PlayStation Mobile’s first big buy is Savage Game Studios

 

PlayStation has stepped up its efforts in the mobile space once more with the acquisition of Savage Game Studios.

The studio was founded in 2020 by Michail Katkoff, Nadjim Adjir and Michael McManus, and will now set about “striving to reach new audiences unfamiliar with PlayStation and our games,” said PlayStation Studios boss Hermen Hulst on the PlayStation blog. 

“Savage Game Studios is joining a newly created PlayStation Studios Mobile Division, which will operate independently from our console development and focus on innovative, on-the-go experiences based on new and existing PlayStation IP,” Hulst continued.

“I hope you’ll join me in welcoming Savage Game Studios into the fold, and that those of you who enjoy mobile gaming in addition to console or PC will look forward to what they have in store,” he added. “They’re already working on a new unannounced AAA mobile live service action game. It’s too early to reveal more, but I’m so excited for when they’ll be able to.”

Katkoff is a well-known figure in mobile, having held senior roles at Digital Chocolate, Rovio, Supercell, Zynga and FunPlus. Adjir is a former Aeria Games, Gree and Wargaming product director, and McManus is a former tech director at Kabam, co-founder at Victory Lap Games and tech director at Wargaming. 

Katkoff said of the deal: “Savage Game Studios was born of our many years of mobile game development experience spanning a number of massively successful global IP. Our guiding vision was a creative space where experimentation and taking risks weren’t warily avoided, but rather eagerly embraced. We’ve all worked at big studios and while we respect the advantages of ample resources, we wanted to stay small and nimble so we could call our own shots.”

“‘So why then,’ you may be thinking to yourself, ‘would you join PlayStation Studios?’ We made this deal because we believe that PlayStation Studios’ leadership respects our vision for how we can best operate and succeed, and because they too are not afraid to take chances. All of that, plus the ability to potentially tap into PlayStation’s amazing catalog of IP and the fact that we will benefit from the kind of support that only they can provide… The harder question to answer would be ‘why not?’”

In a separate press release announcing the news, PlayStation Studios boss Hulst also said that “PlayStation Studios must continue to expand and diversify our offering beyond console, bringing incredible new games to more people than ever before.”

“Acquiring the talented team at Savage Game Studios is another strategic step towards that goal,” he continued. “I’m really excited about what Savage is working on and I’m confident they will deliver a high-quality experience. Our move into mobile, like our expansion into PC and live service games, strengthens our capabilities and our community, and complements PlayStation Studios’ purpose to make the best games that we can.”

The announcement also stated that Savage Game Studios’ current management team will continue to run day-to-day operations post-acquisition. The acquisition cost was not disclosed.

“Savage Game Studios was founded by industry veterans yearning to challenge the status quo and bring meaningful innovation to mobile gaming,” added Katkoff. “Today’s announcement reflects our firm belief that SIE shares our passion for experimentation and taking risks. We have great admiration for the consistency and quality of PlayStation’s first-party catalog, knowing just how hard it is in this industry to deliver time and time again as they have. We’re honored to become part of that legacy, and to join PlayStation Studios’ world class collective of immensely talented designers, artists, and engineers. We’re early in development on our unannounced project but can’t wait to show you more of what we’re working on.”

The Savage deal is the latest and most significant development in a series of moves PlayStation has been making in mobile. It has already attracted several big names to its leadership team and is on the hunt for more, who will be looking into studio acquistions and partnerships.