No truth to the recent reports, apparently.
There have been reports of late that have suggested that Microsoft have been in talks to acquire Bungie and bring the studio into the Xbox Game Studios fold. Recently, during the GamesBeat Decides podcast, journalist Jeff Grubb said that he heard the same, but that talks between the two had fallen through multiple times due to Bungie’s high price.
Recently, Eurogamer reported the same story, mentioning that their own sources had corroborated this information as well. However, it seems that there might not be as much truth to those reports as you’d think. Pete Parsons, long-time Bungie executive and currently the studio’s CEO, recently took to Twitter and said very succinctly and explicitly that these reports are false.
Pete Parsons’ denial should probably be the final word in this saga. It is possible that he’s just refuting this report in public while acquisition talks continue in the background. However, that feels exceptionally unlikely, especially given Bungie’s history with corporate overlords, and just how clear of a denial this comment is.
Bungie and Microsoft is, of course, one of the most famous and successful partnerships in the history of this industry. Microsoft acquired Bungie in 2000, following which the two of them together released Halo: Combat Evolved. Bungie was part of Microsoft’s first party portfolio until 2007, at which point Bungie bought back its independence. The studio worked on Halo 3: ODST and Halo: Reach following that to fulfill contract obligations, following which it turned its attention to Destiny.
Microsoft have been on a bit of a spending spree over the past couple of years and have acquired multiple major studios to bolster their first party lineup, including the likes of Obsidian Entertainment, Playground Games, Ninja Theory, Double Fine Entertainment, and inXile Entertainment.
The company is reportedly still on the lookout for more acquisitions, with some reports suggesting that they could be shopping for studios in Poland, and Xbox boss Phil Spencer having expressed interest in adding an Asian studio to the Xbox first party pipeline.
During the aforementioned podcast, Grubb also mentioned that Microsoft are reportedly spending a lot of money on something that isn’t related to an acquisition. Read more on that through here.
This is false.
— pete parsons (@pparsons) September 14, 2020