There have been some interesting and major acquisitions in the gaming industry over the past few months. First, Microsoft announced it was purchasing Activision Blizzard, adding the World of Warcraft and Call of Duty publisher to its increasingly growing roster of big developers. Most recently, a few of Square Enix’s Western studios were bought out by media conglomerate Embracer Group, including Tomb Raider developer Crystal Dynamics. In between those two announcements was a deal between Sony and Bungie, where the latter would be bought for around $3.6 billion.
So far, the deal has not yet gone through, despite some fans already wondering what PlayStation exclusive project Bungie could be cooking up. It seems that the acquisition will have to pass over some hurdles before it goes through, too, as the US Federal Trade Commission, or FTC, is investigating the deal. The FTC previously investigated Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard for insider trading.
The FTC’s probe into Sony’s Bungie deal does not stem from suspicion of insider trading or the size of the acquisition. Instead, the FTC’s investigations into both the Microsoft and Sony deals reflect a more aggressive stance against mergers in big tech, possibly trying to combat monopolies in the gaming industry. At the reveal of the probe into the Microsoft acquisition, FTC chairwoman Lina Khan stated that corporate consolidation could inflict “a host of harms,” including lower wages, higher prices, and reduced innovation.
It is unknown whether the Bungie deal is being investigated for a similar reason, as many believe that Sony’s acquisition could support innovation because the PlayStation platform owner will assist the Destiny developer expand into other media. Some even believe that a Destiny animated show or film could be in the works following a new job listing at Bungie. It also seems that Sony is largely leaving the developer to its own devices in the game-making business, after the former spent an additional $1.2 billion ensuring that Bungie staff would carry on following the deal.
This story follows the news that Destiny 2 developer Bungie recently made a statement regarding the leaked overturning of Roe v Wade. While it is fairly rare that a large company will make a bold political statement, Bungie has addressed important matters before. The company’s statement was met with a mixed response, with some fans praising it for its opinion while others believed gaming developers should keep their focus on games.