Sony buys Halo-creator Bungie as video game wars go next level
Sony Interactive Entertainment has fired back after Microsoft’s purchase of Activision-Blizzard, announcing plans to buy Bungie, the video game development studio that created the Halo franchise.
The deal, valued at $3.6 billion, is the latest in an increasingly high-stakes wave of consolation in the video game industry, where big companies are looking to acquire major developers and secure content that can be exclusive to their consoles and services.
Bungie was, for much of the Xbox’s lifespan, a Microsoft division, but broke away in 2007, once again becoming independent. As part of that deal, Microsoft retained all rights to Halo, which had been made by an internal team at Microsoft – 343 Industries – since 2011. Bungie went on in 2013 to release Destiny, which has been an ongoing franchise since then.
“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,” Bungie said in a statement. “We remain in charge of our destiny. We will continue to independently publish and creatively develop our games.”
Sony did not confirm whether future Bungie games would be exclusive to its systems.
The Sony acquisition comes just under two weeks after Microsoft announced its $69 billion acquisition of Activision-Blizzard and three weeks after Take-Two Interactive Software said it would acquire Zynga for $12.7 billion.
“Bungie has created two of gaming’s most iconic franchises, Halo and Destiny, and has deep expertise in bringing incredible immersive experiences at great scale to the community through games that evolve and develop over time, and has a hugely impressive roadmap for future content,” said Jim Ryan, CEO of Sony Interactive Entertainment in a statement. “It’s that expertise coupled with the highly engaged PlayStation community that makes this partnership such an incredibly exciting addition.”
Many other video game publishers are considered to be possible acquisition targets currently, including Ubisoft, Konami, Sega, and Capcom.
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