Sony is paying $3.6 billion for video game developer Bungie as the owner of PlayStation Studio moves to counter its rivals as independent producers are caught in what appears to be an oncoming wave of industry consolidation.
Sony’s offer comes nearly two weeks after competitor Microsoft paid $68.7 billion for Activision Blizzard to strengthen its Xbox gaming subsidiary. A week before that transaction, Take-Two Interactive paid $12.2 billion for the mobile gaming company Zynga.
Bungie is the creator of the blockbuster Halo franchise, which debuted in 2001 as a launch title for the Xbox console, as well as the Destiny franchise, which debuted in 2015 and 2017.
“We have found a partner in Sony Interactive Entertainment who fully supports us and wants to accelerate our vision of creating meaningful entertainment experiences that span generations, all while valuing the creative independence that is the heartbeat of Bungie,” said Pete Parsons, CEO and chairman of Bungie, in a statement.
Such transactions, of course, do not take place in a matter of weeks. The acquisition reflects a larger trend in which gaming hosts such as Sony and Microsoft see value in acquiring gaming publishers with significant gaming franchises and IP in order to attract consumers. With the increased interest in the metaverse and the potential for new revenue streams, more transactions are almost certainly in the works.
“We’ve had a strong partnership with Bungie since the inception of the Destiny franchise, and I couldn’t be more excited to officially welcome the studio to the PlayStation family,” Jim Ryan, president and CEO of SIE, said. “This is an important step in our strategy to broaden PlayStation’s reach to a much larger audience.” We recognize the importance of Bungie’s community to the studio and look forward to assisting them as they remain independent and grow.”
As with Microsoft and Activision Blizzard’s agreements, there was speculation about whether Bungie’s content would become exclusive, but Sony stated in a statement that Bungie will continue to self-publish and reach players “wherever they choose to play.”
Sony reported a 27 percent increase in sales in its game segment year on year in its Q2 earnings released in October. Sony’s sales totaled $5.7 billion, and its revenue totaled $10.8 billion. On Wednesday, the company is expected to release its third-quarter results.