Sony kicked off 2022 with its $3.6 billion major acquisition of Bungie, the creators of iconic game franchises Halo and Destiny, a move that arguably nobody saw coming.
Indeed, the Bungie x PlayStation acquisition shocked many; however, upon closer inspection, Sony is arguably making a sensible move to bolster their portfolio of first-person shooter and live-service titles for PlayStation.
Better still, coupling Bungie's expertise in the genre and PlayStation's resources, the two companies can collectively create high-quality genre-defining live-service titles that push the medium forward.
However, it seems Bungie is only one piece of the puzzle as PlayStation is reportedly set to launch multiple live-service games before 2026.
PS5 exclusive live-service games are in development
According to Sony's investor presentation (transcribed by Eurogamer), Sony executive Hiroki Totoki discussed Bungie's role in PlayStation, noting:
"The strategic significance of this acquisition lies not only in obtaining the highly successful Destiny franchise, as well as major new IP Bungie is currently developing but also incorporating into the Sony group the expertise and technologies Bungie has developed in the live game services space."
Totoki further added, "Through close collaboration between Bungie and PlayStation Studios, we aim to launch more than ten live service games by the fiscal year ending March 2026." A console generation last 6-7 years, and given the current shortage of PS5 consoles, this gen could last till 2026, if not more.
Bungie is currently working hard on Destiny 2's The Witch Queen expansion, launching on 22nd February 2022, followed by The Lightfall and The Final Shape expansions, which will conclude the ongoing light and darkness saga. However, The Final Shape may not launch until 2024, after which Bungie plans to release a brand new IP ( trademarked Matter) in 2025.
Even if Destiny 2's upcoming expansions are counted individually alongside the new IP Matter, there will only be three new live-service experiences in PlayStation's pocket by 2025.
So what are these other live-service games in work that Bungie's collaborating with PlayStation? Well, there are plenty of PlayStation studios that Bungie could partner up for new and existing projects.
Naughty Dog is currently working (and hiring aggressively) on a multiplayer game with live-service elements set in The Last of Us universe. While it started as an extension to the Factions mode of the original The last of Us, it seems to have grown in shape, size and ambition.
Indeed, Naughty Dog's expertise primarily makes groundbreaking cinematic and narrative experiences. Therefore, Bungie's expertise could benefit from adding microtransactions and live-service elements in the game.
Rumours suggest that Sony's Santa Monica studio is working on a multiplayer game called Legendz. This project, if true, could still be in early development, and Bungie could very well lend its resources and expertise in fueling this project in the right direction.
Most importantly, Bungie's presence in the PlayStation family could nourish and support smaller studios working on multiplayer live-service titles. This includes new PS5 exclusive titles from Jade Raymond's Haven Studios, Deviation Games, FireWalk Studios, and more.
Only time will tell what Bungie's actual role is among PlayStation's other first-party studios, especially given that its upcoming titles won't necessarily be exclusive to the PlayStation systems.
Nevertheless, it seems to be an exciting future for live-service games at PlayStation, and we can't wait to get our hands on all these unannounced games currently in development.
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Featured image courtesy of Bungie.