Destiny 2 Destiny 2

Another week, another burst of consolidation in the video-game industry.

The deal this time: Sony Interactive Entertainment (SIE) has agreed to buy Bungie, the developer behind Destiny and Halo, for $3.6 billion. Sony has been buying up other developers lately, including Housemarque, Valkyrie Entertainment, and Bluepoint Games, but Bungie is by far its largest recent acquisition.

Crucially, Bungie will not become exclusive to Sony’s Playstation. Operating as an independent subsidiary, the studio will continue to develop and self-publish its games — including new content for its massively popular Destiny 2 (pictured at top) — for multiple platforms.

For Sony, Bungie’s appeal lies in its experience with large-scale, live-service online games. As SIE CEO Jim Ryan told, “They make massive, immersive games that have no end. Whereas Playstation’s strength, as you know, is in the single-player, narrative-rich, stories.”

He added, “I’ve been on record talking about increasing the size of the Playstation community, and expanding beyond our historic console heartland. This can take many forms … We are starting to go multi-platform, you’ve seen that. We have an aggressive road map with live services.” In this area, Sony believes it can learn a lot from Bungie.

Meanwhile, Bungie sees an opportunity to develop its IP across media. CEO and chairman Pete Parsons said in a statement, “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 multi-media entertainment company dedicated to delivering on our creative vision.”

The Bellevue, Washington-based Bungie employs more than 900 and is accelerating hiring with Sony’s support. The developer will be run by a board of directors consisting of Parsons and the rest of its current management team.

Founded in 1991, Bungie was bought by Microsoft in 2000 and developed Halo for the Xbox, but went independent again seven years later. Between 2010 and 2019, it had a publishing partnership with Activision, which released Destiny and its sequel.

Microsoft has been on its own gaming acquisition spree lately, agreeing to buy Activision’s parent Activision Blizzard for a whopping $68.7 billion in January. In 2020, it spent $8.1B on Zenimax Media, whose subsidiaries include Bethesda Softworks.

Also in January, Take-Two Interactive said it will acquire Farmville developer Zynga for $12.7B.

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