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Forums - Sony Discussion - Sony acquires Bungie for $3.6 billion - staying multiplatform

twintail said:
aTokenYeti said:

They paid $3.6 billion for a studio with a single IP that brings in an absolute maximum of $200 million per year in revenue. There are studios with half the employee headcount that bring in double that yearly. That tells you all you need to know about the confidence Sony has in the live service games they currently have in development. 

As to my second point, it’s not going to “tank” Sony’s future negotiations, but it is going to raise bidding prices and make Sony have to agree to things they otherwise wouldn’t. If Sony is attempting to acquire a Square Enix, for example, it stands to reason that square would see the terms of the deal Bungie got and would ask for either a higher price out Sony, more production autonomy written into contract, or both. That is not a position Sony wants to be in. 

Compare this deal on the balance to the $200 million they paid to purchase Insomniac. That deal has probably already paid for itself 5-10 fold. 

As Potent already pointed out to you: the acquisition is only 2.4B. The other 1.2B is part of an employee incentive package to avoid losing talent when Bungie are on the verge of unveiling and releasing their new live-service IP, 'Matter'. This 1.2B is also not a lump-sum: but rather will be paid out to employees over a few years.

This tells us that Sony is in fact very confident in what Bungie is working on that they aren't willing to lose staff and therefore jeopardize development of the game. 

Sony is getting Destiny 2, Bungie's next live-service title 'Matter', 1 or 2 other games in development, cross-media push with Destiny (and eventually their next title), and extensive live-service knowledge which will affect the 10 live-service titles Sony have confirmed to have in development. 

Insomniac of course was a fantastic purchase based on their value. However, Insomniac didn't bring with them any notable IP nor were they going to contribute to a gap in Sony's portfolio. Apples to oranges. 

DonFerrari said:
twintail said:

As Potent already pointed out to you: the acquisition is only 2.4B. The other 1.2B is part of an employee incentive package to avoid losing talent when Bungie are on the verge of unveiling and releasing their new live-service IP, 'Matter'. This 1.2B is also not a lump-sum: but rather will be paid out to employees over a few years.

This tells us that Sony is in fact very confident in what Bungie is working on that they aren't willing to lose staff and therefore jeopardize development of the game. 

Sony is getting Destiny 2, Bungie's next live-service title 'Matter', 1 or 2 other games in development, cross-media push with Destiny (and eventually their next title), and extensive live-service knowledge which will affect the 10 live-service titles Sony have confirmed to have in development. 

Insomniac of course was a fantastic purchase based on their value. However, Insomniac didn't bring with them any notable IP nor were they going to contribute to a gap in Sony's portfolio. Apples to oranges. 

Anything put in comparison to Insomniac is ridiculous on value. This is more like Minecraft deal, at the moment it seemed obtuse for MS to pay 2.5B for an Indie studio with a single game, but well it seems like it paid back. We will discover in the next 10 years if this was a good buy (right now it doesn`t seem like it, but as also pointed out maybe if inflation wasn`t so rampant and consolidation so strong this deal wouldn`t be made or would be cheaper).

Also besides the 1.2B for retention it is quite possible that some of the other 2.4B have a good portion dedicated to increase team count, headcount, new locations, tools, etc. We may never know the truth, but maybe in the end the leadership won`t pocket as much money as we first though.

And it is quite possible that there is very strong terms in the contract to prevent Bungie trying any shenanigans like pocketing the money and in 5 years running with it.

PotentHerbs said:
aTokenYeti said:

They paid $3.6 billion for a studio with a single IP that brings in an absolute maximum of $200 million per year in revenue. There are studios with half the employee headcount that bring in double that yearly. That tells you all you need to know about the confidence Sony has in the live service games they currently have in development. 

As to my second point, it’s not going to “tank” Sony’s future negotiations, but it is going to raise bidding prices and make Sony have to agree to things they otherwise wouldn’t. If Sony is attempting to acquire a Square Enix, for example, it stands to reason that square would see the terms of the deal Bungie got and would ask for either a higher price out Sony, more production autonomy written into contract, or both. That is not a position Sony wants to be in. 

Compare this deal on the balance to the $200 million they paid to purchase Insomniac. That deal has probably already paid for itself 5-10 fold. 

