Gaming industry: Sony buys game developer Bungie

Status: 02/01/2022 11:16 a.m

The market for computer games is very dynamic. After the billion-dollar takeover of the games group Activision Blizzard by Microsoft, competitor Sony now also wants to strengthen itself through a takeover.

With a billion-dollar takeover, the Japanese consumer electronics and media group Sony wants to better stand up to its rival Microsoft in the highly competitive market for games software. Sony is now planning to take over the game developer Bungie.

The Playstation provider wants to buy Bungie for 3.6 billion dollars, as Sony announced last night. The US company has developed games like “Halo” and “Destiny”. In contrast to Microsoft’s planned acquisition of gaming giant Activision Blizzard for $68.7 billion, the deal is significantly smaller. In addition to “Call of Duty”, Activision Blizzard also comes with “World of Warcraft”, “Diablo” and the smartphone game “Candy Crush”.

Rivalry of game console vendors

The acquisition of Sony is strategic in nature. Because the Japanese company faces tough competition from Microsoft in the games market. Both companies supply the hardware for many of the high-priced and popular games with their Xbox (Microsoft) and Playstation (Sony) consoles.

When it comes to game software, Microsoft is clearly trying to make business more difficult for Sony. Because of the planned takeover of Activision Blizzard, Microsoft could only offer popular game titles exclusively for the Xbox or the in-house online subscription offer in the coming years. According to media reports, current agreements only guarantee that the game will also be released for Sony’s Playstation for the next three editions of “Call of Duty”.

With Bungie, Sony is acquiring a company that was once part of Microsoft. “Halo” was one of the most important games with which the Xbox was once able to gain market share alongside the then dominant Playstation. However, Microsoft retained the rights to “Halo” when it split in 2007, so that Sony could primarily benefit from the further development of “Destiny” with the purchase of Bungie.

Sony and Bungie want to make the current game “Destiny 2” available for all platforms even after the takeover. This also applies to games that are still in development, it said.

Corona boost for the industry

The gaming boom has been leading to high growth rates for game developers worldwide for years, but also for the manufacturers of the corresponding hardware such as game consoles or upgraded gaming PCs and laptops. In Germany, too, there are more and more game fans.

The Corona crisis has strengthened the trend again. In 2020, the industry in Germany recorded growth of 30 percent. The trend continued last year. Overall, more people have discovered video games during the pandemic. Around half of the population plays video or computer games at least occasionally, according to the Bitkom industry association. According to the information, almost as many women (47 percent) play as men (53 percent) – and in all age groups the number of players increased.

The New York Times buys Wordle from Josh Wardle

Takeovers of game developers are mainly handled by those involved within the industry, i.e. hardware or software companies. However, the current example of the popular puzzle game Wordle shows that media groups also want to romp about in the industry. Wordle has been taken over by the parent company of the “New York Times”, as the publisher announced yesterday. The aim of the game is to guess a five-letter word once a day with a maximum of six attempts. The game was created as a web application by software developer Josh Wardle last October and has since taken the web by storm.

The fact that users could share their game results via social networks such as Twitter contributed to its popularity. According to the New York Times Company, Wordle is now played by millions of people every day. Developer Wardle is now a millionaire. The publisher explained that the purchase price was in the “lower seven-digit range”. Wordle’s success also attracted particular attention in the industry because it took place completely outside of the Apple and Google app stores and the game was put online as a web application.

Sony buys Bungie

Marcus Schuler, ARD Los Angeles, February 1, 2022 11:09 a.m

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