Microsoft appears to be far from alone in amassing a war chest of game development studios. Microsoft shocked the gaming world by announcing its intention to buy Activision Blizzard for over $69 billion earlier this month, and now Sony is following suit by purchasing Destiny developer Bungie. In comparison to Activision’s Blizzard acquisition, Sony’s $3.6 billion investment in Bungie seems tame.
“In SIE, we have found a partner who unconditionally supports us in all we are and who wants to accelerate our vision to create generation-spanning entertainment, all while preserving the creative independence that beats in Bungie’s heart,” wrote Bungie CEO Pete Parsons.
“Like us, SIE believes that game worlds are only the beginning of what our IPs can become. Together, we share a dream of creating and fostering iconic franchises that unite friends around the world, families across generations, and fans across multiple platforms and entertainment mediums.”
While it’s tempting to assume that Sony’s acquisition of Bungie was a reaction to Microsoft’s massive acquisition, the truth is that this deal has most likely been in the works for quite some time. The timing just so happens to make Sony appear to be defending itself against Microsoft’s growing supremacy in the game development world.
Bungie will remain an “independent, multi-platform company and publisher,” according to Sony. This pledge is reiterated in a Bungie FAQ, which states that “Destiny 2 will remain on all current platforms while expanding to new platforms.” Destiny 2 is available now on Xbox One and PlayStation 4, as well as PC and Google Stadia.
Bungie further clarifies that the announcement will have no impact on non-PlayStation platforms, as well as previously announced seasons, events, packs, or expansions. Furthermore, no modifications to the Destiny 2 content release schedule are anticipated between now and the release of The Final Shape in 2024.
And, if you were worried that cross-play support would be changed in any manner (for the worse), you were wrong. “We think that games are best shared with friends, wherever they choose to play,” Bungie said, adding that the company will continue to invest in new features and platforms.
So far as Destiny 2 is concerned, gamers don’t appear to have anything to be concerned about. However, the major question is what will happen to Bungie after Destiny 2. Sony didn’t buy Bungie to keep playing nice with Microsoft and PC platforms indefinitely. Bungie’s “multi-platform” motto will most likely expire at some point, and future IP could be tethered exclusively to the PlayStation platform for a competitive edge.
Bungie also produced the blockbuster Halo franchise in addition to the extremely popular Destiny series. Bungie was formerly recognized as a Mac game company, but with Halo: Combat Evolved, they made the switch to Microsoft’s first-generation Xbox system. The studio went on to make Halo 2 and Halo 3 before splitting away from Microsoft in 2007 to become its firm (although Bungie did develop Halo: Reach, which landed in 2010 for Xbox 360).