Sony Acquires Bungie For $3.6 Billion in Takeover Deal
It was just weeks ago that the gaming community was stopped in its tracks following Microsoft’s record-breaking acquisition of Activision Blizzard. Now, in another surprising turn of events, Sony has stepped out and acquired Bungie, the developer of Destiny – and once upon a time, Halo – and thirty-year veteran of the industry. However, Sony execs have already gone on record stating that this deal is not about exclusivity.
With the monopolisation train rolling at full steam, who knows which company will be acquired next?
From Birth to Buyout
Bungie has a prestigious history among the more elite developers within the gaming industry. It has been trading since 1991, finding massive success in 1999 with the announcement of Halo: Combat Evolved. In 2000, at the turn of the millennium, Microsoft acquired Bungie and Halo was released exclusively on the all-new Xbox platform. Then, in 2007, a split occurred, with Bungie breaking away from Microsoft after almost a decade of ownership.
When 2010 rolled around, Halo Reach was released, serving as the last title in the franchise to be developed by Bungie. Although, that wasn’t the end of the company – in 2013 and then 2017, Destiny 1 and 2 were released. This became the flagship franchise for Bungie, and both titles were relatively successful. In 2020, Destiny 2 became a free-to-play live service title, and it’s that model that Sony will reportedly be pushing moving forward.
While Sony’s acquisitions tend to be aimed more at the single-player experience, CEO of PlayStation, Jim Ryan, has stressed that the multiplayer model will remain. In recent years, Sony has acquired the likes of Naughty Dog, Guerrilla, Insomniac, and SuckerPunch, but this is the first takeover that will lead to an all-online experience. Jim Ryan also stressed that Bungie will remain unchanged and the titles it produces will stay multi-platform by nature:
Bungie will operate autonomously within the Sony Interactive Entertainment organisation, and they will continue to publish on other platforms… We understand how important it is to give these great organisations the space and independence, whilst bolstering that with great support when and where that’s needed.
But why buy Bungie at all?
Driving the Metaverse
There’s a reason why Sony has handed an enormous bag of cash – worth $3.6 billion – to Bungie. Reportedly, Sony is looking to make a push into end-to-end entertainment ecosystems. For instance, Sony owns a massive movie studio, and now, it has acquired the rights to one of the most successful sci-fi gaming franchises to ever have existed. In a statement by Sony execs, it was revealed that:
Sony Interactive Entertainment believes that game worlds are only the beginning of what our IPs can be come.
There’s greater breadth and depth in store for gaming as time goes on. With the ever-increasing popularity of esports betting, the rise of the metaverse and play-to-earn games, and multi-medium franchises, gaming is no longer confined to just gaming. With the acquisition of Bungie, Sony has taken on a diverse, dynamic, and much-loved MMO franchise. There are untold possibilities in-store, including future releases, the expansion of the franchise, and maybe, just maybe, a television show or movie production.
Be prepared for the next change – the Microsoft x Activision Blizzard takeover kicked it off, and it’s far from over.