Continuing the recent wave of major gaming acquisitions, Sony has made a deal to buy Bungie for $3.6 billion. While the timing might make it seem like this is a reaction to the Microsoft-Activision acquisition, this almost certainly has been in the works for long enough that the timing is a coincidence. That said, this does do a fantastic job at leveling the playing field when it comes to console gaming.
Activision-Blizzard is huge, and Microsoft taking over meant they had the potential to make franchises like Call of Duty exclusive to Windows and Xbox, which would be an absolutely devastating blow to Sony’s competitiveness in the gaming industry. That’s not to say Microsoft has those intentions, and they have previously vocalized the idea that Sony is good for gaming. But the option was always there if they changed their mind. Bungie going over to Sony somewhat equalizes things.
While not at the same scale as Activision-Blizzard, Bungie is capable of some amazing products. The people at Bungie came up with both the Destiny and Halo franchises, showing an inherent brilliant mind when it comes to shooters. However, this has inevitably brought up discussion surrounding the potential for Bungie to pull “Destiny 2” off other platforms in favor of exclusivity.
In a similar fashion to Microsoft’s Activision-Blizzard announcements, Bungie has made known that they intend for “Destiny 2” to continue functioning as a multi-platform game with cross-connectivity. Their statement also broadens in scope, saying that they don’t intend to limit their audience to only PlayStation owners. This is of course subject to change, just like Activision-Blizzard, but there’s no real reason to doubt their motives.
However, this does add more to the strength of Sony and the PlayStation experience, being their proficiency when it comes to exclusives. While not having the same catalog of games that Xbox has and continues to grow, many PlayStation exclusives have made waves as truly exceptional games, such as “Horizon: Zero Dawn” or “Bloodborne.” There is potential for Bungie to create something that fits the profile of a console exclusive: a story-driven single-player first-person shooter. Bungie’s talent with the FPS genre is world-class, and such a game from them would be both brilliant and exactly the type of game Sony looks for.
It seemed, in a hasty, emotional reaction, like Microsoft was primed to monopolize console gaming in the West. Between Windows and Xbox, they had all the bases covered. Outside of Nintendo, Sony’s space in the gaming world seemed to be in flux. But with an acquisition that proves they aren’t going to fold, one can only be hopeful that this keeps the Microsoft-Sony rivalry alive and well. Competition is good for the gaming industry, and gamers will be better off with both Microsoft and Sony in the picture.