PlayStation has been a significant player in the video games industry since they first burst onto the scene 25 years ago when Sony launched the original PlayStation in 1994 in Japan. Since then, they have dominated the video game market with some of the best-selling consoles and some of the best-regarded games of all time.
They accomplished such a feat thanks to the plethora of talented studios under their belts. With Sony bringing in more studios thanks to some recent acquisitions, there are now 15 major PlayStation first-party studios. We're going to order them based on the significance of what games the studios make.
15. Sony London
Starting off our list is one of Sony's oldest studios in Sony London. First founded in 2002 after the merger of Sony studios Team Soho and Psygnosis, Sony London is most well known for their hit SingStar series that has had releases on each generation since the PlayStation 2 and in their early years for working on the PlayStation 2 peripheral the EyeToy.
In recent years, the studio has delved into the VR space with the PSVR launch title PlayStation VR Worlds and the hit crime thriller Blood & Truth released in 2019.
Next up is Sony's most recently founded studio, only seven years ago, in Pixelopus. This is Sony's smallest studio by far, but one of their most interesting. The small studio screams of an indie arthouse that focuses on smaller, more intimate titles.
The studio has also dabbled in the VR space, with their most recent game having a VR mode. Pixelopus has developed two games in their short history thus far. The first was Entwined in 2014, which Concrete Genie followed up in 2019.
Firesprite is one of the recent studio acquisitions that Sony has made this year. The studio has had an exciting history with Sony since being founded in 2012. First, the studio has many former first-party studio Sony Liverpool members that were shut down back in 2012.
Then, since their formation, the studio has had a solid second-party relationship with Sony. They aided in developing The Playroom and its VR version, along with developing the mobile game Run Sackboy! Run!. The studio's most recent game was The Persistence, released on VR platforms, PlayStation, and Xbox consoles.
12. Sony San Diego
Sony San Diego is known for one thing and one thing only. They are the dominant force behind the most significant baseball game in video games in the MLB: The Show series.
They are the only studio with the MLB license, and because of such, MLB: The Show has been consistently one of, if not the best, sports games that are released every year. Recently, the series migrated from a PlayStation console exclusive to being multiplatform and has made San Diego Studio the only first-party studio to release games on different consoles and PlayStation.
11. Sony Bend
Sony Bend has had a long and storied history with Sony. The studio was purchased back in 2000 and is best known for the Syphon Filter series that had seven games from 1999-2007. Since then, the studio released some spinoffs in the Resistance and Uncharted series on Sony's two handheld consoles.
Then, after a seven-year gap, the studio released Days Gone in 2019. Unfortunately, the game wasn't received as well as other Sony first-party games, and a sequel won't be coming. After some internal issues, the studio is working on a brand new IP as their next project.
10. Media Molecule
Kicking off the top 10 is Sony's most eccentric studio: Media Molecule. Media Molecule is one of the artsiest video game studios there is. The studio is behind the LittleBigPlanet series though they haven't handled the series properly since 2010.
After that, the studio focused for years on the game development game and toolset, Dreams. Dreams haven't set the world on fire, but the studio has found a dedicated base, hosts awards for the games within the game, and has kept creating content.
9. Polyphony Digital
Cars. Cars. Cars. Polyphony Digital is known for Gran Turismo. Gran Turismo has been one of the premier racing series for over two decades. The series is one of the most important in PlayStation's history.
The first few games dominated the PlayStation and early PlayStation 2 era, selling millions and millions of copies back then. At the same time, the series isn't as big as it used to be, thanks to games like Forza entering the space. That hasn't deterred Polyphony, as the next game in the series Gran Turismo 7 is set to release early next year.
The studio that kicked off Sony's spree of buying developers this year. Housemarque had a long history of creating hardcore arcade shooters for PlayStation for most of their existence, from Super Stardust to Resogun to Materfall.
