Sony has announced that it will acquire video game company Bungie, which created hit franchises such as "Halo"—one of the games that contributed to the fame of Microsoft's Xbox—and "Destiny" for $3.6 billion.
Jim Ryan, president and chief executive of Sony Interactive Entertainment (SIE), a video game and digital entertainment company owned by Japanese multinational conglomerate Sony Group Corporation, said in a blog post: “This is a strategic step towards continuing to evolve the gaming experiences that we build."
"Bungie’s expertise in delivering a world-class service approach and long-term community engagement is extremely compelling and will support the development of several future live services titles from PlayStation Studios,” he noted.
Ryan also stated that Bungie's outstanding track record in multi-format publishing and live gaming services will help SIE achieve the goals of expanding PlayStation's potential audience beyond the console.
“I want to be very clear to the community that Bungie will remain an independent and multi-platform studio and publisher,” Ryan added.
As of now, Sony did not specify a timeframe for when the deal is expected to be completed.
However, Bungie stated in its own statement that it is committed to maintaining its creative vision and independence.
As per the company's blog post: “With SIE, the potential for our universes is unlimited. Our future games will take bold steps into unexplored spaces for Bungie, continue to push the boundaries of what is possible, and will always be built on a foundation of creating meaningful, lifelong friendships and memories.”
“With SIE'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,” it added.
The latest announcement comes less than two weeks after Microsoft announced its acquisition of Activision Blizzard, which owns popular franchises like "Call of Duty" and "World of Warcraft"—for $68.7 billion. This deal is expected to be finalised in 2023.
Bungie was purchased by Microsoft in 2000, and its game Halo and soon millions of copies of Halo were sold, helping to popularise the Xbox among gamers. But Bungie broke out from Microsoft in 2007 to become an independent company.
Microsoft maintained the Halo franchise's intellectual property under the conditions of the separation.
Now, Bungie is working on expanding the universe of Destiny 2, which was released in 2017.
Regarding the latest deal between the company and Sony, Bungie's chief executive and chairman Pete Parsons said: “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 (31 January) Bungie begins our journey to become a global multi-media entertainment company.”
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