Microsoft has Minecraft, Epic Games has Fortnite, and Sony now has Destiny. In a $3.6 billion deal, Sony is acquiring Bungie, the game studio famous for creating the Halo and Destiny universes. It’s a big deal, in a month already full of massive deals. It’s also backed by some equally big promises from Bungie about its independence, the future of Destiny, and commitments to multiplatform games.
Beyond Destiny, this deal reveals Sony’s ambition to compete with games like Fortnite alongside the steps it has been taking to bring the PlayStation brand to multiple platforms.
The deal itself is unusual. Bungie will maintain creative independence inside Sony, self-publishing its future games despite being owned 100 percent by Sony. Destiny 2 will remain multiplatform, so it’s not going to disappear from the Xbox and turn into a PlayStation exclusive. Bungie has even committed to keeping the game the same “no matter where you choose to play.” That likely means we won’t see exclusive Destiny strikes or weapons on PlayStation like we saw in the past, thanks to an Activision and Sony deal.
Bungie’s future games won’t be PlayStation exclusive, either. “We want the worlds we are creating to extend to anywhere people play games,” reads a vision blog post from Bungie’s Joe Blackburn and Justin Truman. So what is Sony paying $3.6 billion for, exactly?
So what is Sony paying $3.6 billion for?
You only have to look at Sony’s top 10 played PS5 games to see how important Destiny is to PlayStation. Destiny 2 is number six on the list, based on gameplay hours. It’s a list that includes Fortnite at the top and Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War in the second spot alongside the usual annual FIFA and NBA releases. Destiny 2 is still incredibly popular across Xbox, PC, and PlayStation, even as the game is about to enter year five.
Despite many Destiny killers promising to compete (RIP Anthem), there’s still nothing quite like Destiny on the market. It has a unique blend of looter shooter and MMO and a PvP crucible mode that lets you show off the guns and armor you’ve acquired through hours of grinding. While it’s technically free-to-play, it also has a unique revenue model. You can purchase cosmetics through micro-transactions, buy a season pass to get more rewards and unique weapons, and also purchase DLC to get access to additional campaign content and activities like dungeons or raids.
Revenue from live service games is attractive to Sony. Look at Fortnite: it’s big enough to impact gaming content and services revenue at both Sony and Microsoft. We saw its impact on Xbox revenue in 2018, and court documents revealed last year that Fortnite’s true cash cow is PlayStation. Sony also made a $250 million investment in Fortnite owner Epic Games in 2020, followed by an additional $200 million last year. It’s only a couple of percent stake overall, but it demonstrates the clear value Sony sees in Fortnite.
Destiny isn’t perfect, but it has always had the potential to compete with Fortnite for attention and the social space that has turned Fortnite into a type of metaverse for kids and adults alike. Bungie’s big ambition with the original Destiny release was for players to interact freely in giant worlds, form fireteams in dedicated social spaces, and then team up to take on enemies in strikes, raids, and other activities. But instead of an ever-changing world like Fortnite, Destiny has become an ever-growing world that has often pulled in different directions.
Destiny 2: Forsaken represented the best of Destiny, with a Dreaming City world that changed weekly, full of secrets to discover. Nothing in Destiny has quite delivered the same magic ever since, and it often feels like the game has so much untapped potential. A weird game exploit demonstrated this best, letting players have tons of fun with 12-person raids instead of the usual restriction to just six people. It was a brief but enjoyable bug that demonstrated the potential for a game to tap further into the social aspects that unite millions of Destiny players.
Many Destiny players dream of being able to stand alongside dozens of fellow guardians, fending off mini screebs or the countless other enemy types that are designed to wipe you out. Right now, a lot of activities are limited to three-player teams, but raids expand to six players. These limitations create a weird mix where you have to split up friend groups when new content drops, and you’re never truly experiencing an ever-changing Destiny world with everyone else.
Bungie has experimented with improving these live aspects and demonstrated its ambitions to do Fortnite-style live events a couple of years ago. Both seasonal live events in 2020 were a solid start but were rather slow and underwhelming. Despite its shortcomings, Destiny’s uniqueness and smooth gunplay keep a lot of players hooked (I’ve played for more than 5,000 hours personally), and the franchise has a loyal fanbase that regularly returns for big content like the upcoming Witch Queen expansion on February 22nd. Sony’s acquisition won’t upset this flow, and Bungie says its plans for Destiny 2 content remain unchanged. “Our plans for the Light and Dark Saga are unchanged, all the way through The Final Shape in 2024.”
