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Sony jumps after announcing deal to acquire Bungie for $3.6 billion as video game M&A heats up

Sony’s headquarters in Tokyo on October 28, 2021.

Behrouz Mehri/AFP via Getty Images

  • Shares of Sony Group jumped after the company announced it is acquiring Bungie for $3.6 billion.
  • Bungie, founded in 1991, is the developer behind the Destiny franchise.
  • The move follows Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision and Take-Two Interactive’s purchase of Zynga.
  • Sign up here for our daily newsletter, 10 Things Before the Opening Bell.

Shares of Sony Group jumped on Monday after the company announced it is acquiring Bungie — the developer behind Destiny and Halo franchises — for $3.6 billion as video game mergers and acquisitions heat up.

Sony’s stock price surged 5.92% to $113 at 1:22 p.m. in New York. It was last seen trading 3.78% higher to $110 as of 2:55 p.m ET. The company’s American depositary receipts were halted pending the news.

The move follows Microsoft’s blockbuster acquisition of Activision, the major video game publisher behind the “Call of Duty” franchise, in an all-cash deal valued at about $68.7 billion, and Take-Two Interactive’s purchase of mobile game maker Zynga in a deal worth $12.7 billion. Take-Two is the video game publisher behind “Grand Theft Auto” and “Red Dead Redemption.”

This acquisition will give Sony access to Bungie’s live service games, notably “Destiny.” Bellevue, Washington-based Bungie will continue to operate independently and will maintain its ability to self-publish, the announcement said.

After the acquisition, Bungie will be an independent subsidiary of Sony Interactive Entertainment. It will be led by its Board of Directors, which is chaired by Pete Parsons, Bungie’s CEO and chairman. Sony said the transaction is still subject to closing conditions, including regulatory approvals.

Importantly for gamers, Bungie’s games will still be multiplatform, Sony said in its announcement of the deal. Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision has sparked concerns that some of the most well-known franchises would end up exclusive to Xbox, similar to upcoming titles from Bethesda after the company was sold to Microsoft in 2020. 

“We’ve had a strong partnership with Bungie since the inception of the Destiny franchise, and I couldn’t be more thrilled to officially welcome the studio to the PlayStation family,” Jim Ryan, president and CEO, of Sony Interactive Entertainment, said in a statement. 

“What does Bungie bring to Sony? Well apart from some hugely successful IPs (especially Destiny) there are 800 developers with free to play and Gaming as a Service experience,” said Neil Campling, head of TMT Research at Mirabaud Securities, in a note Monday. 

The Japanese entertainment and technology giant has regularly purchased video game studios in the past, although its acquisition of Bungie is among its largest.

This isn’t Bungie’s first time being acquired. In 2000, it was purchased by Microsoft for around $30 million. In 2007, Bungie gained independence after releasing Halo 3. After that, Bungie signed a decade-long deal with Activision that ended in 2019.

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