Just when you thought all the big movers and shakers had done their multi-billion dollar acquisition deals for the year, Sony have just announced they're buying Bungie for $3.6 billion. A small sum, perhaps, in the face of the $69 billion Microsoft are currently shelling out for Activision Blizzard, but rather than simply subsuming the Destiny developer into the PlayStation mothership, president and CEO of Sony Interactive Entertainment Jim Ryan has said that Bungie will "remain an independent and multi-platform studio and publisher." Well!
"We believe it makes sense for [Bungie] to sit alongside the PlayStation Studios organization, and we are incredibly excited about the opportunities for synergies and collaboration between these two world-class groups," Ryan said in a PlayStation blog post.
He also told our sister site GI.Biz that the acquisition will be "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."
And growing seems to be very much on the agenda, according to Bungie CEO Pete Parsons: "We remain in charge of our destiny. We will continue to independently publish and creatively develop our games. We will continue to drive one, unified Bungie community. Our games will continue to be where our community is, wherever they choose to play.
"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."
Head of PlayStation Studios Herman Hulst is pretty jazzed about it, too:
I’m absolutely thrilled to welcome Bungie to the PlayStation family! Bungie create community-driven games with outstanding technology that are enormous fun to play, and I know that everyone at PlayStation Studios will be excited about what we can share and learn together. pic.twitter.com/VySocfBxtx— Hermen Hulst (@hermenhulst) January 31, 2022
Bungie are currently working on the next expansion for Destiny 2, The Witch Queen, which is due out on February 22nd on all platforms.
The buy-out also won't affect their plans for the rest of Destiny 2's roadmap, either, with the studio stating in a player FAQ that the Light and Dark Saga "are unchanged", and that includes "all the way through The Final Shape in 2024", which is when the current saga is due to end. The game's cross-platform and cross-save features won't be affected either, and will continue to be supported.
With business seemingly carrying on as normal, it's enough to make you wonder what's in it for Sony, really. According to Parsons, the platform holder will help to "accelerate our vision to create generation-spanning entertainment." He also talks about today being the start of Bungie's journey to becoming a "global multimedia entertainment company". Does this mean we might see Destiny 2 spread its wings into the realms of TV and film, perhaps? Sony certainly have a good track record in this regard, what with them also having a major Hollywood film branch and all - and hey, if Microsoft can maybe make a halfway decent Halo TV show, it's surely not beyond the realms of possibility that a Destiny 2 TV show might have just as much potential.
Before we get there, though, Bungie have some problems closer to home to sort out. The studio came under fire back in December after an IGN report unearthed allegations of racism, sexism, discrimination, toxic leadership and more. At the time, Parsons apologised, saying "it is clear we still have work ahead of us," and Bungie's employees seemed hopeful that the studio was trying to improve. As part of today's announcement, Parsons added that, "our goal is to build a place where the world’s most creative and talented people can come and do their best work, no matter who they are, where they are from, or how they identify." Here's hoping Sony's extra support will go some way in helping them get there.