Microsoft just bought ZeniMax Media which includes The Elder Scrolls, Fallout, Wolfenstein, DOOM, Dishonored, Quake, Starfield for $7,5 billion USD.
Sony Interactive Entertainment has a team of Sony exclusive developers which it supports in making highly polished, narrative-driven single-player experiences: Naughty Dog (Last of Us), Guerilla Games (Horizon Zero Dawn), Insomniac (Spiderman), Santa Monica Studios (God of War) etc. They are probably looking at adding to their roster of Playstation exclusives to compete with Microsoft.
I can see Sony Interactive Entertainment trying to buy up IO Interactive, or to make Project 007, a third party exclusive seller for their PS5 console.
Project 007 would be a cheap purchase for Sony Interactive Entertainment in a bid to compete with XBox in selling future consoles, just as Spiderman, God of War, Horizon Zero Dawn and UnCharted were/are console seller titles for Sony.
Project 007 is expected to be released in a few years when Sony is expected to release their PSVR 2 virtual reality headset.
IOI has had a previous relationship with Sony in their PSVR exclusive deal with Hitman VR, and the Playstation exclusive “Sarajevo Six” missions for Hitman2016.
The advantage of being purchased or having a deal with Sony Interactive Entertainment or Microsoft is that you don’t have to worry as much about the cash crunch as an independent developer.
You lose some independence, and ability to make money on all platforms, but the advantages of being a console exclusive developer in some cases outweigh the disadvantages.
Obviously there were more disadvantages than advantages to IO Interactive’s relationship with its previous owner, Square Eniix.
It may be different with Sony Interactive Entertainment, where the long term investment could be a better partnership, where IOI gets long term financial stability and Sony grabs a key seller of their future console.
This is just speculation.