Sony announces plans to acquire Halo creator Bungie for $3.6 billion

Destiny 2
Destiny 2 (Image credit: Bungie)

What you need to know

  • Sony Interactive Entertainment (SIE) has announced its plans to buy Destiny 2 developer Bungie for $3.6 billion.
  • Bungie will continue to remain an independent developer and publisher, though it will be supported with resources from SIE.
  • Destiny 2, future Bungie games, and their features will remain multiplatform, though PlayStation users may get access to exclusive perks of some kind. However, this hasn't been confirmed.

Sony Interactive Entertainment (SIE) has announced its plans to buy Destiny 2 developer Bungie for $3.6 billion, the latest in a series of large acquisition deals in the gaming industry.

The news has many wondering if Bungie's popular MMO-style looter shooter will become exclusive to PlayStation, but according to an official FAQ from Bungie, the game and its content will continue to remain fully multiplatform. Additionally, Destiny 2 features like Cross Save, Cross Play, and the Destiny 2 Companion App will continue to be compatible with all platforms. Additionally, Bungie has also confirmed that future games created by the studio will be available on all platforms as well.

Source: Bungie (Image credit: Source: Bungie)

According to statements made by Bungie CEO Pete Parsons, Bungie "remains in charge of its destiny" and will continue to develop and publish its games independently. SIE will act as support for the developer, assisting Bungie during its journey to "become a global multi-media entertainment company." In the short-term, the support from SIE will lead to a significant acceleration in hiring talent across the entirety of Bungie.

Based on a statement from SIE CEO Jim Ryan, Bungie will support future live service games from PlayStation Studios with its expertise. It's also possible that PlayStation players may eventually enjoy perks like timed (or permanent) exclusivity for in-game items. We may also see Destiny 2 and other future Bungie releases appear on PlayStation's planned Xbox Game Pass competitor.

Notably, this news follows Microsoft's recent announcement of its plans to acquire Activision Blizzard for Xbox, as well as Take-Two Interactive's acquisition of mobile publisher Zynga.

Brendan Lowry is a Windows Central writer and Oakland University graduate with a burning passion for video games, of which he's been an avid fan since childhood. You'll find him doing reviews, editorials, and general coverage on everything Xbox and PC. Follow him on Twitter.

