First fundamental detail of this operation, Bungie will be considered “an independent subsidiaryof Sony Interactive Entertainment, itself led by a board of directors that includes current CEO Pete Parsons and the rest of Bungie’s management team. By making the company an independent subsidiary rather than a part of PlayStation Studios, Bungie actually retains its freedom as a cross-platform publisher and developer, as well as maximum creative autonomy, so not only is there no question of Destiny 2 leaving the fold of Xbox, PC or Stadia, but the promise even extends to future home games which will also have the freedom to flourish on all platforms.
Because Bungie is not content to supply Destiny 2, whose next expansion is expected on February 22. If the FPS is still in very good shape, as evidenced by its presence among the 12 games that generated the most money on Steam in 2021, we know that its developer is also at work on a new license. A project heavily funded as a reminder by an investment of 100 million euros from NetEase Games, in June 2018.
Founded in 1991, Bungie was born as an independent developer, but was part of Microsoft between June 2000 and October 2007. The studio is responsible for all Halo games from the first opus until Halo: Reach, before s subsequently enter into a contract with Activision for the creation of the Destiny franchise. Against all expectations, Bungie and Activision ended their alliance in January 2019, the good deal being for the studio which took the license with it.
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“Bringing PlayStation Beyond the Console”
“We’ve had a strong partnership with Bungie since the inception of the Destiny franchise, and I couldn’t be happier to officially welcome the studio to the PlayStation family. This is an important step in our strategy to expand PlayStation’s reach to a much wider audience. Bungie’s experience in multi-format publishing and game-services will help us achieve our ambitions to take PlayStation beyond the console and grow our potential audience. They will remain independent and cross-platform, enjoy creative freedom, and their experience in developing successful franchises in the sci-fi shooter genre will be highly complementary to SIE’s intellectual property portfolio.“commented Jim Ryan, CEO of Sony Interactive Entertainment.
From the point of view of PlayStation, still not very present for the moment in the field of game-services and even multiplayer in general, the acquisition of Bungie is therefore also that of an expertise that it did not hold. So much so that Bungie could be brought to “support the development of several PlayStation Studios game-services“, can we read. For its part, Bungie highlights that this acquisition will allow it to accelerate the recruitment of talent, both for the Destiny team, for its future games, but also for its ambitions in terms of film/TV adaptations. The studio also insists on the fact that it retains full control over the Destiny franchise and that the gaming experience will remain egalitarian on all platforms, which includes maintaining the cross play and the lack of exclusive content.
“Both parties have kept the secret well – several Bungie staffers learned it from me this morning as I tried to break the news. Bungie held a general meeting at 10 a.m. to announce the news to everyone at the same time that it was made public.“, commented journalist Jason Schreier on Twitter. “The deal had been in the works for 5 or 6 months. This is not a reaction to the Take-Two/Zynga or Microsoft/Activision deals.“, adds the journalist Christopher Dring, who was also in the confidence as shown by his prepared interview with Jim Ryan and Pete Parsons immediately posted online on Games Industry.
“We are far from over”
This operation is in any case already rocking PlayStation into another dimension, with regard to the great game of acquisitions. As a reminder, the biggest expenditure made by Sony’s video game subsidiary in 25 years of existence was the acquisition of Gaikai in July 2012 for 300 million euros. The biggest amount spent on a development studio was even less: it took $229 million to formalize the marriage with Insomniac Games once and for all, in August 2019. And unsurprisingly, Jim Ryan has already confirmed that clearly expect more acquisitions from PlayStation. “We are far from done“, he notes.
We’ve had a strong relationship with Bungie for many years. In the extensive conversations that have taken place over the past few months, it’s evident that Bungie management is incredibly enthusiastic about working with the PlayStation Studios teams.
We have found in SIE a partner who unconditionally supports us in all that we are and who wants to accelerate our vision of creating entertainment that touches all generations, while preserving the creative independence that beats at the heart of Bungie.