Following on from the chaos that's been caused by Microsoft's acquisition of Activision Blizzard, many have speculated over Sony's next move in the gaming space. And now we have an answer: Sony is set to acquire Destiny developer Bungie for $3.6 billion.
But this is not a reaction to Microsoft's aforementioned megaton, according to Games Industry's Christopher Dring. Dring says that Sony's deal with Bungie has been in the works "for the past 5 / 6 months".
The PlayStation Side of Things
Sony Interactive Entertainment CEO Jim Ryan has posted about the acquisition on the PlayStation Blog. His statement stresses that Bungie will remain an independent publisher and developer, and will not be counted among Sony's first-party PlayStation Studios.
"We believe it makes sense for [Bungie] to sit alongside the PlayStation Studios organization, and we are incredibly excited about the opportunities for synergies and collaboration between these two world-class groups," writes Ryan. It sounds like Bungie could potentially partner with PlayStation's key developers on future projects.
"We will be ready to welcome and support Bungie as they continue to grow, and I cannot wait to see what the future holds for this incredible team," adds PlayStation Studios boss Hermen Hulst.
The Bungie Side of Things
It's a crazy twist in the tale when you consider Bungie's history as the studio that created the Halo franchise — the franchise that Xbox was at least partly built upon. Even crazier: Bungie partnered with Activision to deliver Destiny, before the two parted ways years later. What a tangled web we weave!
So what's going on here? Well, Bungie has been an independent developer for several years now, and reportedly, it will continue to act largely independently despite Sony's ownership.
An official statement from Bungie reads: "We will continue to independently publish and creatively develop our games. We will continue to drive one, unified Bungie community. Our games will continue to be where our community is, wherever they choose to play." It's been confirmed that Bungie's games will remain multiplatform — but obviously that could all change in the future with new projects.
What's more, Bungie is framing this like it's a huge deal for the company. Its statement continues: "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. 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."
"Today, Bungie begins our journey to become a global multi-media entertainment company. "
It also sounds like the studio is starting an aggressive recruitment push, in order to "support our ambitious vision". It'll be very, very interesting to see what happens next now that Bungie has Sony's financial backing.
What do you make of this? Does it seem like a good move for Sony? For Bungie? Don't try to leave this merry-go-round in the comments section below.