold in that market. The choices are varied, do they buy a big publisher like Sega? That could be pricey. If it was me at the head I would open a new studio, grabbing the best developers and putting them to work on an epic JRPG that would capture the fans of that genre and most importantly gain a foothold in that market.
This seems like an obvious choice to me, Sony and Insomniac have a relationship that dates all the way back to the original Spyro in 1998 for the original PlayStation. They then went on to create exclusives such as the Ratchet & Clank series and the Resistance series. In the PS3 era you would be excused for thinking they weren’t already in the first party fold. With the recent release of critically acclaimed Spider-Man on PS4, it seems like that relationship will continue in a third party manner.
Underrated PS4 gem Until Dawn is easily one of the best games on the system. The ‘games as interactive movie’ genre, that some seem to look down upon, is some of the best story telling you can get anywhere. Quantic Dream could be another option but I think Sony would want to distance themselves from that controversy. For my money, SuperMassive is one of the best independent developers currently on the market right now.
Earlier in 2018 a remake of Shadow of the Colossus released to massive fan hysteria, touted as one of the best remakes in gaming, it keeps the original games legacy intact while updating to today’s visuals and upgrades. It isn’t hard to imagine Sony getting Bluepoint to work to remake some of the IP in its library spanning 20 years. Did someone say Syphon Filter?
Being comprised of former employees from Rare, it’s not hard to imagine a world were Playtonic seems a perfect fit for Nintendo. Yooka Laylee is basically a re-skin of Banjo-Kazooie which is arguably one of the greatest games ever made. Why not set them to work on a Diddy Kong Racing sequel or a whole new 3D platformer? The possibilities are endless and this would be a great pick for the company.
No one seems to know the switch hardware better than this company. The magicians over at Panic Button have somehow got games like Doom and Wolfenstein to run on switch hardware very well. They could keep doing that while expanding under Nintendo and perhaps developing their own game or handling remakes of their back catalogue. It just seems perfect.
Ever present on the 3DS, Level 5 has huge potential should they be brought into the Nintendo fold. Fantasy life, Dragon quest and Yo-Kai-watch are just some of the franchises under the belt of the developer with Nintendo. The prospect of them developing their own IP as a first party studio will have a lot of JRPG fans chomping at the bit.