In a development that marks the latest consolidation that is sweeping the gaming sector, Sony Interactive Entertainment said, it has decided to acquire the original creator of the “Halo” videogame and developer of “Destiny”, Bungie Inc, in a deal valued at $3.6 billion.
In a blog post Bungie said, it will join Sony’s PlayStation family. The development marks the Japanese conglomerate strengthening its network of in-house gaming studios to take on cash-rich peers.
Last month, Microsoft Corp had offered $69 billion for Activision Blizzard.
“While this is one of Sony’s biggest-ever acquisitions, the amount paid by Microsoft puts into context the heavy competition faced in this sector,” said Piers Harding-Rolls, gaming analyst at Ampere Analysis.
Incidentally, Bungie was owned by Microsoft before going private in 2007. It had worked on the “Halo” videogame series when it was under Microsoft.
It has also worked on titles including “Marathon” and “Myth”.
The company now plans on hiring more talent across the studio for “Destiny 2” – a videogame that was previously published by Activision Blizzard.
Big name companies in the video game sector have been trying to attract talent and intellectual property behind popular titles in-house rather than partner with studios; the strategy provides them more space to grow in the growing, high-value market.
To this end, Sony has added a number of developers, including videogame development studio Valkyrie Entertainment and “Returnal” developer Housemarque, under its umbrella.
“This (Bungie deal) is an important step in our strategy to expand the reach of PlayStation to a much wider audience,” said Jim Ryan, head of the Sony Corp unit responsible for PlayStation.
Bungie will be an independent unit of Sony Interactive Entertainment, run by its board and chaired by its CEO Pete Parsons.