Bungie deal similar to what West, Zampella wanted - Report

Activision gave Halo makers terms the ex-Infinity Ward heads sought, according to LA Times; four more Modern Warfare 2 devs surface at Respawn.

As the Infinity Ward-Activision saga dragged on this week, an unexpected new player joined the mix in the form of Bungie. The Halo developer isn't directly related to the publisher's suddenly litigious relationship with the creators of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, but it became a tangent to the story yesterday when it announced an exclusive 10-year deal with Activision for its next original franchise.

"We want a plane with a full tank of gas idling on the runway, $100 million in unmarked bills, and creative control of our intellectual property."

According to an updated Los Angeles Times report, terms of the Bungie deal are similar to what Infinity Ward cofounders Jason West and Vince Zampella had been seeking from Activision before the publisher opted to fire them, triggering a flurry of lawsuits and key Infinity Ward developer departures. According to the publicly revealed parts of the Bungie deal, the developer will retain all creative control over its new intellectual property, while Activision will have the exclusive worldwide publishing and distribution rights to that series for a 10-year window that expires in 2020. The Times cited "people familiar with the situation" for the information.

The paper also gave West and Zampella's attorney Bobby Schwartz a platform to launch a verbal barb at Activision, as the lawyer quipped, "It's astonishing how much money Activision had to pay to cover up its horns and pitchforks with a halo." Financial terms of the Bungie-Activision deal were not publicly disclosed.

The aftermath of the West and Zampella firings continued to take shape today as four more ex-Infinity Ward developers had joined the pair at their new studio, Respawn Entertainment. Designers Preston Glenn, Sean Slayback, Zied Rieke, and Chad Grenier have all updated their LinkedIn profiles to list their current positions at Respawn.

Currently, LinkedIn includes over a dozen developers who list Respawn Entertainment as their employer, all of them having previously worked at Infinity Ward. West and Zampella both have profiles on the professional networking site, but neither has updated them yet with mention of Respawn.

Three of the four newly Respawned developers are also among the 38 current and former Infinity Ward developers who filed suit against Activision this week over unpaid Call of Duty bonuses. The fourth, Sean Slayback, may be listed on the suit as John Slayback.

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Discussion

136 comments
athenian29
athenian29

@klzthe13th I didn't say Halo was dead. I said Bungie was done with Halo. Re-read.

klzthe13th
klzthe13th

@PhantomTurkey; @athenian29 no halo will not come to the ps3, and halo is not dead. 343 Industries, the creators of Halo Wars and most of the novels are going to take it over. There is a very large possibility that they will be making a Halo 4 starting next year, but, since its Microsoft published, its not going to be available to other consoles.

athenian29
athenian29

@PhantomTurkey Don't count on it. After Reach is out the door and patched/DLC'ed up, Bungie is done with Halo for good. No more second-guessing or lookin' back. It's been a wild 10 years... :)

PhantomTurkey
PhantomTurkey

Hopefully this means they will bring Halo to PS3.

aarow82
aarow82

Bungie worked well with Microsoft, why not Activision?

Lov3IsPAiN
Lov3IsPAiN

yeah , Activision is f*cking every posible developer ? Hope that Bungie is gonna be better than IW .

acsam12304
acsam12304

Bungie will get so much pressure from Activition to make games every year. i bet if Bungie says we wants a few years to make a COD so it can be fresh and new. i bet Activtion will say "no the deal line is soon so get to work or we wont pay you on what we agree on"

viracocha72
viracocha72

@Jaggermaster oh well........at least you got some lulz out of it over on Joystiq, unless you just copy/pasted what that person wrote, which I'll admit was funny the first time I read it.

jmcmanj
jmcmanj

Heyyyy. why isnt halo one of the related games?

YIRock
YIRock

i'll betcha bungie will create the future COD games...shame because they will be just like Halo, which i really dont like =( but either ways the people at respawn entertainment will make a more kick-ass shooter than COD =)

boricuasnake04
boricuasnake04

well i would be selling my stock in IW about right now before activision looses even more money especially with a piece of junk developer like bungie they suck

Hvac0120
Hvac0120

Almost seems like Activision made a business plan to weed out Infinity Ward and bring Bungie in as their replacement. You know...? One shooter company for another... _

trollkind
trollkind

Respawn is the most aptly named studio ever.

SirMordredX
SirMordredX

@theWanderer80 Rofl, wanna bet? How about your life's savings? I certainly won't. Bungie are the "Most Awesomest", and they haven't gotten to where they are by just sitting around making crappy sports games like EA tends to do. Plus, you obviously didn't read that Activision would give full creative control to Bungie...so just go take your jealousy into some dark corner and stay there.

