The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has opened an investigation into Sony’s acquisition of Bungie. Sony acquired the Destiny developer back in January for $3.6 billion, making it one of their largest acquisitions to date. However, it’s a sign that the FTC is now paying close attention to one of the biggest entertainment industries in the world.
According to a new report by The Information, the FTC is looking into Sony’s Bungie acquisition, though we don’t think there’s any cause for alarm as the deal might still go through. The FTC will also look into Microsoft’s historic acquisition of Activision Blizzard, which was purchased for almost $70 billion – considerably more than what Sony paid for Bungie.
It’s not clear what this investigation will uncover yet. Consolidation of the gaming industry has become a hot topic since acquisitions became more rampant in the gaming industry over the last few years. Microsoft is mainly in the crosshairs, as they also purchased Bethesda and Zenimax Media in addition to Activision Blizzard (the latter’s takeover has yet to be finalised).
In related news, New York City recently filed a lawsuit against Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick, claiming that he used the Microsoft acquisition as a means to avoid liability for his actions following numerous allegations of sexual misconduct and discrimination at the publisher.
Sony previously announced their plans to turn Bungie’s IPs into media beyond gaming, which may include movies and television series. This also marks PlayStation’s push into making more live service games, promising at least 10 by 2026. Bungie’s acquisition was likely a strategic move to bolster these live service plans, as the studio already has a good grasp on the model thanks to the Destiny series.
We’ll have to sit tight and see what the FTC’s investigation brings up, and whether or not this will impact the deal.