However, after releasing the infamous “Arcade is Dead” blog post, the studio took a new direction. That new direction led to Returnal, which drew Sony's interest. Return was the PlayStation 5's first new exclusive and was met with high praise for the hardcore roguelike nature of the game. This led to Sony deciding to make the deal final and scoop up Housemarque as their first acquisition in their biggest spree of acquiring studios ever.
7. Bluepoint Games
Sony's most recent studio acquisition. Bluepoint Games are masters of the craft in remaking and remastering games. The studio has handled remakes or remasters of the Metal Gear Solid series, the Uncharted series, Shadow of the Colossus, and Demon's Souls.
Now that Sony owns the studio, many thought that they would continue to remakes classic games from the history of PlayStation. However, that doesn't seem to be the case as, after they were purchased, it was announced that they plan to create their own “original content,” which could mean their first brand new IP could be on its way sometime soon.
6. Team Asobi
The studio that took the first party by storm. Team Asobi is a newer studio that is in charge of the Astrobot franchise. The team blasted onto the scene with the best PlayStation VR game Astrobot Rescue Mission.
After that, the group continued the series with the PlayStation 5 pack in-game Astro's Playroom, which is not only a good platforming game but an absolute love letter to the history of PlayStation. The studio has done such a good job that Sony reorganized Sony Japan Studio into just Team Asobi. It will be interesting to see what the studio does next.
5. Sucker Punch
Sucker Punch has been with Sony for over ten years. However, their relationship goes back to the early 2000s with the Sly Cooper series. Once they hit the PlayStation 3, the studio switched over to the Infamous series until 2014.
Following this, the studio spent years developing their newest game, Ghost of Tsushima, which was released last Summer on PlayStation 4. Then, they released an expansion and Director's Cut version of the game, which was released a few short months ago. The game succeeded to a great extent and is sure to be what Sucker Punch works on for the foreseeable future.
4. Guerilla Games
Guerilla Games was known for one thing for most of their history: the Killzone franchise. However, the studio decided to change what they were about following 2014's Killzone Shadow Fall. They switched from first-person shooters to something completely different with a third-person action RPG in Horizon Zero Dawn.
The change in games and a knock-out of the park with the original Horizon soared Guerilla Games into the top 5 PlayStation studios. The next game the studio is working on the sequel to Horizon with Horizon Forbidden West, which is set to release in February next year.
3. Sony Santa Monica
Sony Santa Monica is the mastermind behind the God of War series. The series has been one of PlayStation's biggest franchises since it debuted on the PlayStation 2 in 2005. The series was known for its sheer intensity and anger in its story and gameplay.
However, the studio brought a brand new perspective when they soft rebooted the series with the release of God of War in 2018. The game was met with universal acclaim upon release for its writing, gameplay, and formula change. It is considered one of the best games on PlayStation 4. Now, the studio is set to release the sequel God of War Ragnarok at some point next year on PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5.
2. Insomniac Games
Another studio with a long history with Sony before being bought. Insomniac had been known as the one behind the Playstation mega-franchise Ratchet and Clank, as well as the PS3 series Resistance. Since their acquisition in 2019, Insomniac Games has been the MVP of the first-party studios.
Coming in hot after the release of Marvel's Spider-Man in 2018, the studio has released a new entry in the Ratchet and Clank series this year and Spider-Man Miles Morales at the launch of the PlayStation 5. Now, the studio is working on two massive games, with Marvel's Spider-Man 2 set to release in 2023 and Marvel's Wolverine, which is still a ways off.
1. Naughty Dog
Last but not least is what many consider one of the absolute best studios in the world. Naughty Dog is the premier studio in PlayStation's lineup. The studio is known for three of PlayStation's most prominent franchises, with Jak and Daxter, Uncharted, and The Last of Us. Most of their games were released to critical acclaim.
Their most recent game, The Last of Us Part II, which won numerous awards upon its release last year, though divisive among fans. Naughty Dog is currently working on a standalone version of The Last of Us Factions. It is unlikely to be the only game they have in development, and whatever they do next will be one of PlayStation's most important games.