Absolute maximum $200M per year based on what? The upcoming Destiny 2 DLC itself has over 1 Million pre orders. The game is consistently one of the most played games on various platforms since its launch in 2017 & has a ton of MTX. It's also an IP that lends itself well for Sony Pictures, in a decade where video game movies and television adaptations are more popular, and profitable than ever. You also can't ignore Bungie's track record for creating popular multiplayer games despite owning one IP. Some people think Starfield could be huge based on Bethesda's track record, and rightfully so, but the same can be applied to Bungie and Matter. And no, Sony acquired Bungie for 2.4B, the 1.2B is after the acquisition closes and will be distributed over several years, and it's not even under Sony's M&A budget. 

Bidding prices nowadays are going to be raised and it has nothing to do with Bungie's deal. Your example with Square Enix is flawed, especially since Sony and Square Enix Holdings are multimedia companies, an acquisition would benefit multiple arms within Sony Corp and not just PlayStation, production autonomy might not matter as much as overall synergy. PlayStation isn't even the first platform holder to offer "independent publishing" post acquisition, but somehow, those kind of terms will only be brought up when negotiating with Sony? What if other publishers want to have a Minecraft deal with Microsoft and this Bungie deal emboldens that? Its not as simple as twisting Sony's arm until they bend to certain terms and agreements like you're making it out to be. 

So just to be clear, SNY screwed themselves because they paid too much, and now everyone else being acquired will want way more?

Correct?..

Especially from MS. Who has Challenger Deep pockets, unlike SNY's Grand Banks.

How would this be such a negative thing for only SNY going forward?

Which brand is more in need of games and (quick) growth?

If anything, overpaying may very well lead to unacceptable future purchase demands, which means a (major) slowdown in consolidation.



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What are the chances of Destiny coming to the Switch. Imagine doing raids on the train, would absolutely perfect on the Switch.



Dallinor said:
LurkerJ said:

To me, it sounds like SONY made a freak-out acquisition. The reality is acquisitions are getting expensive and SONY could've bought more for less last year and definitely during the PS4 era, someone is a little late to the party...

I truly believed SONY's partnerships is one way to work with successful developers and make new SONY-owned IP without the burden of expanding your studios or the risk of making the wrong acquisition. I think these partnerships are a much better response to what MS has been doing, although I acknowledge it isn't nearly enough. To be fair, MS brought nuclear weapons to a gunfight, I don't know if SONY can ever respond appropriately to the massive blows MS has delivered. 

Of course it does...through the lens of a video game enthusiast commenting on websites.

Initially we had people saying the Bethesda deal was a reaction to Sony 'buying up exclusive content'. Not a strategic move by MS to position content for their streaming service. No a $7.5 billion dollar knee jerk reaction. They certainly time their news to impact the markets, make no mistake about that, but this notion that Sony and MS exist in a vacuum- watching what each other are doing and just reacting is absurd. They aren't even the only players in this game- Sony and MS are watching Tencent, EA, Embracer, Amazon and Google. Basically all of big tech.

Now, this is a 'freak out' acquisition. Nothing to do with the fact Sony have been shopping around for a Gaas/multiplayer developer for over 2 years now. They bid $1 billion for Leyou in 2020 (Warframe developer) and were outbid by Tencent. The market doesn't even have many independents in that genre left (Bungie was the last big one), and we know Sony have multiple exclusive Gaas games now in development. 

Read their press release- they literally tell you they have an aggressive live service road map and why this purchase makes sense, it's part of a much bigger strategy that sees them trying to reach 100's of millions of players.

But no, the more likely scenario is everyone as Sony HQ went crazy, ran around the room like headless chickens, and pulled out a $3.6 billion dollar cheque.

Lastly I will say one thing though, couple the fact that the tech sharks are circling, massive inflation, and Sony with $14 billion on hand they essentially need to spend over the next year on investments, their likelyhood to pull the trigger on a major gaming acquisition under the current climate has never been higher. I would expect we will see them spend in the range of another few billion dollars on gaming acquisitions before the year is out. In fact there may already be another big deal in place.

