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FTC Opens Investigation Into Sony's $3.6 Billion Acquisition of Bungie

FTC Opens Investigation Into Sony's $3.6 Billion Acquisition of Bungie - News

by William D'Angelo , posted on 05 May 2022 / 7,115 Views

The Federal Trade Commission has opened up an investigation into Sony's acquisition of Destiny developer Bungie, according to people familiar with the matter who spoke with The Information.

The FTC investigation into the deal is not a surprise as it is standard procedure for any large merger or acquisition.

Sony Interactive Entertainment announced its plans to acquire Bungie at the end of January of this year in a deal worth $3.6 billion. 

Bungie will remain "an independent subsidiary" of Sony Interactive Entertainment once the deal closes and will be run by a board of directors that consist of current CEO Pete Parsons and the rest of the current management team.

Bungie will remain a multiplatform studio and will have an option "to self-publish and reach players wherever they choose to play."


A life-long and avid gamer, William D'Angelo was first introduced to VGChartz in 2007. After years of supporting the site, he was brought on in 2010 as a junior analyst, working his way up to lead analyst in 2012. He has expanded his involvement in the gaming community by producing content on his own YouTube channel and Twitch channel dedicated to gaming Let's Plays and tutorials. You can contact the author at wdangelo@vgchartz.com or on Twitter @TrunksWD.


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39 Comments
NextGen_Gamer (on 05 May 2022)

Seems pretty wild to me that Bungie and Destiny IP alone were worth $3.6 Billion, while three studios + the Tomb Raider, Deus Ex , Thief and 50+ other complete IPs (including all movies rights!) were only $300 Million. How much moola is Destiny 2 pulling in each month???

  • +11
gtotheunit91 NextGen_Gamer (on 05 May 2022)

It's definitely agreed that Sony paid a premium for Bungie whose only game that's actively being supported is Destiny 2 with a new IP a long ways off. But Sony paid that much not only for Bungie's expertise in live-service games, which Sony is diving head first into, but also a third of that $3.6 billion will go directly to Bungie employees to keep them onboard. Which is over $1 billion. So Bungie is also being used as an investment for PlayStation's future as a whole.

Idk how much Destiny 2 is pulling all together, but the game has made Steam's Platinum ranking in both 2020 and 2021. Which is the top of the top money makers on the platform. There's Platinum, Gold, Silver, and Bronze. So Destiny 2 is up there with the likes of Apex Legends, GTA V, Dota 2, and CS:GO which also make Platinum every year. Which is insane to think about! And with the hugely successful launch of The Witch Queen, no doubt it'll make Platinum again this year on Steam.

  • +16
VAMatt gtotheunit91 (on 05 May 2022)

Destiny doesn't get a ton of attention on this site. But, it is a giant monster hit game raking in tons of cash. It has been doing that consistently for 7+ years now. There are very few games that have had financial performance at that level for that long.

  • +8
Azzanation NextGen_Gamer (on 05 May 2022)

Destiny makes more money.

  • +2
CGI-Quality Azzanation (on 05 May 2022)

Much more.

  • +6
Azzanation CGI-Quality (on 05 May 2022)

Combined

  • +2
eva01beserk NextGen_Gamer (on 05 May 2022)

Remember that square also sold their debt along with their studios. That amount we dont how much it was. But I would say whatever it was the total sale was les than 1 billion.

  • 0
method114 NextGen_Gamer (on 05 May 2022)

Sony paid an extra billion just to keep the employees. A studio name means nothing if all the employees who made that studio leave. Look at Bioware, Blizzard, etc. The name means nothing if the talented people who got you there are gone. Sony understands better than most that a studio name doesn't mean anything it's all about the talented people working there.

  • +8
Azzanation method114 (on 05 May 2022)

Not always the case. Fresh new talent can also be uplifting for a brand, otherwise you have that scenario with Rare.

  • -8
DonFerrari Azzanation (on 06 May 2022)

From what we know most of the talented people on Rare left the company around the time (could be months before or after purchase by MS) and that was the reason of their collapse.

  • +1
DonFerrari method114 (on 06 May 2022)

Yep, you can lose one people or another and replenish, or even a good number if your culture is strong you will be able to hire new people and train while keeping the same level. But if you either have mass leave or a poor culture to cultivate/keep, etc them yes that studio name and building have almost 0 value.

  • 0
VAMatt NextGen_Gamer (on 05 May 2022)

Sony paid a big premium because they badly need expertise that Bungie has. Bungie has been operating one of the top live service games for over 7 years now. That expertise is extremely valuable to Sony, which has essentially zero experience with that business
model. The Square Enix purchase does not convey the same benefits to Embracer that Bungie does to Sony.

We know that Microsoft considered purchasing Bungie, but balked at 2 billion dollars. The fact that Sony was willing to pay much more than that tells us very clearly that Bungie is especially valuable to Sony.

  • +10
twintail NextGen_Gamer (on 05 May 2022)

Bungie's new IP is already in development (with a potential 2 more games).

Sony isn't committing $3.6B for Destiny alone: it's for their next GaaS title, it's for their knowledge on GaaS they will bring to Sony's own games, and it includes payouts to keep talent at the studio for the foreseeable future.

Personal preferences aside, Bundle and the Destiny IP are far more valuable than SE Europe combined, even if purely on the fact that Bungie/ Destiny alone pull in high profits.

Crystal Dynamics and Eidos have had razor thin profit margins for a very long time now.

