Sony Interactive Entertainment’s acquisition of Destiny maker Bungie for $3.6 billion is the linchpin of a larger plan to bet PlayStation’s future on live service games, shifting more than half its development budget to the category within three years.
The Bellevue, Wash.-based game developer’s expertise will help the Japanese game giant build a projected portfolio of 12 live service game franchises by its 2025 fiscal year, up from one in 2021, according to a presentation to investors Thursday by Jim Ryan, Sony Interactive Entertainment CEO and president.
About 55% of spending by PlayStation Studios will be focused on live services by the 2025 fiscal year, up from 12% in the 2019 fiscal year, according to one of the slides in the presentation.
The strategy reflects the industry’s shift from finite games to open-ended, frequently updated online multiplayer titles, popularized by live service franchises such as League of Legends, Dota 2, Fortnite, and Bungie’s Destiny.
“Bungie is one of the leading developers and publishers of live service games in the world today, and we’re incredibly excited at the thought of applying their expertise and lessons learned as we build out our plans in the area of live services,” Ryan said. “Correspondingly, we believe that many of SIE’s assets and expertise will allow us to help Bungie to fulfill its dream to be one of the world’s leading entertainment companies.”
Sony announced the agreement to buy Bungie in January. The deal is expected to be completed by the third quarter of Sony’s current fiscal year, which translates into the end of the 2022 calendar year.
The 900-person company, which is in the midst of a major expansion of its downtown Bellevue headquarters, will become an independent Sony Interactive Entertainment subsidiary, run by Bungie’s current management team and board, chaired by Bungie CEO Pete Parsons, Sony said in a press release about the deal.
Earlier in its evolution, Bungie developed the blockbuster Halo franchise for Microsoft’s Xbox. Bungie was acquired by Microsoft in 2000 and was part of the Redmond company until a 2007 spin-off.
Here’s an earlier GeekWire Podcast about Sony’s Bungie deal.