In Destiny alone, Sony gets immediate access to a game that’s battling for the attention of players that might otherwise play Fortnite, Call of Duty, or many other free-to-play shooters. It also gives Sony a big multiplatform game, just as the company has been dipping its toes into publishing its exclusive PlayStation games on PC.
“We are starting to go multiplatform, you’ve seen that,” says PlayStation CEO Jim Ryan in an interview with GamesIndustry.biz. “We have an aggressive road map with live services. And the opportunity to work with, and particularly learn from, the brilliant and talented people from Bungie... that is going to considerably accelerate the journey we find ourselves on.”
Destiny is a big acquisition for Sony, allowing the company to foster the live service elements, but what could really make the deal worth it for Sony is Bungie’s next game. It just so happens that Bungie has a new franchise on the way soon. Codenamed Matter, job postings initially described the new IP as a “multiplayer action game” with “character-based” gameplay. That’s led many to make comparisons to Valorant or Overwatch, but Bungie has proven with Halo and Destiny that it never makes anything that’s exactly like what exists today. Bungie hasn’t commented officially other than promising last year “to bring at least one new IP to market before 2025.”
Matter, or whatever it ends up being called, will be a key part of why Sony has acquired Bungie. Destiny will live on for many years to come and could see Sony tap into TV shows for the franchise or help bring Bungie’s promise of an “expansion of the Destiny Universe into additional media” to life. If the early Bungie job postings are accurate, then Matter could be the next big live service game that further puts pressure on Fortnite’s dominance. It’s also easy to imagine a Bungie game with crossovers to Sony’s range of IPs and the potential to fulfill Destiny’s original promises.
What Sony’s acquisition of Bungie isn’t about is exclusivity, though. Games like Destiny thrive because they’re available on multiple platforms and can connect different friend groups in a virtual world. Fortnite, Call of Duty, and Destiny aren’t hugely popular because they’re locked to one platform; they’re available everywhere, and that drives their success. Sony might have pushed back against crossplay and cross-platform in the past, but it’s clear the PlayStation maker is now embracing its potential and has bigger plans for live service games.
“Philosophically, this isn’t about pulling things into the PlayStation world,” says Ryan. “This is about building huge and wonderful new worlds together.”
“The strategic significance of this acquisition lies not only in obtaining the highly successful Destiny franchise, as well as major new IP Bungie is currently developing but also incorporating into the Sony group the expertise and technologies Bungie has developed in the live game services space,” Sony CFO Hiroki ...Does Sony own a bit of Fortnite? ›
Sony has invested $250 million into Epic Games, the video game publisher behind Fortnite. The deal makes Sony a minority owner in Epic Games.Is Destiny partnering with Fortnite? ›
The collaboration will see Bungie and Epic Games create skins for Destiny 2 and Fortnite, along with gliders, pickaxes, back blings, and even a Destiny-inspired creative map for Fortnite. Destiny skins will also be available in Fall Guys.What happens if Sony buys Bungie? ›
As leaders from both companies have noted since the deal was announced in January, Bungie will be considered an independent subsidiary of Sony and won't be required to make either current or future games exclusive to PlayStation consoles.Why did Sony invest in Epic Games? ›
Sony and KIRKBI Invest in Epic Games to Build the Future of Digital Entertainment. Today Epic Games announced a $2 billion round of funding to advance the company's vision to build the metaverse and support its continued growth.Will Sony have rights to Halo? ›
While Bungie was a part of Microsoft back in the 2000s, after it split, Halo became a part of Microsoft. That means that Microsoft still owns the rights and will continue to hold the rights of Halo. So, the deal will not be affecting Halo in any way, and fans will continue to enjoy the Halo games on Xbox itself.Who is the real owner of Fortnite? ›
Epic Games owns Fortnite; Tim Sweeney, co-founder, and CEO is the major shareholder, with more than 50% of the company.Who is the main owner of Fortnite? ›
Founded in 1991, Epic Games is an American company founded by CEO Tim Sweeney.Did Nintendo reject Sony? ›
Suspecting as much, Nintendo decided to strike first. The day after Sony gave its announcement, Nintendo announced it was dropping Sony and was now working with its Dutch rival Philips instead.How long will Destiny 2 be in Fortnite? ›
Players can get a taste of everything Destiny 2 has to offer from August 23, 2022, until August 30, 2022. The free-to-play MMO's three expansion packs are all unlocked and available to play for all players for a limited time.
