Sony confirmed a $3.6 billion deal to acquire Bungie, the gaming company responsible for blockbusters such as Halo and Destiny. It comes just two weeks after Microsoft, developer of the rival Xbox platform, announced a $68.7 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard, the company behind titles like Candy crush and Call Of Duty.
Bungie, based in the United States, was formed in 1991, and early blockbusters included Myth and Marathon. It was purchased by Microsoft in 2000, and it was under Microsoft’s possession where Halo brand was developed.
Microsoft sold the game studio in 2007, but kept the Halo rights. Sony has been expanding its network of in-house gaming studios in recent years, generating a succession of bestsellers such as the Spiderman franchise.
It also includes titles like Horizon Forbidden West and Gran Turismo 7 in the pipeline. The head of Sony’s PlayStation division, Jim Ryan, expressed that this is a key step in their ambition to broaden the reach of PlayStation to a far larger audience.
Sony’s stock dropped sharply when Microsoft announced its acquisition of Activision Blizzard. With this transaction, the US IT behemoth would become the world’s third largest gaming firm in terms of worldwide sales, trailing only Japan’s Sony and China’s TenCent.
It sparked fears that, under Microsoft’s control, Activision titles might be removed off PlayStation platforms, surrendering a significant source of income. Sony’s stock originally jumped 2% as a result of the Bungie transaction, but it eventually gave up the majority of those gains.
Gaming analyst at Ampere Analysis, Piers Harding-Rolls mentioned that while this is one of Sony’s largest ever purchases, the sum paid by Microsoft puts the fierce rivalry faced in this industry into context,
The transaction is the latest in a flurry of mergers at the start of the year. Previously, Take-Two announced a $11 billion deal to acquire Farmville developer Zynga.