Xbox considered buying Bungie and Housemarque

Xbox Considered Buying Bungie and Housemarque Before Sony Nabbed Them

Documents unsealed during the ongoing Microsoft/Activision vs. FTC court proceedings reveal that the Xbox maker considered reacquiring Bungie and purchasing Finnish studio Housemarque as recently as 2021. While Housemarque was in Microsoft’s “consideration set,” Bungie made it to the company’s final “watchlist.”

Bungie and Housemarque were Microsoft’s top candidates for acquisition

An internal Microsoft presentation now made public shows that Xbox had a shopping list of 100+ companies it could potentially acquire, with both Bungie and Housemarque making it to the top 17 candidates for consideration on console and PC. The final watchlist included Bungie, Hitman maker IOI, Supergiant Games, and Zynga (now owned by Take-Two), among others.

This revelation partially confirms a September 2020 report by journalist and insider Jeff Grubb, in which he claimed that Microsoft was in talks to acquire Bungie on several occasions but those talks fell through because of what Microsoft thought was a high price tag. Interestingly, Bungie boss Pete Parsons vehemently denied the rumor at the time, but Microsoft’s presentation seems to partially corroborate Grubb’s report.

As far as the price is concerned, when Sony eventually acquired Bungie in 2022, it paid $3.6 billion for the transaction — a price that many analysts said was too steep. Considering this, Grubb’s report was spot on.