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PlayStation Boss Praises Bungie's Live-Service Strength After Buyout News

"Many people have tried to build a successful live service, and failed."


Sony's $3.6 billion acquisition of Destiny developer Bungie is the big news this week, and now PlayStation boss Hermen Hulst has shed some more light on the deal and what it means.

Appearing on the official PlayStation podcast, Hulst said Bungie has succeeded and prospered in the live-service category, which is no easy task. Sony wants to do much more in the space, just recently announcing plans to launch 10 live-service games by 2026, so snapping up Bungie aligned with its goals. Hulst also had praise for Bungie's first big series, Halo, which he said is one of the best shooter franchises ever. But Destiny goes even further in Hulst's eyes.

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"And then there's Destiny, a series still going strong after eight years, I think. Many people have tried to build a successful live service, and failed. Because it's really hard," Hulst said. "So Destiny's success is very special. I'm also impressed by the production values from them, in terms of technology, graphics, performance capture, sound and music…all of that is really top-class at Bungie."

Outside of being a studio with a live-service pedigree, Hulst said Bungie has a trademark for excellence in gameplay and mechanics.

"Everyone in gaming knows that Bungie's gameplay is one of the benchmarks. It always feels fluid, it's always very responsive, easy to pick up, and hard to put down," he said. "They've either started or perfected so many innovations in their games. I follow their design choices very closely..."

Hulst was working at Killzone studio Guerrilla Games when Bungie was still developing Halo games, so he said he knows this well. Halo and Killzone were competitors in the first-party space, but Killzone never popped in the way that Halo did. Now it's come full circle, as Bungie will be developing games as part of the Sony umbrella.

Also during the interview, Hulst clarified that he is unable to touch on specifics as it relates to the collaborative opportunities between PlayStation and Bungie because the deal isn't signed yet. But Hulst said he has worked with Bungie's Jason Jones and Pete Parsons for some time already, and he's excited to do more. "Let me tell you that everyone's very excited for Bungie and PlayStation Studios to share ideas, share some of our battle scars as well. And really, just learn from each other," he said.

Bungie will be an independent studio within the Sony Interactive Entertainment banner, and the studio will continue to release Destiny 2 and future projects--like its new IP--on multiple platforms.

Sony's deal to buy Bungie was announced not long after Microsoft confirmed its intent to acquire Activision Blizzard for $68.7 billion. For more on the Sony/Bungie deal, check out GameSpot's roundup of PlayStation's first-party games and studios and our deep dive into how Sony is looking at Destiny's future beyond games.

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