Epic said that “Fortnite” players who make a real-money purchase in-game and who are new subscribers to Disney+ can receive up to two months of service in participating territories across North America, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand.Why is Fortnite in Destiny? ›
Destiny in Fortnite represents one of the biggest crossovers in the game yet, which is saying something given how many there have been! This one is linked to the new partnership between Bungie and Epic Games, which is bringing Destiny 2 to the Epic Games Store and opening the doors to all sorts of collaborations.What does Bungie joining Sony mean? ›
Sony has plans to acquire Bungie, the studio behind the hit sci-fi MMO Destiny, in a deal worth $3.6 billion. Bungie will join the Sony Interactive Entertainment family, which includes Insomniac Games, Naughty Dog, Guerrilla Games, Sucker Punch Productions, Bluepoint Games and a handful of other prominent studios.Does Sony own Epic Games? ›
Let's do the math: Across its three investments over the past three years ($250m in 2020; $200m in 2021; $1bn in 2022), Sony has spent $1.45 billion buying equity in Epic Games. As a result, today Sony owns approximately 5.4% in the interactive entertainment firm.Is Bungie worth 3.6 billion? ›
At the initial announcement, Sony said (pdf) the deal was worth $3.6 billion, but in an SEC filing on Friday, it said the deal was worth “approximately” $3.7 billion. The agreement to acquire Bungie has closed. So now we can officially say… welcome to the PlayStation family, @Bungie!What percent of Epic does Sony own? ›
|Headquarters in Cary, North Carolina, 2016|
|Key people||Tim Sweeney (CEO) Kim Libreri (CTO) Mark Rein (VP) Adam Sussman (president) Donald Mustard (CCO)|
|Products||Unreal Engine Bink Video Epic Games Store Unreal series Gears of War series Fortnite|
|Owners||Tim Sweeney (>50%) Tencent (40%) Sony (4.9%) Kirkbi (3%)|
Epic acknowledges that trend will continue in the immediate future: Epic projects to lose around $139 million in 2021." More documents from the Epic vs Apple case have since surfaced, and it looks as if Epic itself expects the store to remain unprofitable until at least 2025.Who is the largest shareholder of Epic Games? ›
Epic founder and CEO Tim Sweeney remains the controlling shareholder of the company.Is Halo 3 Cancelled? ›
Microsoft announced back in 2021 that the servers for Halo 3, Halo 4, Halo Reach, Halo Wars, Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary, and Halo 3: ODST were all going to be shut down. The date was delayed several times, but the deed has been done - multiplayer Halo on Xbox 360 is no more.What is Sony's version of Halo? ›
After Microsoft dropped a big bag on Activision, Sony decided to buy Bungie video game studio for $3.6 billion. The independent studio developed Destiny, the famous online FPS (first-person shooter) and the iconic Halo series, which fuelled Xbox's growth.
Players may be banned or receive other enforcement actions when their behavior violates the Xbox Community Standards. Reasons include, but are not limited to, cheating or unfair gameplay, quitting or idling during online matches, or poor sportsmanship.Who is the king of Fortnite? ›
Bryan "KING" Eric Carvalho Nunes is a Fortnite esports player, previously player for Team Singularity.How much is Fortnite worth? ›
Fortnite annual revenue 2018 to 2021 ($bn)
Will Elon Musk ever buy Fortnite? Elon Musk may never buy Fortnite, not because he can't afford it, but rather due to the fact that Tim Sweeney, CEO of Epic Games, may never sell. Considering that the company has a private evaluation of $31.5 billion as of April 2022, there's no need to sell it to anyone.Is Fortnite a trillion dollar company? ›
Epic Games, the video game developer that produced the hit game Fortnite, said Tuesday that it had raised $1 billion in funding, valuing the company at $28.7 billion.Where does Fortnite make its money? ›
Fortnite makes money by charging players for in-game purchases, Fortnite: Save The World, Fortnite merchandise, and the Fortnite World Cup.Is Fortnite a billion dollar company? ›
In 2019, Fortnite brought in revenues of $1.8 billion, according to data reported by SuperData Research, a Nielsen Company. As of March 2019, the CEO of Epic Games, Tim Sweeney, reported that there were close to 250 million Fortnite players.What is Nintendo's most unsuccessful console? ›
- 1 Least Successful: Nintendo 64DD.
