Every company is talking to other businesses at one stage or another about acquisitions, so it's no real surprise to learn that Sony wasn't the only firm sniffing around Returnal developer Housemarque. The PlayStation buyout is set in stone now, but it could easily have gone another way as an interview with Finnish outlet Yle.fi reveals offers were also lobbied from companies in the US, China, and Sweden.
Ilari Kuittinen, CEO of Housemarque, said the "usual suspects" from the aforementioned countries had been interested before Sony sealed the deal. "In our discussions, it became clear that Sony wanted to buy us because we are doing something that others are not doing. Their starting point has not been that we would start making games according to the formula defined by Sony."
Kuittinen then goes on to explain how the now permanent inclusion in PlayStation Studios allows the team "financial freedom to develop the company towards the best gaming studios in the world. It allows us to create new gaming experiences that are even bigger and more ambitious." This is something the studio touched upon on the day of the acquisition in another interview with GQ, where it described Returnal as a "stepping stone". Future titles may be "be even bigger and even more ambitious".