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Sony buys Bungie: The future of Destiny


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In a surprising movie, though less surprising than it would have been just weeks ago, Sony has announced a deal to acquire Bungie, developers of Destiny and the original Halo trilogy. Whatever games that Bungie makes in the future, precedent is likely to be given to Playstation for their release. But what about existing titles? Will Bungie’s support for the Destiny series continue unabated? or will the acquisition mean that they are expected to focus their energy on new titles for Sony instead?

Sony Exclusivity

When the news of Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard broke, many players were concerned for the future of franchises like Call of Duty. Would Microsoft force the cross-platform franchise into a console exclusive? For the moment, the answer is thankfully no. Microsoft has announced that Call of Duty would stay on Playstation consoles for the foreseeable future.

But what about Destiny? It is hard to see this high-profile acquisition as anything but a direct response to Microsoft’s deal. Could Sony fire the first shot and claim Destiny as an exclusive franchise from this point on, even if it might make Microsoft do the same with CoD?

In a move designed to quickly tamp down on players’ fears, Bungie have put out several statements assuring fans that their games aren’t going anywhere. A statement on the studio website reads: “We remain in charge of our destiny. We will continue to independently publish and creatively develop our games. We will continue to drive one, unified Bungie community. Our games will continue to be where our community is, wherever they choose to play.

In a subsequent FAQ, Bungie reiterates “Our commitment to Destiny 2 as a multi-platform game with full Cross Play remains unchanged.”

Destiny’s long-term goals

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So, what does Sony hope to get out of Bungie, if the company remains committed to Destiny 2 for the foreseeable future? Microsoft’s Blizzard acquisition gained them a whole host of franchises, whereas Bungie is mostly focused on their single IP. The answer seems to lie in quality, not quantity. Destiny is an impressive sci-fi world with significant name-recognition. It could well be that Sony plans to expand Destiny further into a full-blown multi-media franchise.

Properties made by Bungie have a proven track-record of in-built cinematic success. Halo has made the leap to TV, though time will tell if that leads to critical success or derision. But given the already cinematic scope and presentation of its universe, it wouldn’t be out of the question for Destiny to do the same. Big-budget franchise TV increasingly looks to be the next wave of entertainment, and Sony may want to use a popular IP to break into that market for themselves.

Sony’s Destiny

Whatever Sony’s overall plans for Bungie, it is clear that the company is betting big. If this acquisition is a direct answer to Microsoft’s Sony clearly believe that Bungie’s current and future franchises will remain popular enough to rival Call of Duty and World of Warcraft, among others. This may just be the beginning for the new console – or content – wars, but they couldn’t have gotten off to a more explosive start.


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