Big video game companies just can’t stop buying studios

Sony just announced that it plans to acquire Destiny maker Bungie for $3.6 billion, capping its absolutely massive month for gaming acquisitions. Take-Two started with its deal to buy Zynga for $12.7 billion, which was perhaps the biggest deal in the video game industry at the time, but Microsoft improved that significantly just a week later with its $68.7 deal. billion to buy Activision Blizzard. The total value of all three acquisitions, assuming they all go through, is a whopping $85 billion.

With Bungie, Sony will house the talent behind the hugely popular Destiny 2, and it seems likely that the company will use Bungie’s expertise to create similarly comprehensive and long-running live service titles. Sony is known for its expensive single-player games like God of War, Ghost of Tsushima, The Last of Us, and Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart, but it doesn’t have its own take on Fortnite or Destiny that gets updated regularly over the years. to keep players coming back.

Sony’s Bungie deal is a big one, but it’s just the latest in a recent shopping spree

While PlayStation boss Jim Ryan in a… interview with Gamesindustry.biz While the Bungie deal wasn’t a response to the major acquisitions announced as early as 2022, it’s hard to see Sony’s recent purchases as anything other than an attempt to keep up with a tidal wave of industry consolidation. Only in 2021 did Sony buy PC Port Developer Nixxes SoftwareReturnal developer Housemarque, The Playroom creator Firesprite Studios, PlayStation remake/remaster experts Bluepoint Games, and God of War Support Studio Valkyrie Entertainment

Microsoft was also in the process of buying, acquiring ZeniMax Media/Bethesda Softworks in 2021, Psychonauts 2 developer Double Fine Productions in 2019, and announcing a five studio addition in 2018. I’d also be remiss if I did. I made no mention of Microsoft’s highly successful purchase of Minecraft creator Mojang in 2014.

It’s not just Sony and Microsoft that opened their wallets. Facebook parent company Meta has invested a slew of VR studios to give its Quest headsets a head start (although Meta’s VR division is reportedly coming under some government control, including for the purchase of the maker of the VR headset). fitness app Supernatural). EA spent billions to acquire Codemasters, Glu Mobile and Playdemic. And Chinese giant Tencent is behind a lot more of the industry than you might think: it’s the developer of the mobile hits Call of Duty: Mobile, Honor of Kings and Pokémon Unite, owns League of Legends creator Riot Games, has a 40 percent stake in Fortnite maker Epic Gamesand bought Clash of Clans studio Supercell from SoftBank in 2016, just to name a few.

The wave of acquisitions, especially the deals for Activision Blizzard and Bungie, are also making previously unfathomable ideas much more possible. Could Sony Square Buy Enix to Make Final Fantasy a PlayStation Exclusive Series? What if Microsoft bought Ubisoft to make Assassin’s Creed another draw for Xbox Game Pass? Would Nintendo buy Sega Sammy to make Sonic a first-party franchise? If you’d asked me back in December, I’d have laughed at all those ideas, but now I don’t think I’d sleep a wink.

Sony also indicates that there may be more acquisitions to come. “We can definitely expect more,” Ryan told Gamesindustry.biz. “We are far from done. We still have a long way to go with PlayStation.” Sony’s deal for Bungie isn’t finalized yet, but another big studio acquisition seems inevitable at this point – even free word games aren’t safe.

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