Sony Steps Up Against Microsoft by Purchasing Bungie: Original Halo Developer
In the early days of 2022, Microsoft made waves by purchasing Activision Blizzard. The company is responsible for some of the biggest online franchises of all time (starcraft and overwatch), the biggest MMO ever (world of warcraft), and the highest-grossing annual series (call of duty), could possibly become an Xbox exclusive developer. And for a price tag of over $70 billion, it was the largest acquisition in gaming history.
With such a massive acquisition taking place, Sony was quick to respond with one of their own. Sony will be purchasing the original Halo developer for a relatively tame price tag of just $3.6 billion. It is one of three major consolidations to happen in the games industry in a single month.
According to the fine print, the original Halo development studio will become an independent subsidiary of Sony Interactive Entertainment (SIE). The current management team at Bungie will be part of the board of directors, which will include the current CEO.
SIE was also quick to mention that the studio will continue to remain multiplatform, saying that they can choose where to publish their games. Of course, future releases will be more telling of what route Bungie takes.
Jim Ryan, the CEO of Sony Interactive, mentioned that he was thrilled to welcome Bungie into the “Playstation Family.” SIE and Bungie have been working very closely since the initial release of one of Bungie’s biggest successes: Destiny.
SIE’s CEO further stated that acquiring Bungie was a vital step to expanding Playstation’s reach to a deeply intertwined community. Bungie and Sony are very similar in terms of their community, as both have dedicated fans looking to support their respective companies.
This was the final acquisition to take place in the month of January, which was a month filled with very high-profile consolidations. Other than Microsoft buying out Activision Blizzard, Take-Two interactive also bought out Zynga for over $12 billion. While Sony’s acquisition is the smaller one among its peers, it could hold the most promise in the long run.
The general reaction to Microsoft’s consolidations
However, this is not the first time that a major company has bought Bungie. In fact, Microsoft bought the company to develop the Xbox exclusive Halo: Combat evolved in 1999. It’s the game that put Bungie on the map.
Buying out Activision is just another one of Microsoft’s biggest acquisitions in recent years, as they also bought out ZeniMax Studios. ZeniMax was the conglomerate that owned massive game developers and publishers like Machinegun Games and Bethesda. It goes to show that Microsoft is taking the Disney approach to make its console the top dog in the gaming industry.
Sony’s response to these major deals is to make partnerships of its own to ensure a steady stream of quality games. But SIE already has a multitude of first-party game studios that are working on exclusive titles for the company. Time will tell of how this particular arrangement between Bungie and Sony will pan out.