- 2 Most Successful: Nintendo DS/DS Lite. ...
- 3 Least Successful: Virtual Boy. ...
- 4 Most Successful: Game Boy/Game Boy Color. ...
- 5 Least Successful: Wii U. ...
Nintendo went from its least successful console ever in Wii U, to its most successful console in Switch. That is what is most incredible about this. Now that Switch has passed Wii and PS1, the next system up is PS4. That is inevitable in 2022, just a matter of time.Why is Sony struggling selling PS5? ›
The console was released in November 2020, but was very difficult to obtain for most of its lifespan. A semiconductor chip shortage limited Sony's production of new PS5 consoles. Other supply chain issues prompted by the global coronavirus pandemic didn't help.
But Sony does plan to lean on Bungie for its “world-class expertise in multi-platform development and live game services,” which “will help us deliver on our vision of expanding PlayStation to hundreds of millions of gamers,” Sony Interactive Entertainment president and CEO Jim Ryan said in January.Why did PlayStation buy Bungie? ›
As per an investor presentation in May, Sony hopes to have at least 12 live-service franchises in operation on PlayStation by fiscal year 2025. SIE CEO Jim Ryan specifically cited Bungie's expertise in that area as one of the drivers behind the acquisition. The agreement to acquire Bungie has closed.What will Sony do with Destiny 2? ›
Destiny 2 Will Remain on All Consoles Despite Bungie Being Acquired By Sony. Sony has finalized the deal and has acquired Bungie today, but to dissuade fans from getting the wrong idea, Bungie has once again made a statement that Destiny 2 will remain on multiple platforms.Will future Bungie games be PlayStation exclusive? ›
Not only is Destiny staying multiplatform and not becoming a Sony exclusive, but Bungie has said it will remain independently operated and be able to release its future new games and IPs multiplatform as well.Why didn t Microsoft buy Bungie? ›
Microsoft wanted to buy them at under 2 Billion, also wanted exclusivity. Sony was willing to give them 3.6 and complete freedom on where to publish. If the details about the deal are accurate, Bungie really won this deal and Sony kind of got screwed.What does Sony buying Bungie mean for Xbox? ›
Bungie will gain access to Sony's wide range of development tools and its talent pool, allowing the company to not only maintain a steady flow of content for Destiny 2, but also to improve its quality. We'll also likely see some excellent titles from the fruits of this partnership.Why did Bungie sell the rights to Halo? ›
Bungie wanted to be an independent company. Since Microsoft owned Halo, Bungie had to give it up in order to achieve that goal. Therefore, 343 Industries was created to continue the game.Did Bungie sell the rights to Halo? ›
Does Bungie own Halo? No, Bungie does not own the Halo franchise rights. Those rights are held by Microsoft and the new games are being developed by 343 Industries .Why did Bungie sell to Microsoft? ›
This informal, creative culture was one of the reasons Microsoft was interested in acquiring Bungie, although game designer Jordan Weisman said that Microsoft came close to destroying the company's development culture, as it had with the now-defunct FASA Studio.Why does Sony not own Halo? ›
Sony recently acquired Bungie, the makers of the original Halo games. Bungie and Halo parted ways in 2012 and Microsoft has owned Halo ever since.
The acquisition of Activision Blizzard by Microsoft is said to be all but finished, and this could mean that Sony's console will lose the best-selling shooter franchise in the industry.Is Sony losing Call of Duty? ›
In September, Xbox boss Phil Spencer said Microsoft had committed to making Call of Duty available on PlayStation for “several more years” after Sony's current deal with Activision expires, which will reportedly follow the release of a new game from Black Ops developer Treyarch in 2024.Will Sony still get Activision games? ›
In a surprising about-face, Microsoft announced that all Activision Blizzard games, including future Call of Duty releases, will continue to launch on PlayStation consoles even after any existing deals expire.