Destiny and the former Halo developer have become completely independent since it relinquished its previous publishing deal with Activision last year.
Speaking on the Gamesbeat podcast, VentureBeat’s Jeff Grubb said he had heard that Microsoft and Bungie were in discussions – although the two companies had not been able to agree on the sale price.
I have heard independently that these negotiations have taken place, driven by Bungi’s desire to raise new funds for the studio, its projects and staff.
Giants Studios recently committed to a three-year development plan for Destiny 2, while quietly stirring up ideas for its future – something boosted by a $ 100m injection from the first Chinese publisher NetEase.
But Bungie does not come cheap – some activism was revealed over his partnership with the Destiny producer, and one reason was that the publisher was finally happy to walk away. I think Microsoft has not yet agreed to its asking price.
Of course, any possible takeover by Microsoft would be a homecoming for Bungie. Prior to Destiny, Bungie was famous for his work on the Halo series, which quickly became Xbox’s flagship franchise, and which suffered mixed fortunes.
Microsoft originally bought Bungie back in 2000, while it was in the midst of developing Halo: Combat Evolved for the original Xbox. Four sequels followed, although the two companies had already split up by the time the 2009 Halo 3: ODST was released. 2010’s Halo: Reich marked Bungi’s swansong for the franchise, helping to make it, and the start of a four-year release for the studio, before the first Destiny was released in 2014.
This November, Destiny 2 will kick off its fourth year, slightly later than planned, with a new expansion of Beyond Light on current and next-gen consoles. Since his departure from Activision, Bungie has dropped its previous arrangement, where parts and extensions of each new Destiny game were previously released on PlayStation platforms – a longtime bugbear for Xbox owners.
Then, in July this year, Bungie and Microsoft announced the launch of the upcoming Beyond Light directly on the Xbox Game Pass, marking a new casualty for the two companies. Destiny 2 and its current expansion Forsaken and ShadowKit are also now available through Microsoft’s subscription service.
I have contacted Microsoft and Bungie for comments.