My Thoughts On Sony Buying Bungie: What It Means For PlayStation And The Industry
On January 31st 2022, Sony announced its intent to acquire Destiny developer Bungie for a sum of 3.6 billion US dollars.
The deal is still subject to regulatory approval, but once it is finalised, Bungie will be an 'independent subsidiary of Sony Interactive Entertainment' and 'sit alongside the PlayStation Studios organisation'. Sony's official press release states that 'Bungie will continue to operate individually' and 'maintain the ability to self-publish' games.
According to a PlayStation Blog post from SIE CEO Jim Ryan, Bungie will remain a 'multi-platform studio' and its 'expertise in live service games' will help expand PlayStation to 'hundreds of millions of gamers'.
A post on Bungie's website reiterates that their games 'will continue to be where their community is' and be available 'wherever you choose to play'.
What Bungie brings to PlayStation.
The future of Destiny.
With its previous acquisitions, Sony has set a precedent that the teams it buys will make games exclusively for PlayStation consoles, with PC ports for select titles arriving a few years after launch. But no acquisition Sony has ever made is as big as Bungie. While not a big publisher like ZeniMax Media or Activision Blizzard, Bungie is still a substantially sized developer with one of the most popular live-service games on the console and PC market in the form of Destiny 2.
Sony's messaging so far seems to be pretty straightforward and indicates that Bungie's popular Destiny 2 will remain multiplatform in the future. Bungie seems to be mirroring the same idea, coming out and saying that:
I expected this to be the case with Destiny 2 due to its live-service nature. With an evolving game that needs a large and committed player base to succeed, it makes sense to leave the game as it is across all platforms. Destiny 2 is free-to-play and makes most of its money through in-game purchases. Even though Sony may lose a cut of this money, along with 30% of expansion and DLC sales on other storefronts, it will still make substantially more money than it would if Destiny 2's future content was suddenly only available on PS4 and PS5.
The Verge's Tom Warren reported that, on 31st January, 860,000 players played Destiny 2. The split between platforms was as follows:
- 355,000 players on PlayStation
- 275,000 players on Xbox
- 224,000 players on Steam
- 5,390 players on Stadia
Bungie's other projects: To be exclusive, or not to be?
- Job listings describe Matter as a "multiplayer action game".
- The game has a focus on "character-based" gameplay.
- Matter is set to be "comedic", with a "lighthearted and whimsical" tone.
- Bungie says their next project (after Destiny 2) will release by 2025. This project could be Matter.
A rapidly consolidating industry.