Sony has plans to buy Bungie, the studio behind the hit sci-fi MMO Fate, in a $ 3.6 billion deal. Bungie will join the Sony Interactive Entertainment family, which includes Insomniac Games, Naughty Dog, Guerrilla Games, Sucker Punch Productions, Bluepoint Games and a handful of other prominent studios.
Bungie positions the acquisition as the beginning of a new era for the company – one that focuses on global multimedia entertainment, not just games. Bungie will retain creative control over its franchises and continue to evolve across multiple platforms, not just the PlayStation, according to blog post by CEO Pete Parsons.
“We will continue to independently publish and creatively develop our games,” he wrote. “We will continue to lead one, united Bungie community. Our games will continue to be where our community is, wherever they want to play.”
The deal followed news from Jan. 18 that Microsoft purchase of Activision Blizzard for $ 69 billion, which is the latest sign that the video game industry has entered consolidation phase. Huge companies, including Microsoft, Sony and Tencent, are in the process of winning as many studies as possible in the fight for exclusive experiences. As console manufacturers, Sony and Microsoft have a special power in these negotiations, with a built-in million-strong audience on the PlayStation and Xbox platforms.
These contracts give acquired studies financial stability, production support, and broad marketing plans, although they will need to operate within the corporate ecosystem and potentially link their games to specific platforms. Bungie seems to be planning to release outside of Sony’s PlayStation universe, though time will tell what that will look like in practice.
Sony’s purchase of the Bungie is surprising, considering where the studio started. Bungie is the original home of the Halo franchise, and was part of the Microsoft family from 2000 to 2007. Halo was (and it is) a key series for Xbox consoles, and Bungie was its arbiter for nearly a decade under Microsoft. The studios split in 2007 and Bungie went private, and in 2010 he signed a publishing contract with Activision for the Destiny franchise. That contract lasted until 2019, when Bungie moved his betrayal process to his home.
Just two weeks ago, Microsoft announced it was taking over Activision Blizzard, bringing two former Bungie publishers under one roof. And now Bungie has Microsoft’s biggest rival, Sony, in his back pocket.
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