The landscape of the gaming industry saw another big change today as Sony Interactive Entertainment announced that it has acquired Destiny-developer Bungie in a deal worth some $3.6 billion dollars.
The merger is the latest in a month that has seen colossal deals in the video gaming universe including the historic acquisition by Microsoft in landing Activision Blizzard for a whopping $68.7 billion dollars. Also included in the notable consolidations, Take Two who owns Rockstar and 2K Games kicked off the year with the news that the company had taken on mobile-game authority Zynga in a deal valued at $12.7 billion.
SIE president and CEO Jim Ryan said in a statement, "We've had a strong partnership with Bungie since the inception of the Destiny franchise, and I couldn't be more thrilled to officially welcome the studio to the PlayStation family."
Ryan continued, "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."
The deal will see Bungie operate as "an independent subsidiary" of Sony Interactive which means the developer will run autonomously under it's own board of directors led by current CEO and chairman Pete Parsons. Interestingly enough, the deal does not mean exclusivity for Bungie's titles on Playstation as Sony has shared that the developer will be able "to self-publish and reach players wherever they choose to play."
"Both Bungie and SIE believe that game worlds are only the beginning of what our IP will become," Bungie CEO Pete Parsons explained. "Our original universes have immense potential and, with SIE's support, we will propel Bungie into becoming a global multimedia entertainment company dedicated to delivering on our creative vision."
Parsons elaborated on how the deal will look in terms of the immediate future, "With Sony’s support, the most immediate change you will see is an acceleration in hiring talent across the entire studio to support our ambitious vision. If this speaks to you, and you want to help us put a dent in the universe, we are hiring across all disciplines for Destiny 2 and for all new worlds beyond."
Bungie was first acquired back in 2000 by Microsoft just prior to the launch of the gaming phenomenon of their Halo franchise. The merger would make the title synonymous with the Xbox platform. The partnership would see a second and third Halo iteration as well as two more franchise exclusives in Halo 3: ODST and Halo: Reach. Bungie would then ink a decade long deal with Activision that would see the inception of the Destiny franchise.