Sony believes it can help Bungie turn its IPs into movies

Sony recently announced its intention to acquire Destiny 2 developer, Bungie, for $3.6 billion and in a recent earnings call, Sony has suggested the move is about more than games alone.

Speaking during the Q&A segment of the earnings call (via IGN), Sony CFO, Hiroki Totoki, was asked shortly before the end of the meeting what upsides Sony sees for both itself and Bungie as a result of the acquisition. 

As far as benefits for Sony are concerned, Totoki touched on Bungie’s “ability to distribute to a variety of platforms” as well as its experience in developing live service games, saying “we have lots to learn from them, therefore our studios will learn from Bungie.” 

As for what Bungie gets out of the deal, Totoki mentioned Sony’s ability to assist the studio with regards to “personnel retention” and recruitment but, more importantly, added that Sony being a multimedia company will be helpful to Bungie. 

“[It’s] not just for [the] gaming area,” Totoki explained, “but for the multi-using of IP and merchandising of IPs.” A game title, for instance, “may be put into movies.”

“Bungie want to nurture the IP they have in a multi-dimensional manner, and that’s their hope,” Totoki added, “For that, we believe we can help. We have [Sony] Pictures and [Sony] Music and Bungie can leverage our platform so that their IP can flourish and grow big.”


Analysis: Not the biggest surprise

Totoki’s confirmation of Sony's intention to help Bungie with a multi-media expansion perhaps won’t come as the biggest surprise. In a blog post announcing Sony’s acquisition earlier this week, Bungie already made it clear that it’s looking beyond games, writing, “Today, Bungie begins our journey to become a global multi-media entertainment company.”

Expanding on this, Bungie wrote that in Sony it has “found a partner who unconditionally supports us in all we are and who wants to accelerate our vision to create generation-spanning entertainment”, adding, “like us, SIE believes that game worlds are only the beginning of what our IPs can become. Together, we share a dream of creating and fostering iconic franchises that unite friends around the world, families across generations, and fans across multiple platforms and entertainment mediums."

All in all, that feels pretty clear cut. With Sony already expanding its gaming IPs into the world of film and TV with things like the upcoming Uncharted movie and The Last of Us TV series, it feels like a partnership with potential.

As for Sony’s desire to learn from Bungie’s experience in live service games, that makes a whole lot of sense, too, after Sony confirmed that it plans to release 10 live service PlayStation games by 2026. 

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