I agree, my statement was incredibly stupid, I concede this can't be a freak-out acquisition and it's dumb to state otherwise. However, I do believe the other things I mentioned about talents are usually fleeting and buying a studio with no legacy IPs mean you need to do everything you can to keep the talent in-house which can be very hard especially with competitors lurking around to poach talents for much higher salaries. In fact, reading through the thread, it seems SONY thought about this as well and they think they have a plan in place to hopefully keep Bungie's talent by their side:

Bungie is a private company, the majority of whose shares are owned by its employees. So the payment of the consideration is structured to incentivize the shareholders and other creative talent to continue working at Bungie after the acquisition closes. Approximately one-third of the $3.6 billion consideration for acquisition consists primarily of deferred payment to employee shareholders, conditional upon their continued employment and other retention incentives.

I also believe SONY's focus on partnerships stems from the fear that buying a studio will result in extra fat that they'll need to get rid of later, hence, the (excellent) choice of focusing on partnerships.

In addition, I also still believe studios with ever-green IPs and strong fan-bases are "safer bets" than new "promising" studios. Obviously, reading through the thread it does seem like SONY still intends to acquire more studios, we'll see how it goes. It's a shame we're having this discussion to begin with and consolidation is inevitable. My only consolation is that glad Nintendo is on a league of their own, a beautiful example of innovation-based business that has a clue how to succeed with different products. 



refutableport said:

What are the chances of Destiny coming to the Switch. Imagine doing raids on the train, would absolutely perfect on the Switch.

perhaps with streaming. Switch hardware likely can't handle Destiny 2, but with streaming anything is possible.



GoTY 2022:

As much as I don't like companies buying up all the competition (or, in one word, conglomeration), this purchase benefits Sony... how, exactly? Sure, they might get exclusive DLC for Bungie games, but I fail to see how that's worth the $3.6b price tag.

Someone please fill me in.



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KManX89 said:

As much as I don't like companies buying up all the competition (or, in one word, conglomeration), this purchase benefits Sony... how, exactly? Sure, they might get exclusive DLC for Bungie games, but I fail to see how that's worth the $3.6b price tag.

Someone please fill me in.

You might want to read thru the comments on this thread. A lot of good plausible outlooks as to why the price tag was justifiable. Playstation and Bungie also have a Q&A that could shed some light.



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KManX89 said:

As much as I don't like companies buying up all the competition (or, in one word, conglomeration), this purchase benefits Sony... how, exactly? Sure, they might get exclusive DLC for Bungie games, but I fail to see how that's worth the $3.6b price tag.

Someone please fill me in.

- future movies

- future revenue streams (Destiny, and I believe they have two other games in development.)

- expertise (FPS, GaaS. Sony wants to publish 10 live service games in the next few years. Having Bungie will help them make one of those successful.) 



I wonder if the PS4 will still be included in these live service games? Typically, most live services aren’t the most graphically demanding with maybe a few exceptions. And with nearly 120 million PS4’s out there and with the huge slowdown in PS5 shipments due to the shortages for who knows how much longer, I wonder if Sony will want to tap as much of last gen as they possibly can.

I can see Sony also releasing these games on PC and mobile maaaaaaybe on day 1. When it comes to games that are designed to run for years and years, PC and mobile are arguably the top 2.



the-pi-guy said:
KManX89 said:

As much as I don't like companies buying up all the competition (or, in one word, conglomeration), this purchase benefits Sony... how, exactly? Sure, they might get exclusive DLC for Bungie games, but I fail to see how that's worth the $3.6b price tag.

Someone please fill me in.

- future movies

- future revenue streams (Destiny, and I believe they have two other games in development.)

- expertise (FPS, GaaS. Sony wants to publish 10 live service games in the next few years. Having Bungie will help them make one of those successful.) 

Yes, these, and also:

Imagine Bungie is a bunch of former American nuclear physicists who've been missing, but just popped up in Iran, and their location has leaked. Iran of course (as well as others), are just itching to have some nukes of their own.

If you're Sony (America) in this case, it doesn't matter how many nukes you already have, it's better for you to get your hands on those physicists before someone else does and uses them for their own means, potentially to the detriment of yours.

It's not always about, what can you do for us? Sometimes it's about, how could you be used against us or anyone else?

MS supposedly used Bungie in the wrong way. Activision supposedly used Bungie in the wrong way. Sony is in a way playing the hero, saving the good guy from eventually becoming part of another villains plan.

Bear in mind, this story is just getting started. Hero's aren't perfect and sometimes make mistakes. Will the hero succeed, or become the villain?