We start today with big news for Bungie. The Destiny and former Halo studio has announced it is parting ways with Activision after a nine-year partnership, and it’s bringing Destiny with it.
While Bungie has been an independent studio since parting ways with Microsoft in 2007, a 10-year publishing agreement with Activision for Destiny essentially locked them down. This deal was inked in April 2010 and so it is only coming to an end slightly earlier than previously expected.
“With Activision, we created something special,” writes Bungie and the Destiny Dev Team in a letter to fans. “To date, Destiny has delivered a combination of over 50 million games and expansions to players all around the world.
“We have enjoyed a successful eight-year run and would like to thank Activision for their partnership on Destiny. Looking ahead, we’re excited to announce plans for Activision to transfer publishing rights for Destiny to Bungie. With our remarkable Destiny community, we are ready to publish on our own, while Activision will increase their focus on owned IP projects.”
We doubt there are going to be many tears shed for the breakdown of this particular relationship. Bungie has proven itself as one of the most capable first-person shooter studios in the world over the years, although some questionable decision-making has certainly marred Destiny’s success. Whether that was down to Bungie or to the suits at Activision, we just don’t know, but Bungie will have full creative control going forward.
One of the main bugbears of the publishing deal was that Bungie was required to hit a strict timeline of DLC, expansions and new games, leading to content that was pushed out merely to hit a schedule. Destiny and Destiny 2 have enjoyed some fantastic expansions, and they’re also suffered some of the worst. Going forward it is at least always in the creators’ hands.