With pandemic leading to expected revenues of nearly $180Bn for the gaming industry, this is one of those sector that received a shot in the arm during COVID. This has had an immediate result – big players are consolidating their positions through a series of mergers and acquisitions. This has, in turn, intensified competition among the top names in the gaming industry, such as PlayStation-maker Sony and Xbox-maker Microsoft.
And while Microsoft recently bought controversy-ridden Activision Blizzard for a staggering $68.7 billion, it is now Sony, which is looking to even the odds with the acquisition of Bungie. It is the same studio that gave us the Destiny and Halo franchises, and will soon be a Sony company for $3.6Bn.
With the gaming space becoming more competitive than ever, the acquisition will help Sony maintain an edge over its competitors. We have just touched February, and already billions have been spent in mergers and acquisitions in 2022. Apart from the Sony-Bungie and Microsoft-Activision Blizzard deals, Take-Two Interactive acquired social game developer Zynga for $12.7 billion in a cash-and-stock deal last month. Take-Two is the video game publisher behind Grand Theft Auto and Red Dead Redemption.
The Bellevue, Washington-based Bungie is an independent game publisher and was the original developer of Xbox-owned Halo. At that time, it had been owned by Microsoft, which resulted in Halo: Combat Evolved being released as an exclusive title for the original Xbox’s 2001 launch. Later on, Bungie would detach itself from Microsoft and would go private in 2007 (after the release of Halo 3.
Its acquisition by Sony Interactive Entertainment, however, will not cost it its freedom – it will be an independent subsidiary of SIE and will be run by a board of directors. The board will consist of current CEO and chairman Pete Parsons and the rest of the studio’s current management team. Sony reiterated this, saying that it will remain a multiplatform studio and publisher, and will maintain the ability to self-publish and reach players wherever they choose to play.
What does this mean for Sony? With the acquisition, Sony can now reach more players with new games (Bungie’s games) and fulfill its vision of expanding PlayStation to hundreds of millions of gamers. This deal will benefit Bungie as well – it will be able to use the vast and diverse array of entertainment and technology assets belonging to Sony Group to support its evolution and its ability to create iconic worlds across multiple platforms and media.
“This is an important step in our strategy to expand the reach of PlayStation to a much wider audience. We understand how vital Bungie’s community is to the studio and look forward to supporting them as they remain independent and continue to grow. Like Bungie, our community is core to PlayStation’s DNA, and our shared passion for the gamer and building the best place to play will now evolve even further,” said SIE president and CEO Jim Ryan.