Housemarque, the developer behind the hit PlayStation game Returnal, turned down several offers from other big names in the gaming industry before accepting a proposal from Sony. The studio has become well-known thanks to the critically acclaimed roguelike game that was released in April exclusively for the PlayStation 5. This eventually led to Sony acquiring Housemarque, providing a stable future for the 25-year-old company.

While Returnal received praise from critics and players alike, it has not been immune from criticism. One of the main issues that fans have with the game is that it features no effective autosave feature. This effectively forces players to complete a run in a single sitting as there is no way to save progress during what could be several hours of gameplay. Housemarque has admitted it doesn't have a save solution for Returnal yet.

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Related: How Many Biomes Returnal Has (& What They Are)

According to a new interview, Finnish studio Housemarque turned down a number of offers from "big players" within the industry as it considered an acquisition from Sony Interactive Entertainment. The developer eventually became an official PlayStation subsidiary in June but seemingly had several other publishers and companies attempting to buy it over the last few months. Speaking to Yle, and translated by VGC, CEO Ilari Kuittinen explained that the studio "had a very special spring and the fact that we were being competed for even feels a little surreal.” The executive also confirmed that Sony was not seeking to impose restrictions on Housemarque following the purchase and that it wanted the developer to keep what makes it unique.

Returnal PS5 Exclusive Gameplay Combat

“It was clear from our discussions that Sony wanted to buy us because we were doing something that other people weren’t doing. Their starting point has not been that we would start making games according to a formula defined by Sony.”

As part of its post-launch support for the game, Housemarque has released a series of patches since its launch in April. The latest update fixed a number of issues in Returnal, including a Dead Scout glitch that prevented the skeleton remains of the protagonist from previous runs from showing up as frequently as they should.

The fact that so many other gaming publishers were interested in Housemarque is not that surprising. Despite its relatively small size, the studio has a good track record and Returnal is one of the most unique games to launch over the last year or so. That would make the Finnish developer an attractive proposition for many larger gaming companies.

Next: Is Returnal Coming To PC

Returnal is available digitally and at retail for PlayStation 5.

Source: Yle (via VGC)

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