During the Microsoft-FTC case, documents uncovered Microsoft’s acquisition plans regarding non-Activision studios, including Bungie. Bungie, well-known for their development of Halo under Microsoft’s ownership, later became independent after partnering with Activision for Destiny. However, Sony recently acquired Bungie for a significant sum of $3.6 billion. Interestingly, it has now been revealed that Microsoft had considered reacquiring Bungie before Sony’s acquisition took place.
According to Forbes, the primary motive behind Microsoft’s interest in reacquiring Bungie was to “secure valuable IP, Destiny (and its community), and integrate its development and live operations infrastructure into Xbox Game Studios.” The same aspect for Sony’s acquisition of Bungie, as they sought to leverage Bungie’s expertise in live services to enhance their overall brand.
Microsoft did identify a particular risk associated with Bungie, namely their “high burn-rate.” In this context, burn-rate refers to the rapid consumption of financial resources by Bungie to sustain Destiny 2 as a live game, continuously generating substantial content, while also funding their other ongoing projects, including Marathon and Matter. At first glance, it might appear contradictory to Bungie CEO Pete Parsons’ denial of previous reports stating that Microsoft had discussed acquiring Bungie but couldn’t agree on the price.
However, the documents indicate that this was merely an idea and not an actual approach made to Bungie, resulting in rejection. It doesn’t mean that such discussions didn’t possibly occur, but the documents don’t provide evidence to support that claim.