I have no doubt they are always laying seeds like this hoping some will take root. Like when they gave Kojima the Decima engine, or partnered with Haven studios before buying them outright.
Some will work out, others won’t, but it’s all smart business all the same. Get people onside, make them realise you can work together successfully towards a common, better, goal and if/when acquisitions are a possibility you will likely be top of the pile.
Meanwhile Sony get a good look at who they are working with, are they someone they actually want to acquire and work with going forward? Win-win.