- This makes it the third-largest video game studio purchase this month
- Bungie should remain an “independent subsidiary” of Sony
- The purchase could be in response to Microsoft purchase of Activision Blizzard
Another monumental deal in the gaming industry has been struck as Sony will be buying ex-Halo and Destiny developer Bungie for $3.6 billion.
Sony Acquires Bungie
Popular game developer Bungie is most famous for creating the Halo franchise, now operated by 343 Industries, as well as developing Destiny. On January 31, Bungie announced it is becoming part of Sony in a $3.6 billion purchase. This makes it the most expensive video game studio that the Japanese entertainment giant Sony has acquired.
A reason why this purchase might have been made is that Sony wants to buy Bungie is as a response to Microsoft’s recent acquisition of Activision Blizzard for a whopping $69 billion. That deal is currently set to go through in June 2023. Speaking of Microsoft, it used to own Bungie in June 2000, ensuring that Halo would be an exclusive title for Xbox’s launch. In 2007, just after the launch of Halo 3, Bungie signed a 10-year deal with Activision and went on to make the Destiny franchise.
Interestingly enough, Sony’s purchase is not the second, but the third most expensive video game company deal this month. The second place goes to Take-Two Interactive, which acquired mobile developer Zynga, creator of games like Farm Ville, for a sum of $12.7 billion.
What Will Bungie Do under Sony’s Ownership?
According to a report by Games Industry, Bungie will be an “independent subsidiary” of Sony, being run by a board of directors the studio's current management team, and CEO Pete Parsons. “We remain in charge of our destiny,” says Bungie’s official statement. “We will continue to independently publish and creatively develop our games. We will continue to drive one, unified Bungie community. Our games will continue to be where our community is, wherever they choose to play.”
“This acquisition will give SIE access to Bungie’s world-class approach to live game services and technology expertise, furthering SIE’s vision to reach billions of players,” Sony said according to a Bloomberg report. The Japanese company also explained that Bungie will maintain the ability to self-publish and reach players wherever they choose to play.
Interestingly enough, Sony’s stock went down not long after Microsoft made the deal with Activision Blizzard. Perhaps Sony is trying to level the playing field a bit by purchasing Halo and Destiny’s creator. However, it has to be said that just like Blizzard, Bungie also had its own controversies surrounding toxic workplace culture.
It is unlikely that the scandal has much to do with the decision by Sony to purchase Bungie, but it might have had an impact on the price tag. Regardless, it will take months for the deal to be finalized and fans will have to wait and see what kind of games Bungie will produce under Sony’s umbrella.