Sony Acquires Bungie For $3.6 Billion Making The Original Creator Of Halo A Part Of PlayStation

It’s been two weeks since Microsoft disrupted the gaming industry with its near $70 billion purchase of Activision Blizzard, a historic deal that cemented itself as one of the biggest ever. We had known about Microsoft cooking up something big for a while but the announcement came out nowhere and took us all by surprise. While the discourse was taking place, many had the same thing on their minds: what was PlayStation‘s response to all this?

Well, it seems like this is exactly that. As originally reported by GI.biz, Sony and Bungie have just announced that they’ve joined hands with the former buying Bungie for $3.6 billion USD. Bungie, for the uninitiated, are the developers behind Destiny and the original creators of Halo on Xbox. Bungie went independent in 2007 after the release of Halo 3, then signed a 10–year publishing deal with Activision, and will now become a part of PlayStation Studios.

What the deal entails

The primary reason behind Bungie joining SIE is independency. Microsoft attempted to buy Bungie in 2020 but failed and it’s speculated that’s because Bungie oversold themselves due to their wish to remain independent even under someone else. That’s what Sony brought to the table. Sony and Bungie essentially signed a win-win deal here, with Bungie still having full control over their multi-platform properties, and Sony getting the live-service and multiplayer expertise and that Bungie offered.

Of course, I don’t need to point out the irony here that the team who gave Microsoft its biggest exclusive to date, arguably the thing that saved Xbox from being a failure, is now under PlayStation. With that being said, Bungie has made it abundantly clear that they will remain independent and self-publish their games going forward. While they are under Sony now, they will still act as an independent subsidiary with full creative control.

We remain in charge of our destiny. 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.​

Bungie will continue to be a multiplatform studio with the devs going as far as to release a whole series of FAQs as part of theirshared vision” roadmap just to ensure everyone that this deal has no affect on Destiny 2 and the company’s drive to serve more than just PlayStation consoles. Back in 2019 Bungie announced that they’re working on a brand new IP, separate from the Destiny universe but just as grand and expansive. This essentially confirms that the company wishes to maintain multiplatform-ity for that title when it eventually releases.

Both Bungie and SIE believe that game worlds are only the beginning of what our IP will become. Our original universes have immense potential and, with SIE’s support, we will propel Bungie into becoming a global multimedia entertainment company dedicated to delivering on our creative vision.

CEO of Bungie Pete Parsons added the statement above highlighting that this acquisition is not merely limited to just games. Both PlayStation and Bungie have recently showed interest and made commitments to bolster their film and TV partnerships, with PlayStation Studios already working on a The Last Of Us series at HBO and the upcoming Uncharted movie.

This deal will provide Bungie with a solid partner for its film and TV efforts and give Sony some great IPs to work with in return. On top of that, the immediate takeaway from the deal is that it will provide a means of “acceleration in hiring talent across the entire studio“, which basically means that Bungie would be able to hire more employees for their games.

Destiny 2 “Shared Vision” roadmap | Bungie

Similar to Activision Blizzard, Bungie also has had a negative past concerning workplace harassment and allegations of HR cover-ups that seriously stain the studio’s image. While the situation is not as harrowing as the things that happened at Activision Blizzard, it’s still worrisome nonetheless. Jim Ryan, current CEO of PlayStation, talking to GamesIndustry.biz weighed in on this:

This is an area that Sony takes incredibly seriously. We hold ourselves to extremely high standards throughout the organization, and with the businesses that we partner. This is something that I have been incredibly sensitive to, right from he start of the conversations. And I have been nothing but impressed, and I have nothing but the highest praise for the way that Bungie organizes and conducts itself. There are a number of areas that Sony can learn from Bungie. Philanthropy is a cornerstone value, and I think that speaks to everything.

The cool, calm and collected Sony

This announcement could be taken as a response to Microsoft’s seismic acquisition but Bungie has told GI.biz that PlayStation and Bungie have been spewing up this deal for 5-6 months. So, this isn’t exactly a reaction to the Activision Blizzard acquisition, but more of a conveniently timed announcement. Xbox CEO Phil Spencer even went ahead and congratulated Sony on this deal.

And with this deal, the gaming industry’s hottest January to date comes to an end. In just these past 30 days, Take Two acquired Zynga for $11 billion, Microsoft acquired Activision Blizzard for $68.7 billion, and now, Sony has acquired Bungie for $3.6 billion. If this all happened in just the first month of 2022, imagine what insanity lies beyond the rest of the year, especially with Jim Ryan teasing even more acquisitions coming later.

Huzaifa Haroon
Born and raised around computers, Huzaifa is an avid gamer and a Windows enthusiast. When he's not solving the mysteries of technology, you can find him writing about operating systems, striving to inform the curious.

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