Sony’s Acquisition of Bungie is under Investigation by FTC
Bungie, the creator of Halo and Destiny, is being acquired by Sony and this acquisition is currently being investigated by the FTC, based on a new report. This news comes close on the heels of the probe that was launched against Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard King. It’s difficult to say for sure how either of these investigations will pan out, as the FTC has become more aggressive in tackling consolidation compared to prior years.
Bloomberg’s Jason Schreier took to Twitter to share his thoughts on the FTC investigation of Bungie and Sony. According to him, this isn’t a standard legal procedure for acquisitions. He said that it’s unusual for the FTC to be this heavily involved in anti-trust at all. That said, he believes Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard King will go through, though there may be some contingencies attached, such as a stipulation of some sort that ensures Activision’s major IPs remain on other platforms and streaming services in perpetuity.
I suspect it'll go through but there might have to be contingencies attached, like "Microsoft has to allow Call of Duty on other platforms and streaming services in perpetuity"
— Jason Schreier (@jasonschreier) May 5, 2022
The acquisition deal signed between Sony and Bungie was for a grand total of $3.6 Billion, and a portion of that money was dedicated to employee retention. Based on the deal, Bungie would continue to have full creative freedom and the ability to self-publish games on multiple platforms, including Xbox. If the acquisition goes through, both the companies will benefit from each other.
Sony has been interested in expanding towards live service games, and Bungie’s expertise should prove of great worth to the company. Meanwhile, Bungie has been looking to expand its IPs to film and television, which Sony will undoubtedly be interested in pursuing, just as it is for its existing IPs.
Bungie was bought by Microsoft in 2000, and their project Halo: Combat Evolved was repurposed as the Xbox’s launch offering. Halo was the Xbox’s “killer software,” with millions of copies sold and the Halo series spawned. Bungie announced on October 5, 2007, that it had split from Microsoft and formed Bungie LLC, a privately held independent corporation. Microsoft retained ownership of the Halo franchise intellectual property.
In April 2010, it struck a ten-year publishing partnership with Activision. Destiny was their debut project, released in 2014, and was followed by Destiny 2 in 2017. In January 2019, the relationship came to an end and Bungie took charge of Destiny’s publishing. Sony Interactive Entertainment initiated the process of acquiring Bungie in January 2022.