“Your thoughts on when has a big developer/publisher buying up a small one been a good thing for the gamer in the medium/long term?” – Frawd. Generally, when a big publisher/developer buys out a small one instead of negotiates a publishing deal, it’s often because the small one has to be bought out. If there’s no buyout, the company is probably gone completely. So, I’d generally say in the medium and long term, things are better for the gamer because the small company gets to exist. Whether the bigger company is at fault when the small company’s game ends up below expectations is up for debate, but at least they get to put out any product at all.
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