What just happened? Sony has quickly responded to Microsoft's acquisition of Activision Blizzard by agreeing to purchase Bungie, the original creator of the Halo franchise (it's since parted ways with Microsoft) and the developer of Destiny. Once the deal closes, Bungie will be an independent subsidiary of Sony Interactive with a board led by Pete Parsons, Bungie's existing CEO, alongside the rest of the current management team.
Sony Interactive Entertainment President and CEO Jim Ryan said he wanted to be clear with the community that Bungie will remain an independent and multi-platform studio and publisher.
Bungie was founded in 1991 and acquired by Microsoft in 2000, reportedly just days before Apple was going to acquire the studio, and repositioned Halo: Combat Evolved as a launch title for the Xbox.
Bungie separated from Microsoft in 2007, but Microsoft retained the rights to the Halo franchise. The studio has since launched the multiplayer first-person shooter franchise Destiny, which comprises two major releases so far.
Sony will pay $3.6 billion for Bungie, which is now based in Bellevue, Washington, and has more than 900 employees on payroll.
Bungie has limitless potential to unite friends around the world.--- Bungie (@Bungie) January 31, 2022
We have found a partner in PlayStation that shares our dream and is committed to accelerating our creative vision of building generation-spanning entertainment.
Our journey begins today.https://t.co/PLuVn48zdy pic.twitter.com/kAhRbAg3vD
Bungie has published an FAQ on the subject, noting that its plans for Destiny 2 - including the upcoming expansion The Witch Queen - will not change as a result of the acquisition. There will be no platform exclusives, and all of the previously announced platforms will still be supported.
This is the third major gaming acquisition in January, following Take-Two Interactive's $12.7 billion purchase of Zynga and Microsoft's monster $68.7 billion buyout of Activision Blizzard. Sony's deal for Bungie is tiny in comparison to the others, but could be the first of more to come.