Sony Acquires Destiny Developer Bungie for $3.6 Billion
The Japanese invest in more development talent, happy to not go about it as certain Americans choose to
It’s quite possible that this comes as a direct answer, of sorts, to Microsoft’s recent mega-acquisition of Activision Blizzard, but chances are that it was in discussion way earlier: in any case, Sony is acquiring Bungie for $3.6 billion — the most expensive publicly announced deal of this kind in the modern PlayStation era — but, notably, the Japanese will not be adding the company to its current roster of PlayStation Studios as it has done with Guerilla, Naughty Dog, Insomniac and others in the past. Bungie will be “an independent subsidiary” of Sony Interactive Entertainment instead, run by a board of directors consisting of current CEO and chairman Pete Parsons as well as the rest of the studio’s current management team.
In stark contrast to what Microsoft seemingly has in mind for its own acquired development studios, Sony has stated that Bungie will remain a multiplatform studio with the option “to self-publish and reach players wherever they choose to play”. This was apparently important to Bungie in order to close the deal: Peter Parsons mentioned that Sony supports the studio’s dual goals of making generation-spanning entertainment while staying creatively independent. How this will play out in the future is anyone’s guess but, for the time being, it seems to be an approach both companies are happy with.
As many will be quick to point out, this is actually the second time Bungie has been brought into the fold of a gaming platform holder: Microsoft had also acquired the development studio back in 2000 in order to have the first Halo as an exclusive launch title for the original Xbox. Bungie inevitably became “the Halo machine” during the years that followed, a situation which neither management or employees of the company were happy with. This led to Bungie regaining its independence shortly after the launch of Halo 3 in 2007, through a special deal with Microsoft that included the development of two more exclusive Halo games (Halo 3…