42 Comments
  • Smart purchase. Looks like they're using bungee as a good - will leveraging tool to try to convince MS to "play fair" by keeping Call of Duty on all platforms
  • Not sure how this acquisition would provide any leverage. Unless MS thinks the Destiny franchise being in Sony's hands somehow alters whatever future strategy they have with their recent acquisitions (it doesn't). This is especially true since they long ago obtained the Halo franchise IP, which is still what Bungie is best known for but are no longer involved with.
  • Destiny is a huge title and the Halo legacy still matters even if they are no longer associated with the current versions. This is a smart play by Sony. While I don't doubt Microsoft's promise to keep certain titles on PlayStation, Sony now at least has something to bring to the table. It's all about having that win-win. Sony can essentially say, "keep providing COD and we keep providing Destiny."
  • To which MS will laugh.
    (See below.)
  • Microsoft owns all the Halo games brotha. What are you talking about?
  • He is pointing out the fact that the original Halo games by Bungie were fantastic and, arguably, better than the 343 released games. So they have that history of creating quality shooters.
  • As a matter of fact, when MS bought Bungie in 2000, Take2 owned 20% and in return for that they took all of Bungie's IP minus Halo. So all MS bought was the staff, studio name, and Halo. And when Bungie threatened to quit enmasse MS let them take the name but kept Halo.
    The deal turned out to be $40M for Halo. A bargain. In 2010 they signed a 10 year deal with (Heh) activision, for $1B, reportedly.
    They moved on after 2018. Sony just paid $3.6B for Destiny, Studio name, and the staff. (Until they threaten to quit.)
    It's a bigger staff so they might have a new IP cooking. Or not.
    Keeping Destiny alive will take a lot of DLC and expansions. Hope Sony read the contract fine print.
  • Smart purchase to buy a studio who's failed to remain independant *3 times* in 10 years, who's content is overpriced, under delivers and in terminal decline playercount wise? uuh...sure.
  • Hey, it's a bone to stockholders and angsty fans.
    "We can buy studios too!"
    Just not super expensive ones with deep IP catalogs.
    $16B cash on hand (as of late 2021) was never going to get EA ($40B) or Take2 ($20B) on cash only deals. They should still have enough to buy a couple of timed exclusives...
  • Nope.
    No leverage because Destiny, like Minecraft, Apex, and Fortnite, only as valuable as its player base.
    See, all games aren't created equal single player (console/PC) is a different creature from 0nline coop which is different from Gaming-as-a-service, which is different from Free-to-play, or mobile. Each category is a different market with its own distinct dynamic.
    Until today, Sony had no first party GAS games. Now they do. One. (MS has a horde.)
    Sony has no free to play or mobile. (MS does.)
    MS is not going to deprive Sony of their existing GAS games from Activision anymore than they've deprived them of Fallout 76 or ESO.
    And Sony already said they're not going to remove Destiny. That would be cutting their nose to spite their face. Single player is different.
    If Sony wants to dicker for COD all they have to do is offer MS equal value.
    Given COD sales volume, it might take Spiderman and GOW, day and date.
    (Not going to happen, right?)
    It's okay; they're covered for a couple years.
    But after that they dicker or wave goodbye.
  • Microsoft could care less about Bungie. They haven't truly made anything relevant since Halo. This is just a desperate move by Sony. Lol....
  • Oddly, Michael Pachter said that too.
    Normally I don't take him seriously but if even he is underwhelmed by $3.6B on the reported terms...
  • I'm pretty sure that these multi-billion/ trillion-dollar companies have done the math and know what they're doing, more so than us keyboard analyst. Decisions that seem Lane right now, might reap huge results later down the road. Microsoft has made several questionable decisions in the past that people question and even ridiculed but later on manifested into a great success: Minecraft dev studio purchase: 😑. Presently a cash raking in juggernaut. "Da powah of da cloud" jokes: look at the success of xcloud and Game Pass now. "An All Digital console😂?" : the series s is the reason for having the most successful Xbox launch and sales. These companies plan further ahead then we can comprehend. Sony may have something going on behind the scenes with bungee that no one else is aware of. For the record, I don't care much for Destiny at all. I've only played it once. The same goes for Call of Duty multiplayer. Not really a fan of the series. I care more about all of the other IP that are coming with Activision acquisition
  • Oh, they explained it quite clearly.
    They're buying expertise so they can roll out their own GAAS and rake in the $100-500M a year Bungie generates on the side from each multiplatform games. Long tail economics >> one-and-done's. It's actually a good move since Sony needs to diversify their gaming reach and stop being a one trick pony. Doing XBOX games (even grudgingly), PC Games (even 4 year old retreads) are both good starts into maintaining their relevance five years from now. Adding GAAS revenue helps even more. (Destiny is 7 years old and still grossing a couple hundred million a year. Good stuff.) They may have totally misread the market going into the current generation but at least they're correcting course as best they can within their limits. Still have a ways to go but at least we now know *they* know they're in trouble. (Look up Sony's short term and long term debt loads.) That's improvement from last year.
  • COD will stay on all platforms. MS would lose a lot of money making it PC/Xbox exclusive.
  • The next ones are doubtful on ps4, so the potential sales to just the ps5 player base could possibly be made up for by increased gamepass subs
  • People said the same thing about the Bethesda acquisition, but look how that turned out....
  • And here I thought Bungie was going to be acquired by Tencent. Oh well, now they have their own first-person shooter/RPG just in case they lose Call of Duty. Now I wonder how many people are going to complain about industry consolidation or talk about a monopoly now that Sony has purchased another developer, or just use the excuse, "it's just one developer and they only have one game" because it's Sony.
  • That was unexpected, especially after the Xbox rumors last year.
  • Add this to:
    - crossgeneration releases
    - deeper BC (PS3! A last!)
    - PC games
    - New subscription service Now they have their very own Game as a service franchise. An a small (very small) step towards going multiplat. What next? $60 games? Buying a mobile game studio? So, who's the industry leader setting the tone this generation?
  • Microsoft spent over $68 billion on multiple studios and one of the largest publishers out there after the year previous spending more than 2x this amount on a big publisher and multiple studios...
