Bungie-Activision contract calls for Destiny in 2013

Developer's contract with Activision calls for timed exclusivity of MMO-style first game on Xbox 360 and Xbox 720; Marathon revamp mentioned.

When Bungie signed its publishing partnership with Activision, the developer committed to four games and four downloadable add-ons in eight years, with the first set for release exclusively on the Xbox 360 and its successor in 2013, according to the Los Angeles Times. A PlayStation 3 version of the game would be planned to follow in the fall of 2014. The details come from Bungie's 2010 contract with Activision, which was recently unsealed as part of the publisher's ongoing legal dispute with Jason West and Vince Zampella, co-founders of original Call of Duty studio Infinity Ward.

Bungie has been using the Destiny code name to tease its next project.

The paper reports that the original agreement had Bungie on the hook to deliver four "massively multiplayer-style…sci-fantasy, action shooter games" under the code name "Destiny." The quartet would kick off in the fall of 2013 with a game for the Xbox 360 and its successor, with subsequent installments to launch every second year thereafter for Sony's consoles and PCs as well. For the years in between those main installments in the series, Bungie would produce downloadable expansion packs under the code name "Comet." The first such add-on was slated to hit in 2014.

In addition to the Activision projects, the contract revealed a possible revamp of Bungie's Marathon series of shooters. Under the agreement, Bungie can devote up to 5 percent of its staff to work on an action shooter prototype for the franchise.

The deal also lays out royalty payments and bonuses for the developer, with Bungie receiving 20-35 percent of operating income from its titles, and $2.5 million a year from 2010 through 2013 if it met certain milestones. Bungie will also receive $2.5 million if the first title in the Destiny series receives an average critic score of 90 or better on GameSpot sister site and reviews aggregator GameRankings.com.

Bungie hasn't detailed release plans or platforms for its first series for Activision, and these plans were only current as of the April 16, 2010, signing of the contract. The deal was signed just four days after West and Zampella announced a partnership with Electronic Arts for their new studio, Respawn Entertainment.

As of press time, an Activision representative had not returned GameSpot's request for comment.

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160 comments
Crush_Project
Crush_Project

i dont really dig activision, and i havent liked much from bungie in a long while, but marathon was one of my favorites.

 

Durandal for president!

nima_metal90
nima_metal90

every time activision fails i AM GLAD! hahaha...

Maelsthur
Maelsthur

I dont like Activitision, was a dissapoint when I knew about bungie's and Activision contrat and more dissapoint for infinity ward, but bungie is free to do anything with that project, plus is invinity ward ppl is working with them, I hope be wrong but some COD influences can be there, I like halo but I am specting something diferent no Halo, no F@g fo duty.

LesserAngel
LesserAngel

Seems to me the next thing to saturate the video game market will be SciFi Shooter MMOs. I can think of three off the top of my head: Planetside 2, Dust 514 (My pick for which one I'll play.), and now this.

Axe_Armor
Axe_Armor

Why do I have a feeling that this is just going to be Halo but with different looking combat armor. Also, ew. Activision. 

lifemeister
lifemeister

First person shooter, plus MMO...AND, if they put in some forging, then it will sell.  I think that's the future of games - allowing gamers to forge their own worlds, stories...kind of like Minecraft.  It's hit or miss...

namdar
namdar

I'll wait.. I mean I waited for Duke Nukem 4  and that turned out great right?

 

silentscorn
silentscorn

sorry but i just have a very strong feeling that their new game won't blow people away the same way halo did. they went way downhill with halo reach, so my expectations and anticipations are extremely low for their new game.

deviant74
deviant74

Bungie was going for this cheap and RI gave a start up 75 million. 

TheDWD27
TheDWD27

sounded kinda interesting until i heard ACTIVISION

Vodoo
Vodoo

Activision is gonna make Bungie do Call of Duty.... IN SPACE!!!

kkee
kkee

If I have to wait a year for the same game to come out on PC or PS3/4, don't expect me to buy it Bungie.

DudeoftheRock
DudeoftheRock

If Bungie can survive Microsoft they can survive Activison. I still have great faith in Bungie.

ydnarrewop
ydnarrewop

Well sounds interesting enough. I wonder if all the chips will fall in the right places?

The-Neon-Seal
The-Neon-Seal

Bungie, after being one of the few developers to 'get things consistantly right' over the last decade, need to tread vvvveeeerrrrryyyy carefully now...

fillup0
fillup0

I think Activision is going to run Bungie right into the ground. They had more freedom with MICROSOFT of all companies! A 3 year gap between each Halo game! Games take longer to make now, yet publishers are giving less and less time. Not to Mention Bungie lost a lot of members to 343 industries...

