A couple of weeks after the Microsoft acquisition of Activision Blizzard, we get news of another acquisition. It’s a much smaller one in scale, but it’s an important one nevertheless. Because this time, the one doing the buying is Sony Interactive Entertainment and its PlayStation platform. The one getting bought, on the other hand, is the maker of Destiny, Bungie.
The deal will see US$3.6 billion (~RM15 billion) changing hands. But it’s a strange one, as far as acquisitions go. This is because despite SIE buying Bungie, the former says that the latter will still be able to self-publish and choose which platform their games go. This is in addition to being able to operate independently.
For Sony’s end of the deal, the company is getting Bungie’s expertise on live service. PlayStation will also presumably be providing the developer the funds to make new games and be getting its cut of game sale profits. As for Bungie itself, it may be part of PlayStation, but it may also be getting other benefits of the Sony umbrella, from music to films. Or at least, that’s what the company suggests when it says that it’s starting its “journey to become a global multi-media entertainment company”.
But all in all, it’s still a very strange acquisition, and a lot of freedom to be granted to the acquired company. It’s likely the first time a developer getting acquired being given the freedom to self-publish and choose which platform their games go to. Usually these are the decision-making powers that are the first to be given up to the acquerer.