Sony has made public their purchase of Bungie Inc., the American videogame studio behind the Destiny series, for $3.6 billion.
In the blogpost, Sony Interactive Entertainment CEO Jim Ryan stated: “Bungie’s world-class expertise in multi-platform development and live game services will help us deliver on our vision of expanding PlayStation to hundreds of millions of gamers.”
Both the Head of Playstation Studios Hermen Hulst and Bungie CEO Pete Parsons also wrote positive statements about the nascent partnership. Interestingly, Parson makes mention of Bungie becoming a “global multi-media entertainment company.”
January is apparently acquisition season, as this is the third major purchase between studios this month; Take-Two Interactive bought mobile games giant Zynga for $12 billion while Microsoft sent shockwaves when they announced their intent to purchase developer juggernaut Activision Blizzard for $69 billion.
Sony has notably purchased many other studios in the past—including five in 2021 alone—ranging from critical darlings Naughty Dog to more recent success with Spider-Man developer Insomniac Games and Housemarque, the creators of the PS5 exclusive Returnal. Their strategic acquisitions often bolster their strong library of exclusives, such as the upcoming Horizon Forbidden West and hotly anticipated God of War: Ragnarok.
Microsoft’s recent spending has allowed them to add many prestigious names to their corral, and more importantly have added more and more content to Xbox Game Pass, their premiere videogame library service. Their possible acquisition of Activision Blizzard have led many to question whether the monstrously popular Call of Duty series—which is confirmed to stay multiplatform for now—will become exclusive in the future.
Sony may be betting on Bungie’s Destiny series as a failsafe against this. A free-to-play online first-person shooter, each Destiny game acts as a platform for the developers to continually refine and add paid content that expands the game’s mechanics and narrative. This play-free expand-later model has reportedly massively benefitted the game, pulling in more than 20 million players since 2019 according to Bungie.
While the purchase of Bungie may not have the price tag or cultural impact as the other acquisitions, its mere existence affirms that Sony will not go quietly into that good night. Like their competitor, they are actively seeking ways to support their library and make their platform the ideal place to play. Buying Bungie, the studio responsible for the first three games in Microsoft’s flagship Halo series, is just icing on the cake.