Yesterday, Sony had announced that they have acquired Bungie, the studio behind the popular online roleplaying game/shooter Destiny 2. CEO Jim Ryan in his statement asserted that Bungie will remain as an independent studio and went through great lengths to assure consumers that creativity and platform neutrality would be untouched.
This being shortly announced after Microsoft acquired Activision Blizzard has naturally raised eyebrows in the online community. Even so, company acquisitions can take several months to a year of negotiations and procedure, so it is unlikely this purchase was a knee-jerk reaction on Sony’s part.
That being said, this has shown that both companies have taken on a new direction of expansion, seeking to increase their influence over the videogame market with their purchases of these high-profile companies.
So now the question on everyone’s mind is, who’s next?
Let’s address the Snake in the room, if there is any company that is overdue for a change in management, it is Konami or, as Yu-Gi-Oh fans have colloquially called them, Ko-money.
Before this year, their last successful original game release was Pro Evolution Soccer 2019 which garnered a 79 metascore on Metacritic, which hardly had an imaginative subject matter (sorry football (or soccer) fans.) Meanwhile, Metal Gear Survive was disliked by the fanbase and their most recent release of eFootball PES, is one of the lowest rated games on Steam.
Thankfully, Yu-Gi-Oh Master Duel has somewhat redeemed the company’s game portfolio, but adapting their card game into the virtual space was something long overdue; it is hardly worthy of praise. It’s clear that Konami is creatively bankrupt and have no clue how to utilise their intellectual properties.
Microsoft and Sony would certainly enjoy reviving any of Konami’s franchises, especially after how much success the God of War series met after its reboot. Meanwhile Konami would appreciate being able to shift responsibility and focus on what really matters….Pachinko machines baby! Woo!
A collection of characters from Konami games.
Another company that people speculate will be purchased is Square Enix, the company behind critically acclaimed MMORPG Final Fantasy XIV that currently does not have a free trial due to server congestion.
Yet, in contrast to Konami, Square Enix is still respected in the gaming community and has seen multiple successful releases in recent years. Upon closer inspection however, you will notice that as far as original games, the reception has been mixed. Role-playing games such as the Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest series have met positive reviews, but they seem to struggle in other franchises.
Notably, Left Alive which was based on the Front Mission games was panned by fans and critics.
With close ties to Sony as seen with their exclusivity of the upcoming Final Fantasy XVI game, it wouldn’t be unusual to see a formal joining of forces. Furthermore, Sony would certainly be interested in utilising some of Square’s talent and properties to compete with Microsoft’s library of action shooters, which may have been the intent behind the Bungie purchase.
A common theme you may notice with my predictions is an under-utilisation or non-use of IPs. Ubisoft certainly is guilty of this as they are content with releasing Far Cry, Assassins Creed, Rainbox Six and Just Dance over and over again. Any attempts to go outside that formula is hit or miss, with Immortals Fenyx Rising doing reasonably well in contrast to the shutdown of Hyperscape servers just a few days ago. Oh and I guess Rabbids is a thing that exists?
Much like Square Enix, support from a larger company would provide more resources to explore other franchises and diversify their portfolio. Microsoft may be keen to pick this company up as their games seem to fall in line with their image as a western game developer. More importantly however, Ubisoft IPs are treasure trove waiting to be excavated! Lest we forget, we’re expecting a modern release of Beyond Good & Evil, which I’m sure Microsoft would be happy to have as an answer to PlayStation’s God of War.
Beyond Good and Evil 2 official artwork
There are many other studios that could see acquisition, like FromSoftware, Capcom or maybe even Electronic Arts. Given their circumstances, my opinion is that they wouldn’t agree to an acquisition since it wouldn’t really benefit their interests as development studios or publishers.
Either way, it seems we’re entering a new era in the gaming industry as we feel the tremors of corporate culture approach sacred ground.
What are your thoughts on the situation? Do you think I’m wrong? Go wild with your thoughts in the comment box! Or better yet join our Discord and disagree with me directly, or chat with our friendly community!