IN A NUTSHELL:
- Bungie parts with their long-time publisher – Activision;
- The IP right to Destiny will be given to the developer;
- The PC version of Destiny 2 will remain available on Battle.net;
- Bungie has found a new investor in the form of NetEase. Thanks to the agreement with the Chinese, the developers have acquired $100 million.
Not far into 2019, and we’ve got a first, really big reshuffling in the industry. First, we heard about the sale of Nexon, Korea’s biggest gaming company, and only a few days later, Bungie – the studio responsible for the MMO shooter series Destiny – decided to end their eight-year long cooperation with Activision. At the same time, the developer takes over the rights to the franchise. The information was provided in a recent entry on the company’s website.
When we first launched our partnership with Activision in 2010, the gaming industry was in a pretty different place. As an independent studio setting out to build a brand new experience, we wanted a partner willing to take a big leap of faith with us. We had a vision for Destiny that we believed in, but to launch a game of that magnitude, we needed the support of an established publishing partner.
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 – as the statement reads.
The entry also emphasizes how much the developers have learned while working on the Forsaken expansion, indicating at the same time the direction in which they would like develop the brand.
With Forsaken, we’ve learned, and listened, and leaned in to what we believe our players want from a great Destiny experience. Rest assured there is more of that on the way. We’ll continue to deliver on the existing Destiny roadmap, and we’re looking forward to releasing more seasonal experiences in the coming months, as well as surprising our community with some exciting announcements about what lies beyond, we read further.
It is worth noting that despite the parting of the developer and the publisher, the PC edition of Destiny 2 will still work on the Battle.net platform.
Bungie's decision is certainly a sudden one, although it may be due to the fact that we’ve heard absolutely nothing about it beforehand, which is a rare thing in the Internet age. However, the tensions between the two companies were no secret. Destiny 2, although initially sold well, wasn’t as successful with keeping the players interested (also thanks to a few really weak DLC) and was a source of numerous controversies, related to the game’s microtransaction, among others. The developers made a big effort and regained community’s trust with the Forsaken expansion, but Activision was still not satisfied with the amount of money it earned from the game. Perhaps now will finally know whether it was the developer, who was responsible for the bad ideas and the general state of Destiny 2, or the pressure from the publisher.
But before you let our imagination run wild, we should warn you to moderate your expectations for Bungie's independence. The company did part with Activision, but found a new investor in the Chinese giant NetEase (yes, the same one who works with Blizzard Entertainment on the highly controversial Diablo Immortal project). The Chinese have offered the developer $100 million. Will this money allow them to influence Bungie’s creative process? We may learn the answer to this question when the studio’s new game, which is said to be already in production, eventually comes out.
- Bungie official homepage
- Activision official homepage
- NetEase official homepage