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Bungie Splits With Activision, Will Self-Publish Destiny

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Well Guardians, Bungie and Activision announced some fairly shocking news earlier today… Bungie and Activision are no longer partners and Bungie is retaining full rights to Destiny and will publish the game itself.

Here’s the full announcement from Bungie’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.

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.


Patriot’s Ponderings: So this a big deal, obviously. Overall, this has the POTENTIAL to a big positive for Destiny, Bungie, and us as fans of the game. It’s always great when a company isn’t beholden to another company and its stockholders and is fully free to do what it wants to do. That’s wonderful. That Independence is something others should seek.

With that said, I’ve seen a lot of “goodbye Eververse” and “no more $40 expansions” talk from the community, especially on Reddit.

Eververse isn’t going anywhere, neither are other monetization options. Bungie’s gonna need to fund the game, and that’s beyond base game sales. It’s foolish to think otherwise.

There’s also be a lot of celebrating by the community like it’s Activision that has been the problem with the Destiny franchise. But caution is urged because most of the problems with the game have been with Bungie themselves. If anything, Activision seemed to be lenient, delaying both Destiny and Destiny 2 to allow Bungie more time after Bungie changed directions six or so months before a planned release.

Activision provided a lot of funding, and two additional studios (High Moon Studios who gave us Warmind, and Vicarious Visions who handled the porting of the game to PC as well as the Tangled Shore and story of Forsaken.) It’s safe to assume that neither of the studios, which are owned by Activision, will be involved with Destiny going forward. That’s a big loss.

Last year, Bungie received a $100 million investment from Chinese company NetEase, but that was not for Destiny related content but rather for new games to be developed by Bungie.

So we have a studio that now has a bunch of stuff in the works, without the additional backing of other studios, and who already weren’t pumping out content and sandbox updates at a rate to keep up with the community’s demands.

I want to give Bungie the benefit of the doubt, that this will indeed be a great thing for the franchise going forward. There’s certainly a lot of stuff that I’d like to see happen. But, right now I’d urge cautious optimism of the wild-eyed celebrations that we’re seeing.

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