Monday, May 27, 2024

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Sony is buying ‘Destiny’ creator Bungie for $3.6 billion

January was gaming's acquisition-athon.

January was a full-out sprint for video game industry mergers, with major players jostling for a shot to have the best console money can’t buy due to supply issues. The latest: Sony announced plans to buy Bungie, the studio responsible for the creation of both Halo and Destiny, for $3.6 billion.

The deal is not only notable for Bungie’s top-class IP offerings, but also for being another thrilling entry into the strange saga of the studio. Bungie was first acquired by Microsoft in 2000, becoming a household name and helping put Xbox on the map with Halo. After splitting from Microsoft in 2007, Bungie eventually entered a 10-year publishing deal with Activision Blizzard (which it left in 2019). Microsoft announced plans to buy Activision Blizzard earlier in January for a whopping $68.7 billion.

Not to be forgotten in last month’s gaming acquisition-athon, Take-Two Interactive agreed to purchase Farmville creator Zynga for $12.7 billion. Where’s Nintendo in all this? Stuck on the sand kingdom level of Super Mario Odyssey and screaming at each other.

So what happens now?

Well, Xbox and PC Destiny fans can breathe a sigh of relief—according to Sony, the Bungie acquisition isn’t about creating new, exclusive content for Playstation (at least for now): Bungie will remain a multiplatform studio with the option to self-publish its games. Microsoft made a similar announcement for its Activision deal, confirming that it plans to continue supporting Activision Blizzard games on competing platforms (as it’s done with Minecraft).

While these cross-platform friendly moves could be seen as the dawning of a harmonious new era in the console wars, they more likely point to the industry’s increased focus on the subscription model.

  • The Xbox Game Pass features over 400 games users can download and play for one monthly fee. Microsoft says the service has 25 million subscribers.
  • Destiny 2, Bungie’s most popular title, is free to play but offers season passes and expansions. The game has drawn in 20 million players since 2019.
  • In December, Bloomberg reported that Sony is planning a new subscription service to compete with Game Pass.

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