In a rather unsurprising move by Bungie, it seems that the 500 million dollar franchise has finally been taken to one side of the publisher-developer relationship. An official statement by the company says:
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.
With Activision, we created something special. To date, Destiny has delivered a combination of over 50 million games and expansions to players all around the world. More importantly, we’ve also witnessed a remarkable community – tens of millions of Guardians strong – rise up and embrace Destiny, to play together, to make and share memories, and even to do truly great things that reach far beyond the game we share, to deliver a positive impact on people’s everyday lives.
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.
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.
Thank you so much for your continued support. Our success is owed in no small part to the incredible community of players who have graced our worlds with light and life. We know self-publishing won’t be easy; there’s still much for us to learn as we grow as an independent, global studio, but we see unbounded opportunities and potential in Destiny. We know that new adventures await us all on new worlds filled with mystery, adventure, and hope. We hope you’ll join us there.
See you starside.
What may as well be a contender for “Gaming News Of The Year” for being the biggest split in the industry in recent times, it seems to come off the back of an extremely strained relationship between the developer and publisher. According to various insiders, the employees at Bungie weren’t exactly happy in their dealings with Activision, even before the release of the first Destiny. The publisher’s “only-sales” directed approach and pressure from fans drove Bungie into a corner.
Destiny 2’s latest expansion, Forsaken, failed to meet the sales expectations of the money hungry publisher which might have the last straw. Whatever may be the case, BUNGIE IS FREE and that is of utmost importance. Under Activision, they had to meet sales expectations, release annual expansions or games while also having to fight off disgruntled fans over the multiple expansions.
It is also reported that they are making a new game thanks to an investment by a Chinese company, NetEase, who have put in $100 million for making something non-Destiny. As per their site:
At Bungie, our purpose is to build worlds that inspire friendship. For over twenty-five years, through Marathon, Myth, Oni, Halo, and Destiny, we’ve created fantastic places where players have gathered to become heroes. Now, our long-term goal is to become an entertainment company that sustains many worlds simultaneously – Destiny and new worlds to come.Today, we’re excited to announce that we’ve entered into a new partnership with NetEase to help us explore new directions. With their industry expertise, they’ll empower us to build new worlds and invite players, new and old, to join us there. They’ll help us support separate teams inside Bungie to bring our newest ambitions to life.If you’re a player of Destiny, this news won’t impact the hobby you’ve come to know. Destiny is an experience that will grow for many years to come. We’ll continue to work with our partners at Activision to foster this global community and turn new players from all over the world into Guardians. Our commitment to that world is not diminished by this announcement. We have exciting plans for the future of the Destiny franchise, and you’ll learn more about the next steps we’ll take together in the weeks to come.For now, we’re grateful for the opportunity to welcome NetEase to the family. We have a bold vision to explore with them, but that is all a conversation for another time.