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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