MooncalfReviews
MooncalfReviews

The only sincere MMO effort for consoles that I can think of was FFXI, and that still has a massive fan base on consoles. If they made this decent, free-roaming MMO world with typical Bunjie shooter action, I don't see any reason for it to fail. Contrary to popular belief, consoles can handle more than 16 people in one area.

DuskStrider
DuskStrider

A few people commenting seem to be a little confused. The game will be an "MMO", there has been no word of it being an MMORPG. 

 

Ex-DarkBlade
Ex-DarkBlade

Bungie should have stayed with Microsoft.

FoxbatAlpha
FoxbatAlpha

" Bungie will also receive $2.5 million if the first title in the Destiny series receives an average critic score of 90 or better on GameSpot sister site and reviews aggregator GameRankings.com."

This says a whole lot about the reviews you read.  More like a pay to win game.

joujou264
joujou264

Is this a counter attack to Dust? Seems like so, they both are sci-fi shooters, and are MMO's.

warhawk-geeby
warhawk-geeby

2014 for PS3?

 

Well that's weird..  I kind of expected the new consoles for all parties to be out by then.

 

I'll keep an eye on it that's for sure, but I'm pretty 'shooter'erd out at the moment.

 

Providing it lives up to the brilliance that was Halo 1 & 2 then i'll be interested.  After that though I pretty much lost interest in Bungie.

crazylemonzXP
crazylemonzXP

um excited 2 see what bungie will do with this new title, but besides the name, i don't this it will be that different from fps mmo that other game devolpers dish out, still i will follow this til i got a better look at what this game is.Maybe e3 will short out my questions.

Albaficas
Albaficas

and i expect that game to be a copy of dust 514

ps3 then they will port it to the ps4

 

bungie do the same

 

but anw CCP has WAY brains..they know how mmos works bungie nothing at all

quality,gameplay CCP-DUST514 already won this 

Albaficas
Albaficas

console mmo ?

its gonna fail big time dont care if its bungie or wtf big studios

the game will be dead in less than 6months

zaiwen
zaiwen

Call of Destiny or Call of Halo? LMFAO

u1tradt
u1tradt

Xbox 720? Is that really professional, now? I find it difficult swallowing the term 'Next Xbox' from you guys and now you're officially calling it the Xbox 720? As the member below me has said, you should avoid using speculative terms as fact. Just call it the next Xbox (notice there is no capital letter on the word 'next') and hope you get away with it if Microsoft decide not to continue the 'Xbox' name.

 

I, for one, can't see how they could continue the Xbox name and stay original at the same time; it's probably time to evolve from it.

Slagar
Slagar

Xbox 720 - is that the official name? If not, I think the press should try to avoid stating speculative terms as fact. Not everyone reads game news as much as you do!

PlatinumPaladin
PlatinumPaladin

"The deal also lays out royalty payments and bonuses for the developer, with Bungie receiving 20-35 percent of operating income from its titles, and $2.5 million a year from 2010 through 2013 if it met certain milestones." Uh-oh! Sounds like someone's getting fired. Has Microsoft payed big money to get this first game as an exclusive? It's not like Activision to miss an opportunity to make some money by pimping a game out to everyone.

drivemuse
drivemuse

 @varunvikram1 lol agreed. But alot of people don't so they probably will make an assload of money :P

lifemeister
lifemeister

 @silentscorn

 I agree - seemed they lacked motivation and creativity for Halo Reach.  Especially since they slapped on the multiplayer maps.

Ovirew
Ovirew

 @kkee Why?  Because you have to have it RIGHT AWAY?

UberSPARTAN264
UberSPARTAN264

 @DudeoftheRock how can you say that they blew halo with halo reach!!!!!   I still have my doubts about 343 but they will make halo better.

Ovirew
Ovirew

 @fillup0 It would be nice if they gave more development time to games and made them more unique, but unfortunately the game industry would probably start charging us more for each game or something.

ExtremePhobia
ExtremePhobia

 @MooncalfReviews Actually, it doesn't even have to be a shooter (thought it's Activision so I'm sure that's probably what they want/expect). Bungie did make Myth after all too.

PixelAddict
PixelAddict

 @FoxbatAlpha  And, on the flip side of that coin, it tells of how much impact a poorly written "lower tier" reviewer can make on people's paychecks.  Go to metacritic.com right now and click on the critics reviews tab for a current game.. say Max Payne 3.  Some of those sites are... sketchy.

