In all virtual reality, Sony Executives should have; reached out to the creators of the Sims Franchise, offered them an insane amount of money, and asked them to create Sony's Home. In every way that power move would have provided Sony and Maxis a gateway to unifying a structured hub for social Gamers.
This would benefit Maxis because they could have released a modified version of Sims 3 as the base for Sony's Home. Then in phase II presented their add on's/expansions to their products as integrated experiences that lead you away from Sony's Home and into the Sims world. The joint venture would place the connectivity/networking side in the hands of Sony, while placing the Creative/Interactive side at the finger tips of Maxis. The two companies working together would also have profits on both sides of the coin purse. Home users purchasing clothing and items for use in the Home/Hub, while Maxis would make gains from players purchasing virtual real estate within the hub.
This type of merger of developing companies, would not only unite the talents of Sony and Maxis. It would also unite the Hardcore gamer to the Social Gamer in a very unobtrusive fashion. This would be a place where the social gamer could be equal to the hardcore gamer. Bridging the divide between the two while placing them in an environment where they both could feel at Home (pun intended)
Bottom Line: Not every project has to be in-house.