Bungie has issued an update on its official channels announcing that they will be splitting from the partnership with Activision that birthed the Destiny franchise. The almost decade-long deal has changed quite a bit since it was first announced, and it seems like the two companies have decided to part ways, though nothing is set in stone quite yet.
Bungie initially partnered after it broke free from Microsoft in a bid to create something entirely new after years spent developing the Halo series. The developer had supposedly been working on the idea for Destiny for some time, but needed a publishing partner to make it happen. They turned to Activision to help them secure the funding necessary to make their vision a reality. However, as these things go, Activision initially envisioned Destiny and future sequels receiving yearly updates, DLC, and more. Word is that Activision was unhappy with the pace of development on Destiny and its expansions. This led to years of raised tensions between Bungie and its publisher.
With that in mind, Bungie posted to the company website today that they were in the early stages of extracting themselves from the partnership they've maintained with Activision since 2010. Despite the difficulties behind-the-scenes, Bungie's announcement thanked Activision for their eight-year partnership which has led to Destiny becoming a recognizable force in the industry and public landscape.
Part of the statement clarified the future of both Bungie and Activision:
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.
The planned transition process is already underway in its early stages, with Bungie and Activision both committed to making sure the handoff is as seamless as possible.
In other words, Bungie will assume full creative and publishing control of Destiny and become an independent developer. They will be able to publish whatever they please for PC platforms and will be free to work on their own with console manufacturers to get their games onto various devices. Activision, meanwhile, will be freed up to focus on its own projects.
This feels like a positive move for both companies, though it does leave Activision in a strange place where its only major franchise will be Call of Duty. If popularity for that game series dips, they could be in a really tight place with such an open publishing slate. For Bungie and everyone who has followed their development history, this is an exciting and risky time. While they will be continuing to work on Destiny for the foreseeable future, their departure from Activision probably means that they will be able to work on other game concepts - and gamers should be excited to see more games from the people who brought Halo and Destiny into the world. All things come to an end, but something even better might be just around the corner.
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