  • +11
gtotheunit91 twintail (on 06 May 2022)

Here's to hoping that proper management of CD and Eidos turns those razor thin profit margins around!

  • +3
method114 twintail (on 06 May 2022)

Yep and if they are able to turn the showmovie or whatever it is they are doing into a hit it will pay off even more. That's why Sony is investing in TV with their IPs now. They saw what happened with the Witcher and realized they can make money off both ends. Unfortunately it can also go bad like the Halo show.

  • +1
y2jarmyofficial method114 (on 06 May 2022)

Halo is not bad it’s doing better then uncharted movie in terms of ratings. 61 out of 100 is a pass even if it’s barely. In terms of views apparently it set a record on paramount

  • -1

Uncharted is doing better on rotten tomatoes by a large margin based on audience score. Not sure where you're pulling your ratings from. Also the show is just bad but I haven't watched the Uncharted movie yet to compare it to the show. Every Halo fan I know has stopped watching it including me. It's unbearable how bad that show is. The first episode set a record which is expected for such a huge gaming franchise. On top of that were talking about Paramount. Setting a record on that service doesn't really mean anything.

  • +5
DonFerrari method114 (on 06 May 2022)

Plus ratings are almost irrelevant compared to profits. If a single movie provided much better ROI than a full season than it was the better investment.

  • +1
method114 DonFerrari (on 06 May 2022)

I was going to bring that up but I'm not sure how the show did financially. I know it's been renewed already for 1 more season maybe 2. So I don't know what Paramount is paying for this so I left it out. I know Uncharted did very well though.

  • +4
y2jarmyofficial method114 (on 06 May 2022)

Hey halo is doing better in rotten tomatoes to . Weird every uncharted fan including me was very disappointed by uncharted. Only reason why it did ok financially is because of Tom starting as drake … that’s it and even that was badly cast . No disrespect to Tom he did great for a role that did not match up with him. And I get my info from both meta critic , and rotten tomatoes . Uncharted got a 45 on meta and 40 on rotten tomatoes not sure why u say it got rated better unless you’re just counting the audience score vs professional reviews then sure it got rated good

  • 0

Lol I didnt even realize people still took professional reviewers seriously. After the Chappell incident it became clear they have no connection to what real people think.

  • +4
y2jarmyofficial method114 (on 06 May 2022)

Lots still do

  • 0

So UC only made money because on Tom.... why didn't Halo use someone to bring more viewers?

  • 0
y2jarmyofficial DonFerrari (on 06 May 2022)

Idk to cut cost and no need they already did some record for paramount . But then again what 7 foot tall actor that’s well known can they use for master chief?

  • 0

So let me get it straight... Sony brought Tom to generate more revenue, but for Halo it would bring cost? Seems double standard.

  • 0

So let me get it straight... Sony brought Tom to generate more revenue, but for Halo it would bring cost? Seems double standard.

  • 0
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DonFerrari (on 06 May 2022)

Is FTC trying to save Sony from its own dumbness? /joking

  • 0
ConservagameR (on 05 May 2022)

How about investigate the chip shortage and forcefully fix it if need be. Now that's something worth looking into.

  • 0
HoangNhatAnh ConservagameR (on 06 May 2022)

Did you say this when MS bought Activision?

  • -6
ConservagameR HoangNhatAnh (on 07 May 2022)

No, just like how I didn't say it when Sony bought Bungie either.

  • +2
method114 ConservagameR (on 06 May 2022)

They are in the process of doing this. It takes time to build out the facility and get everything setup and then start making the chips. It also took time for the US to convince Taiwan to build here.

  • 0
ConservagameR method114 (on 07 May 2022)

I realize the situation as it supposedly exists.
If totally legit, then it's ridiculous that chip manufacturers assumed they could continue to expand at such a slow rate, without a reasonable amount of extra production available if need be on top of that. Who in their right mind didn't see significant increases in the demand for chips in the future a decade ago? It took the prior US administration to push for not only this, but for it to happen in the US just in case things go haywire elsewhere in the world?
Now the rate at which demand increased was unexpected due to the pandemic, but if they weren't in such a poor position to begin with, the chip problem would be nowhere near as bad as it has become. Starting behind the start line in the 100 meter dash is already a problem, and a recipe for disaster if you're running against the reining Olympic champion.
You can't help but question if or how much of an advantage is being took by all companies in the process (minus PS and XB). It's not like it would be the first time consumers were being screwed over by sleazy business tactics.

  • +4
Blood_Tears (on 05 May 2022)

They're investigating Activision and now they're doing the same with Bungie, I wonder why they didn't care at all about the Bethesda deal which was for twice the amount of Bungie?

  • 0
LudicrousSpeed Blood_Tears (on 05 May 2022)

There has been a new head of the FTC since June of last year. Had she been there for the Zenimax deal, it would have been investigated as well.

  • +3
Azzanation Blood_Tears (on 06 May 2022)

Was abit late for Bethesda, they probably didn't expect companies to go on buying sprees like they have.

  • -1
halil23 (on 06 May 2022)

I wish FTC would revoke stupid Sony waste of money buyout so they can use it to buy either square enix, capcom or sega!
Seriously this is the worst buyout I've ever seen!

  • -1
twintail halil23 (on 06 May 2022)

you realise acquisitions are a two-way street right?

What makes you think SE, Capcom or SEGA are looking to be acquired?

  • +1
vgmkyle (on 06 May 2022)

Oh, the sweet irony of acquisitions this year.

  • -1