Sony Interactive Entertainment has announced it is purchasing Bungie for $3.6 Billion. That means the studio that created Halo and Destiny is coming under the PlayStation umbrella. Sony’s announcement caps off an acquisition-heavy January that saw Take-Two buy Zynga for $13 billion and Microsoft announce plans to acquire Activision Blizzard for $68.7 billion.
Bungie posted a blog post discussing the acquisition, saying that it will “continue to independently publish and creatively develop our games” and that SIE’s first, most immediate influence will be an acceleration in the studio’s hiring process. Bungie states that it’s staffing up for Destiny 2 as well as “all new worlds beyond.” Bungie is currently working on Destiny 2’s upcoming expansion, The Witch Queen, which is slated to launch on February 22. The game’s next big update, Lightfall, is tentatively set for later this year.
“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,” reads an excerpt from Bungie’s blog post. “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.”
Sony president/CEO Jim Ryan wrote a blog post of his own discussing Bungie’s future, saying “Bungie’s successful track record in multi-format publishing and live game services will assist us in realizing our ambitions to take PlayStation beyond the console and increase our potential audience. They will remain independent and multi-platform, will enjoy creative freedom, and their track record in developing massively successful franchises in the sci-fi shooter genre will be highly complementary to SIE’s own IP portfolio.”
Sony’s purchase is the latest in an arms race of major studio acquisitions in the game industry. In 2021 alone, the publisher bought Demon’s Souls/Shadow of the Colossus remake masterminds Bluepoint Games, Returnal developer Housemarque, global fighting game tournament EVO, veteran support studio Valkyrie Entertainment, and hinted that other acquisitions were on the way. Whether or not Bungie will be the last big studio on Sony’s shopping list remains to be seen.
Bungie spent most of the 2000s as a Microsoft-owned studio developing the Halo series before going independent in 2007. It would continue making Halo games until the company signed a 10-year publishing agreement with Activision in 2010, which led to the creation of the Destiny franchise. The studio then abruptly split from Activision in 2019, going independent once more while retaining full publishing rights to the Destiny series. You can learn more about Bungie’s history and the development history of the Halo franchise by checking out our Video Gameography podcast.