It’s not only about Microsoft that Sony bought Bungie

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Image: Bungie – Could be a significant step in making Destiny a media franchise. Bungie was bought by Sony on Monday in yet another massive deal between two gaming titans. Although possessing a triple-A developer with a well-known IP is evident, the deal’s details have raised doubts about Sony’s strategy in the escalating battle against Xbox.

First, let’s take a look at some of the facts behind Sony’s purchase of Bungie and what will happen when the sale closes. Sony is investing $3.6 billion to acquire Bungie, the makers of the first-person shooter hit Destiny and the inventors of Halo (which is now under Microsoft rule).

In spite of the fact that Sony owns Bungie, it will continue to operate as an independent company when it comes to developing and distributing its games. Moreover, Bungie titles, both current and forthcoming, guarantee to be cross-platform, thus Sony will not be able to compel a console exclusivity agreement with Microsoft. In-game goods, cross-platform features, and expansions will all be available on Xbox in the same way they are on PlayStation. Finally, Bungie will remain separate from Sony’s PlayStation Studio organization, rather than becoming part of a dozen other companies. Bungie will continue to function as usual under the new ownership of Sony, in other words. Sony has acquired Bungie.

Read more: Bungie, a well-known video game developer, is being purchased by Sony for $3.6 billion

Some have questioned if Sony is making the most of its new asset in light of Microsoft’s recent $68.7 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard (or 19 Bungies). After all, Microsoft just bought many triple-A IPs from one of the world’s greatest gaming companies. Some of these games will most likely be Game Pass exclusives, while others will serve to increase the number of people who subscribe to the streaming service. So, what is it that Sony wants to gain by purchasing a single firm that has devoted all of its recent efforts to one one game?

As Destiny’s player base grows and becomes more stable, Sony can look forward to a constant stream of revenue from the purchase of expansions and in-game money. In order to maintain that player base, it is necessary to prevent exclusivity from dividing the group (which may work together and compete owing to cross-play). Although it’s not obvious whether this is a strategic choice or an obligation to respect current agreements, Microsoft will do the same with Call of Duty.

It has been speculated that Sony is using Destiny to pressure Microsoft to maintain Activision Blizzard’s blockbuster titles operating on a variety of platforms. Given that Microsoft already owns the rights to Halo, this seems improbable as a result of the agreement. Because it has already assured players that it would keep Destiny and other Bungie games (including an unannounced new IP scheduled for 2025) on Xbox, Sony would engender unneeded bad will.

For more than just a successful first-person shooter, Sony is purchasing an established company that it can assist grow and trust enough to create outstanding projects. This acquisition will help Sony fill a need in its portfolio. Bungie CEO Pete Parsons confirmed this in a blog post, writing that one of the most immediate changes would be the studio’s capacity to attract new employees more swiftly. After Naughty Dog and Insomniac Games, Bungie will join the ranks of Sony-owned firms whose games sell millions and win accolades at the end of each year.

According to Sony Interactive Entertainment CEO Jim Ryan in a blog post, “this is a strategic move towards continuing to enhance the game experiences that we produce.” With Bungie’s experience in providing world-class service and a long-term community involvement, PlayStation Studios will benefit greatly from the creation of multiple future live service products.

One aspect of the Bungie acquisition that has gotten a little less attention is the possibility for Sony to grow Destiny outside gaming, which was something Bungie was already contemplating before this news. I mention these two companies because they are engaged in this aspect. If you pay attention to the subtext of the statements made so far by Sony and Bungie executives, you’ll see what I mean.

Bungie CEO Pete Parsons stated in a blog post, “Together, we share an ambition of building and nurturing legendary brands that link friends across the globe, families across decades, and fans across various platforms and entertainment media.

“Destiny: The TV Show/Movie” may be in the works, and I’m just making this up. It’s not like Bungie is keeping it a secret. IGN published an ad for a senior executive last year who could “lead initiatives that expand the Destiny franchise into other genres,” including television and movies.

Sony has the potential to be a great partner. Sony Pictures, a sibling part of the Japanese giant, has the know-how and resources to convert Destiny into a global media franchise, not to mention the capacity to develop studios. Uncharted, one of Sony’s most popular video game series, is only a few weeks away from its debut in a film version. The Last of Us, a post-apocalyptic thriller series, is now under development as an HBO TV series.

After Paramount+ revealed the teaser for its long-awaited live-action Halo series, which will bring Bungie’s property to life in the form it was originally intended, the Sony/Bungie news comes as a bit of irony or a stab at the competition. There is a greater likelihood now than ever before of finding a new battleground outside of the controller in the conflict against Guardians and Spartans.