Sony buying Bungie for $3.6 billion

Sony Interactive Entertainment today announced a deal to acquire Bungie for $3.6 billion, the latest in a string of big-ticket consolidation deals in the games industry.

After the deal closes, Bungie will be “an independent subsidiary” of SIE run by a board of directors consisting of current CEO and chairman Pete Parsons and the rest of the studio’s current management team.

Sony has said Bungie will remain a multiplatform studio, with the option “to self-publish and reach players wherever they choose to play.”

At present, the studio is working on maintaining Destiny 2, expanding the Destiny franchise, and working on new IP.

“We’ve had a strong partnership with Bungie since the inception of the Destiny franchise, and I couldn’t be more thrilled to officially welcome the studio to the PlayStation family,” said SIE president and CEO Jim Ryan.

“This is an important step in our strategy to expand the reach of PlayStation to a much wider audience. We understand how vital Bungie’s community is to the studio and look forward to supporting them as they remain independent and continue to grow. Like Bungie, our community is core to PlayStation’s DNA, and our shared passion for the gamer and building the best place to play will now evolve even further.”

Parsons said SIE supported the studio’s dual goals of making generation-spanning entertainment while staying creatively independent.

“Both Bungie and SIE believe that game worlds are only the beginning of what our IP will become,” Parsons said. “Our original universes have immense potential and, with SIE’s support, we will propel Bungie into becoming a global multimedia entertainment company dedicated to delivering on our creative vision.”

The deal caps off a massive January for games industry acquisitions. Take-Two announced an agreement to acquire Zynga for roughly $12.7 billion on January 11, and Microsoft followed up with a $68.7 billion deal for Activision Blizzard a week later.

This would be the second time Bungie has been bought by a platform holder. Microsoft acquired the studio in June of 2000, securing its then-upcoming shooter Halo as an exclusive title for the original Xbox’s 2001 launch.

Bungie would regain its independence shortly after the launch of Halo 3 in October of 2007. It produced two more exclusive Halo games for the company – Halo 3: ODST and Halo: Reach – before signing a 10-year deal with Activision that would lead to the creation of the Destiny franchise.