PlayStation maker Sony snaps up US games developer behind Destiny in $3.6bn deal | Business News
PlayStation maker Sony has announced a $3.6bn deal to buy Bungie, the games developer behind titles such as Destiny.
It comes two weeks after Microsoft, maker of the rival Xbox console, said it was paying $68.7bn for Activision Blizzard, whose titles include Call of Duty and Candy Crush.
US-based Bungie was founded in 1991 and early hits included Myth and Marathon.
It was bought by Microsoft in 2000, under whose ownership it developed the Halo franchise.
Microsoft spun off the game studio in 2007 but retained the rights to Halo.
Sony has already been strengthening its network of in-house games studios in recent years – delivering a string of hits including its Spiderman franchise.
It also has titles such as Gran Turismo 7 and Horizon Forbidden West in the pipeline.
Jim Ryan, head of the Sony division responsible for PlayStation, said of the Bungie deal: “This is an important step in our strategy to expand the reach of PlayStation to a much wider audience.”
Sony had suffered a sharp share price fall after Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard was announced.
That deal will make the US tech giant the third biggest gaming company in global sales, behind Japan’s Sony and China’s TenCent.
It prompted concerns that, under Microsoft, Activision games might be pulled from PlayStation’s systems, even though that would mean sacrificing a major source of revenue.
Sony’s shares initially rose 2% on the Bungie deal though it later gave up most of those gains.
Piers Harding-Rolls, gaming analyst at Ampere Analysis, said: “While this is one of Sony’s biggest ever acquisitions, the amount paid by Microsoft puts into the context the heavy competition faced in this sector.”
The deal is the latest in a wave of consolidation at the start of this year.
Previously, Grand Theft Auto maker Take-Two said it would buy Farmville maker Zynga for $11bn.