 

$2.5 million is a big check to bank on the "sketchy" coming through with insight and intelligible thought.  No? 

JimmeyBurrows
JimmeyBurrows

 @warhawk-geeby Think how long the PS1 lived and the PS2 still going now.

As for an mmo shooter, I did enjoy MAG for a while, an improved version of that would be nice... But not interested if it's Halo/Cod clone.

MooncalfReviews
MooncalfReviews

What's wrong with "Xbox 3" or "Xbox 720"? I'd rather that than name it something dorky like the "Wii-U" or "Vita".

deathstream
deathstream

@Slagar "720" is only used in the subheader to save space. It is not used in the article.

PlatinumPaladin
PlatinumPaladin

@Slagar Glad to see you didn't miss the point of this article. I'll be surprised if 720 is the final name for it, but it's an apt working title that's been around for a few years now. Wouldn't be the first time a game or hardware has been known as one thing and given a new title at the last minute.

kkee
kkee

 @Ovirew I don't have to play it right away, but why should I get excited for a 2013 game released in 2014 as a simple port, probably with no improvements (as they'll be working on the expansion pack and next game in the series) and when new games coming out in 2014 will probably blow it away?

Norrie91
Norrie91

"Xbox 3" on its own just sounds silly considering the 2nd (Current One) was called the Xbox [3]60. And 720 just sounds silly altogether  to me and lots of other people apparently.

PlatinumPaladin
PlatinumPaladin

@u1tradt Are you referring to the "...someone's getting fired" comment?

Ovirew
Ovirew

 @kkee Yeah, but then that 2014 sequel won't come out until 2015 right?

 

And also, a year isn't really that much time.  There have been games that got ported to other consoles over a year later.  A lot of 360 exclusive games, mainly JRPGs, have been since ported to the PS3 over a year later.  And some of them still did pretty well despite that.

 

I guess my opinion is that if the game is really good and worth getting, then it will be worth getting and playing over a year after its release.  If it isn't, then is it even worth getting at all?

PlatinumPaladin
PlatinumPaladin

@u1tradt No I appreciate that you weren't taking issue with the credibility of what I said. What I meant was that it appeared you had issue with the credibility of the X-IW guys. I wasn't trying to turn this into a long-winded discussion about the whole affair. It was just a joke. Now if you'll excuse me I'm going to go facepalm myself with a brick wall.

u1tradt
u1tradt

Regarding my post: I meant they grossed upwards of half a billion, not made gross profits at that amount.

u1tradt
u1tradt

 @PlatinumPaladin  @u1tradt I never said what you said doesn't have credibility; there was no sarcasm in my post.

 

However I, personally, don't have much sympathy with the ex-Infinity Ward guys. As far as I'm concerned Activision got rid of them for disloyalty. Why would Activision sweat about giving them their royalties when they're involved in such a lucrative franchise?

 

I mean you have a franchise here that, for the past 3 years in a row, has made gross profits upwards of half a billion dollars within 5 days of the games's release. Why would Activision worry about a couple of million (at the most) in royalties when they're making that sort of money?

PlatinumPaladin
PlatinumPaladin

@u1tradt The ex-Infinity members accuse Activision of firing them so that they didn't have to be paid their royalties and bonus'. Jokes don't need to take a person's credibility into consideration. I was joking that Activision would cut their deal with Bungie short of paying them the last of the money that they owed.

u1tradt
u1tradt

 @PlatinumPaladin  @u1tradt Well, the whole trial with the ex-Infinity Ward members is based on Activision firing them for conspiring to leave Activision and take their game with them to a direct competitor. Based on that alone, I wouldn't believe everything those ex-Infinity Ward guys are saying. I can't see why or how Activision wouldn't pay Bungie their bonus fees if they meet their targets anyway.

 

I get the Microsoft paying big money part now. You may have a point there. However it also may be possible that their previous contract with Microsoft probably had a clause in it that prevents Bungie from releasing their games on a different platform for a certain amount of time after they eventually do decide to leave Microsoft. That would explain why the game would be released on PS3 2 years later. Although your point also has credibility here.

 

I still don't understand who's going to get fired though.

PlatinumPaladin
PlatinumPaladin

@u1tradt None of it?!? Okay. The part about the first game being an exclusive is fairly self-explanatory. As for the "someone's getting fired" part: the whole royalty payments, bonuses and milestone based payments is part of the charges the ex-Infinity Ward members accuse Activision of not following through with. It's a joke.