Sony (opens in new tab) and Bungie (opens in new tab) have announced via Twitter that the publisher’s $3.6 billion deal to acquire the Destiny 2 developer has closed, with the stage now set for Bungie to fully integrate into Sony’s operations.
Both companies have confirmed that Destiny 2 will remain a fully cross-platform game going forward, though in the past, before this deal was even on the table, there have been timed-exclusive weapons available only on PlayStation. Sony seems to have acquired Bungie (opens in new tab) in order to bulk up its own live service chops, as well as to pursue multimedia Destiny adaptations with the publisher’s extensive film division.
The merger is also relevant to Bungie’s outspoken support for progressive political causes. The company has made public statements and in-game events in support of racial justice, trans rights, and most recently abortion access (opens in new tab).
Sony for its part seems to have initially stymied some of its studios’ efforts (opens in new tab) to weigh in on the overturning of Roe v. Wade in the United States, despite employee wishes to do so. However, when the Supreme Court made its final decision on the case, several Sony-owned studios made public statements in support of abortion access (opens in new tab). Bungie CEO Pete Parsons has previously signaled that the company would retain its politically active character (opens in new tab) through the merger.
Having grown up in the 2000s, it’s almost unthinkable for me to imagine Bungie, the Halo guys, becoming in-house Sony developers, but this is the third time this sort of platform/community seismic shift has happened to Bungie alone. Long before Mister Chief was gunning down Elites while talking to a lady who lived in his armor when the company was part of Microsoft, Bungie was the standard bearer of gaming on Mac OS, making a name for itself with games like Marathon, Myth, and Oni.
Bungie’s later move to secure independence from Microsoft remains a pretty singular example of such a thing in the games industry—moving from owned to independent is like swimming upstream, and there’s not really anything out there like this developer’s journey of going from independent to owned to independent to owned once more. I’m going long on Bungie buying itself out from under its publisher again in 2029 followed by a Nintendo acquisition somewhere in the 2040s.