  • Yeah. Now list what they got: IP, studios, staff, "cash reserves", and annual revenue.
    More importantly: what is $70B to MS vs $3.6B to Sony. MS gets almost 30 studios and 12000 employees from Zenimax and Activision.
    Sony gets 1 studio with 900. Both are flexing their muscle and doing what they can but only one is doing what they planned five years ago.
  • Good for them, not a fan of their game but I'm sure many are.
  • This actually looks like a desperation purchase. Sony just buying something to buy something.
    They didn't have the time or money to buy a publicly traded mid-tier publisher (Square) so they went after one of the biggest private companies that had at least something they needed, a FPS developer. In my opinion, in going to Bungie in a moment of desperation, they overpaid big. It's probably more than every other studio they have ever acquired combined. It's more than Microsoft paid for Minecraft. It's 3 times what EA paid for Codemasters.. and they were in a bidding war with TakeTwo.
    Disney paid $4B for Star Wars, and $4B for Marvel... They were a few years ago and inflation hasn't been kind, but come on.
    It's half of Zenimax, holy ****. This deal makes every other deal look amazing.
  • Just timing though. I. Sure they didn't just go after Bungie in the last two weeks
  • This could easily be in response to Zenimax though. They saw MS intention to buy up massive publishers and needed fps/gaas to round out their catalogue. Also, there are reports Bungie and MS were in talks just last year. It's not a bad move except for the price, in comparison to the treasure trove of IPs MS has acquired through Zenimax and soon Activision/Blizzard. Bungie has great shooter mechanics. I'm sure Sony will get a solid exclusive game out of this in a few years.
  • They say it took six months.
    So they started after the ZENIMAX deal closed and settled after the ACTIVISION deal was announced and they lost $20B in stock value. The timing and terms are...curious.
  • Doesn't effect MS that much. Destiny series will still be on Xbox or MS will just announce CoD will no longer be on PS (after versions requiring it to have been released). Bigger win for MS hands down if that happens. This is just Sony being desperate. Destiny 2 = play 2 win micro transactions the last I knew (haven't looked into playing it since I heard that). I liked playing Destiny (1) until i realized non of the story lines ended with the original purchase. Had to pay a lot more to complete any of the stories.
  • Even if Destiny becomes an exclusive would anyone really care? I tried playing Destiny 2 but just couldn’t get into it. Play 2 win made it even less appealing.
  • I assume you meant "pay to win", which is still all kinds of wrong unless you believe that cosmetics give people an edge in multiplayer.
  • Ok you're the second person to say play to win. I'm pretty sure that's every game other than idlers. And if you meant pay 2 win, that doesn't exist in Bungie as the microtransactions are for the cosmetics store.
  • The microtransactions where not for cosmetics originally at launch, it was pay to win. Plus if you want to finish storelines, it is DLC, pay to win (at least on the original Destiny).
  • The original destiny came out 8 years ago, I don't think what it did matters any more. And Gears 4 Horde mode was pay to win on release as well (it also had the absolute worst "season pass" ever released for a video game), but I'm not going to criticize the game now for past mistakes.
  • This deal has interesting implications with the regulatory aspects of MS ABK acquisition. It's hard to argue that they're making anti-competitive moves when their biggest competitor in the console space is making multi billion dollar deals too. Not that I previously thought that deal was in jeopardy, but this just makes it seem more routine.
  • There isn't a console space though. The consoles are increasingly irrelevant from a competition perspective which is why recent purchases of enormous studios and bucketloads of IP haven't triggered any kind of obstruction in the regulatory sense. Last years profits and growth should make it self evident that Microsoft is, and has for some time been, to the great chagrin of the deeply entrenched, looking well beyond the console space such as it was.
  • Correct.
    With crossplay and cloud there is but one market: gaming.
    Trying to ghetto-ize consoles or mobile or whatever to favor/disfavor one player or another is disingenuous and has no place in a competitive market.
  • it might as well be a Playstation exclusive with the ornery contracts that Sony and Bungie had with their DLC. it was horrible for a new gun to be released to Playstation first. they get to play with it for a few months and if the gun turned out to be OP (which it usually did), Bungie would neuter the gun. So by the time it was available to purchase for Xbox gamers, it was a worthless purchase as the game didn't retain the characteristics that Playstation people had for months. And this kind of behavior went for all their DLC. By the time the Xbox gamer had access to it, the content would've been modified or its longevity wasn't the same.
  • I think people in general are missing the bigger picture here. I do not think this buy was a leverage move to keep Microsoft in check and to make sure they play nicely. From my understanding Sony has bought 8 studios over time themselves. I think the bigger picture here is Sony having a presence in the multi-platform market to compete with Microsoft, much like the Activision/Blizzard will help with their presence in the mobile market. I would not be surprised if we do not see a Sony Ultimate Gamepass in the next year or 2. Sony can see they are loosing ground with Xbox Gamepass. If I am not mistaken Sony is #1, Tencent #2, and now Microsoft is #3 in the game industry. I do believe Microsoft will eventually over take Sony for the top spot.
  • What leverage? Details? Sony is #2.
    Tencent bought a *lot* of companies and pieces of. They took in $70B in 2021.)
    Sony took in $25B before buying Bungie's revenues.
    MS took in $11B.
    Activision took in $9B.
    EA took in $5.5B.
    Ubisoft took in $4B.
    Take 2 took in $2B. Plus $3B from ZYNGA, which moves them past Ubisoft.
    Plenty of big fish in that ocean. MS catching up will take a while.
  • It wasn't me saying leverage. Some earlier commentor had mentioned this was leverage to make sure Microsoft played nicely especially since they got COD in the deal. I did not think it was about leverage.
  • This appears more like more of a move to appease their fanbase/media who were demanding they respond to the Activision purchase. Bungie made off like a bandit. Over half of what was paid for Zenimax feels like a big price for so little.
  • Worse, if one reads the PR releases from Sony and Bungie, one word pops up: Independent.
    On paper, at least, Sony gets Bungie's revenues from Destiny and technical assistance in making their own GAAS with little if any control over what Bungie does. In return, Bungie gets $3.6B, money to grow and do more games, and help trying to move their IP into video. (MS has Halo and Fallout streaming series already. Just sayin'.) 😇