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Sony To Buy ‘Destiny’ Videogame Developer Bungie For $3.6bn

Sony Interactive Entertainment will acquire Bungie, the creator of ‘Halo’ videogame and developer of ‘Destiny,’ in $3.6bn deal, the latest in a wave of consolidations in the gaming sector

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The Sony Interactive Entertainment logo is seen in Tokyo on May 23, 2018. File photo: Toru Hanai, Reuters.

 

Sony Interactive Entertainment will acquire Bungie Inc, the original creator of the ‘Halo’ videogame and developer of ‘Destiny,’ in a deal valued at $3.6 billion, making it the latest in a wave of consolidations sweeping the gaming sector.

Bungie will join Sony‘s PlayStation family, the US company said in a blog post, as the Japanese conglomerate strengthens its network of in-house gaming studios behind hits such as ‘Spider-Man’ to take on cash-rich rivals.

Microsoft Corp, whose XBox consoles have long lagged Sony‘s PlayStation in sales, pitched a whopping $69 billion for ‘Call of Duty’ maker Activision Blizzard earlier in January.

“While this is one of Sony‘s biggest-ever acquisitions, the amount paid by Microsoft puts into context the heavy competition faced in this sector,” Piers Harding-Rolls, a gaming analyst at Ampere Analysis, said.

Bungie, which is based in Bellevue, Washington, was owned by Microsoft before going private in 2007. It had worked on the ‘Halo’ videogame series when it was under the software giant. It has also worked on titles such as ‘Marathon’ and ‘Myth.’

Bungie now plans to hire more talent across the studio for ‘Destiny 2,’ a video game previously published by Activision Blizzard.

The videogame space is consolidating rapidly to tap a surge in demand created by the pandemic, with new deals blurring the line between PC and mobile gaming companies as these firms hunt for new revenue streams.

 

$150bn Wave of Deals

The sector is on course for a new record of $150 billion in deals, financing and IPOs this year, according to investment banking firm Drake Star Partners.

In yet another mega deal in just the first month of the year, ‘Grand Theft Auto’ maker Take-Two bid $11 billion for ‘FarmVille’ maker Zynga.

Big-name companies have also been trying to bring talent and intellectual property behind popular titles in-house rather than partnering with studios, giving them more access in a growing, high-value market.

Sony has added a number of developers, including videogame development studio Valkyrie Entertainment and ‘Returnal’ developer Housemarque, under its umbrella.

“This [Bungie deal] is an important step in our strategy to expand the reach of PlayStation to a much wider audience,” said Jim Ryan, head of the Sony Corp unit responsible for PlayStation.

Bungie will be an independent unit of Sony Interactive Entertainment, run by its board chaired by CEO Pete Parsons.

 

• Reuters with additional editing by Jim Pollard

 

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Jim Pollard

Jim Pollard is an Australian journalist based in Thailand since 1999. He worked for News Ltd papers in Sydney, Perth, London and Melbourne before travelling through SE Asia in the late 90s. He was a senior editor at The Nation for 17+ years and has a family in Bangkok.

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