Sony Buys Bungie for $3.6 Billion
Sony has acquired Bungie, the fan-favourite developer behind the Destiny series and the first few Halo games. Sony spent a reported $3.6 billion on the acquisition. This deal comes shortly after Take Two’s $12.7 billion acquisition of Zynga, and Microsoft’s $69 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard, making January 2022 an undeniably interesting time to be a gamer or an investor in the gaming sphere.
In a month already full of massive deals. It’s also backed by some equally big promises from Bungie about its independence, the future of Destiny and commitments to multiplatform games. Beyond Destiny, this deal reveals Sony’s ambition to compete with games like Fortnite alongside the steps it has been taking to bring the PlayStation brand to multiple platforms.
The deal itself is unusual. Bungie will maintain creative independence inside Sony, self-publishing its future games despite being owned 100 percent by Sony. Destiny 2 will remain multiplatform, so it’s not going to disappear from Xbox and turn into a PlayStation exclusive. Bungie has even committed to keeping the game the same “no matter where you choose to play.” That likely means we won’t see exclusive Destiny strikes or weapons PlayStation as we saw in the past, thanks to an Activision and Sony deal.
Bungie’s future games won’t be PS exclusive either. “We want the worlds we are creating to extend to anywhere people play games,” a vision blog post from Bungie’s Joe Blackburn and Justin Truman. So what is Sony paying $3.6 billion for, exactly?
A glance at Sony’s top 10 played PS5 games would show that Destiny 2 is number six on the list, which makes it invaluable to PlayStation. Upon this list is also Fortnite at the top and Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War, along with the usual annual FIFA and NBA releases. Destiny 2 is still incredibly popular across Xbox, PC, and PlayStation, even as the game is about to enter year five.
What Sony’s acquisition of Bungie isn’t about is exclusivity though. Games like Destiny thrive because they’re available on multiple platforms and can connect different friend groups in the virtual world. Fortnite, Call of Duty and Destiny aren’t hugely popular because they’re locked to one platform; they’re available everywhere, and that drives their success. Sony might have pushed back against cross-play and cross-platform in the past, but it’s clear that the PlayStation maker is now embracing its potential and has bigger plans for live service games.