Sony Buys The Studio Behind Destiny 2
Bungie, the original creator of Halo and the game developing studio credited with the Destiny gaming series, signed an acquisition deal with Sony, worth a reported $3.6 billion
Bungie, the original creator of Halo and the game developing studio credited with the Destiny gaming series, signed an acquisition deal with Sony, worth a reported $3.6 billion. Admittedly, Sony’s purchase is considerably smaller than what the Take-Two Interactive is paying for Zynga and incomparable to the $68.7 billion Microsoft is spending on the World of Warcraft and Call of Duty creator Activision Blizzard. However, despite the surprising price tag, Sony got its hands on one of the most prominent gaming studios in the industry.
According to Kotaku, Bungie will remain an independent subsidiary of Sony Interactive Entertainment after the deal closes, meaning that the company will have self-publishing autonomy of its own. It’s worth mentioning that this contrasts previous acquisitions by both Sony and Microsoft, which made multiplatform studios like Bethesda go exclusive. But what is Sony getting out of this deal? $3.6 billion is somewhat of a large number for a game development company whose main asset is one game — a free-to-play online-only multiplayer first-person shooter Destiny 2. So, what did Sony really pay for?
Well, there are several answers to this particular question. Sony’s acquisition of Bungie might be a response to Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard, the maker of the Call of Duty franchise, which is an incredibly popular multiplatform game, at least for the time being. Head of Microsoft gaming, Phil Spencer, stated that Microsoft plans to leave Activision Blizzard’s multi-platformers, such as Overwatch and Call of Duty, available to owners of Sony’s elusive gaming hardware. However, it seems that Sony wants to make sure that if Microsoft decides to pull the plug on the availability of their games to Sony’s audience, it can still offer a popular shooting title, like Destiny 2, to its customers.
A reasonable plan, but it’s highly unlikely for Microsoft to pull popular titles such as Call of Duty from Sony’s storefront and make them Game Pass exclusives — by making said games exclusive, Microsoft actually stands to lose money. PlayStation’s audience is overly enthusiastic about the superiority of their gaming platform compared to others, and most of them loathe the thought of considering an alternative. Even though the glory days of Sony’s PlayStation are in the past. With that said, PlayStation fans are sorely disappointed by the company’s decision to drop the exclusives in favor of timed-exclusive releases and offer its exclusive titles to other platforms, like the PC. Games like Horizon Zero Dawn and God of War have already made it to PC, the world’s most popular gaming platform, and PlayStation fans aren’t delighted by it.
Following their decision to expand their offering to other gaming markets, Sony’s acquisition of Bungie is actually a very sound decision. By having access to a fraction of Bungie’s assets, Sony can significantly accelerate its ability to make online, live-service games across different platforms and actually expand through different gaming markets at a faster rate. Not only that, but they secured a gaming studio that already has plenty of experience in developing games for different platforms, including rival consoles. Sony didn’t buy a gaming studio, per se — they bought access to a wider market. So, $3.8 billion seems like a fair deal.