Sony bolsters PlayStation, buying Destiny game maker Bungie for $3.6 billion – CNET

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Sony’s latest PlayStation video game console, the PS5, has been a hit since release.

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Sony has reached a deal to buy Halo creator and Destiny maker Bungie, Monday, marking an escalation of efforts for the biggest game makers to expand their lineup with some of the most popular franchises in the industry.

The agreement, which was confirmed by both companies after an earlier Bloomberg report, brings one of the most well respected game makers in the industry under Sony’s control. Bungie, which currently makes the online game Destiny, is also known for creating the early gaming hit Halo, which is now owned by Microsoft.

“Bungie has created two of gaming’s most iconic franchises, Halo and Destiny, and has deep expertise in bringing incredible immersive experiences at great scale to the community through games that evolve and develop over time, and has a hugely impressive roadmap for future content,” Jim Ryan, head of Sony’s PlayStation division, said in a blog post Monday.

Sony didn’t say how much it paid for the game maker, but Bloomberg reported the price to be $3.6 billion. The move comes after two other large game industry acquisitions this month, when Microsoft announced its plans to buy Call of Duty and World of Warcraft maker Activision Blizzard for $68.7 billion and Take-Two Interactive said it planned to buy FarmVille developer Zynga for $12.7 billion.

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Bungie’s Destiny is set on a post-apocalyptic Earth after an alien invasion wipes out most of civilization.

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Both Sony and Bungie said the deal will allow Sony to grow its stable of immersive game worlds, while giving the Destiny maker “creative independence” that it’s relied on for so long. “This is a strategic step towards continuing to evolve the gaming experiences that we build,” Ryan said in his statement. “This partnership will bring inspiring new experiences to both the PlayStation community and the community that Bungie has built.”

The deal is likely to spark even more chatter in the game industry, but what it won’t do is add a lot of titles to Sony’s lineup. Bungie owns effectively two games, Destiny 1 and 2. Wedbush analyst Michael Pachter noted that’s far less than the dozen or so Microsoft got when it purchased ZeniMax Media nearly a year and a half ago, for $7.5 billion, roughly twice Bungie’s price. “I think this purchase is more panic driven than financially driven,” he said.

For its part, Sony told GamesIndustry.biz that the deal had been in the works for nearly half a year, and that it plans more acquisitions in the future.

Sony and Bungie didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.

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