Acquisition Trend Continues, Sony Takes Over US$3.6 billion Halo Game Maker

Source: Reuters | Editor: Thomas Hadiwinata

KONTAN.CO.ID – BENGALUR. Sony Interactive Entertainment will acquire Bungie Inc in a $3.6 billion deal. The takeover of videogame creator Halo and developer of Destiny extends a wave of consolidation sweeping the gaming sector.

Through an announcement on the blog site, Bungie stated that he would join the Sony PlayStation family. This takeover can not be separated from the Japanese conglomerate’s efforts to strengthen its network of in-house game studios to face its competitors who have abundant money.

Microsoft Corp., Sony’s arch rival in gaming consoles, spent $69 billion to acquire Activision Blizzard in early January. So far, sales of Xbox, Microsoft’s console, lag behind sales of Sony’s PlayStation.

“While this is one of Sony’s biggest acquisitions, the amount paid by Microsoft demonstrates the tough competition the sector faces,” said Piers Harding-Rolls, gaming analyst at Ampere Analysis.

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Bungie, based in Bellavue, Washington, was owned by Microsoft before going private in 2007. While under the tech giant, Bungie worked on the Halo videogame series. Bungie is also working on Marathon and Myth.

Bungie now plans to recruit more studio-wide talent for Destiny 2, the videogame previously published by Activision Blizzard.

The video game industry is rapidly consolidating to take advantage of the surge in demand created by the pandemic. Recent deals are further blurring the lines between PC, console and mobile-based video games.

The sector is on track to hit a new record deal, financing and IPO value this year of $150 billion, according to investment banking firm Drake Star Partners.

Another big deal that hit in the first month of the year saw Grand Theft Auto maker Take-Two bid $11 billion for “FarmVille” maker Zynga.

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Big companies have also tried to bring in the talent and intellectual property behind popular titles in-house rather than partnering with studios, giving them more access in a growing, high-value market.

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 PlayStation reach to a wider audience,” said Jim Ryan, head of Sony Corp’s unit responsible for PlayStation.

Bungie will be an independent unit of Sony Interactive Entertainment, run by a board chaired by CEO Pete Parsons.

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