Trogeton
Trogeton

stop being so judgmental ..How many times has bungie let us down?? Yeah that is why I'm not worried.. and I never really had an issue with activision anyways.. I like games from both developers

theWanderer80
theWanderer80

HAHAHAHA!!! Bungie must be stupider than they seem! A deal with Activision... for a whole decade! Bungie won't last 5 years let alone 10 under Activision's rule.

eitremn
eitremn

and everyone hated EA...

smbius
smbius

A 10-year deal doesn't mean they will have 10 years of great games. It's just a contract. If Activision gets in the way of Bungie, game over Activision.

ivanfred
ivanfred

...According to an updated Los Angeles Times report, terms of the Bungie deal are similar to what Infinity Ward co-founders Jason West and Vince Zampella had been seeking from Activision before the publisher opted to fire them... =========== This statement must have hit former employees of Infinity Ward like a kick in the 'nads.

Sparticus1013
Sparticus1013

Whats the total up to for IW employees who've jumped ship? Last I remember it was 27, but that was a few days ago so who knows. At the rate it was going it might be up to 40 now for all I know. The more I hear this story the more I fall in love with it.

Panic_Jester
Panic_Jester

@athenian29 thats unlikely i mean the money that they have made off the cod and guitar hero franchise and whatever else, not to mention their merging buddy blizzard to bail them out.

strayfies
strayfies

Well, let's hope Activision turns a new leaf on this. They've been getting into trouble lately and it's only going to make devs less tempted to leave microsoft's grip if they see Bungie as another example.

athenian29
athenian29

@Jaggermaster You forget that Bungie can quit, just like IW. And if Activision pulled the same stunt again, we'd never hear from them again - except in history textbooks, and when all their holdings are getting auctioned off.

Jaggermaster
Jaggermaster

@cv735 You forget we're talking about Activision!

cv735
cv735

@Jaggermaster That works except Activision owned Infinity Ward, they do not own Bungie hence making your little scenario impossible.

Jaggermaster
Jaggermaster

Kotick: "So Bungie ... I noticed that your big game with Microsoft managed to sell over 25 million units so far ... now that we're partners you think you can do something like that for us? Staten: "Well we actually wanted to start something new and fresh, we've been doing Halo for so long that its really great we have this new opportunity to start something creative and new" Kotick: "Yeah about that ... I think it would be best if you guys do something like a perfect marriage between Halo and Call of Duty and see where it takes us" Staten: "Um ... I don't think we ... Kotick: "Come on Staten you want this shirt to start well you better gave me something that can is prestigious enough to have itself on an energy drink cover" Staten: " You do realize that we are indepen.. Kotick" Oh shut up with that sh1t you don't want to be another Infinity Ward do you?" Staten " uuuuuhhh..." Kotick: *Pulls whip* " NAOW BIATCH MAK ME SOM MANIES"

slickvic1990
slickvic1990

I would have gave them the deal, especially after the ridiculous success of Modern Warfare 2.

endocrine
endocrine

@KillerWabbit23 That does not mean activision cannot create a near endless legal battle with Bungie if Bungie wants more money or if Activision is not happy with the state of their relationship. While it is true Activision cannot control them "directly", there are many things they can do to destroy Bungie. Just look at how many companies that worked for Activision (but were not a part of Activision) that no longer exist. Activison is a bane to this industry, making it in to a one run by a cartel.

BulletsnOctane
BulletsnOctane

"It's astonishing how much money Activision had to pay to cover up its horns and pitchforks with a halo." Love this.

KillerWabbit23
KillerWabbit23

Gah, for god's sake everyone, stop nerd raging! ACTIVISION DOES NOT OWN HALO. BUNGIE CAN DO WHATEVER THEY WANT. ACTIVISION HAS LITTLE TO NO SAY IN WHAT THEY DO. THEY CAN'T FIRE BUNGIE EMPLOYEES. BUNGIE WILL NOT BE MAKING CALL OF DUTY. Jeesh, guys...

beprice3
beprice3

@ Valas_Azuviir It's nothing like it. Twist it any way you want. They have nothing to do with the development of the game. They don't own Bungie. They cant have another developer make a spin off game, without Bungie's say so. Bungie will own the rights to the game(s) they let Activision publish. The deal is only for one IP. So WTF does anything you said about the IW situation have to do with this deal. I'll tell you, nothing. I swear to god. Some of you need to learn how to read.

blancobo
blancobo

The more Activision seeks financial terms with Bungie as the ones that IW was seeking... the more they look guilty to me. Now it is almost impossible to think that Activision is merely looking to pay whatever money for the MW franchise. Since the previous deal included that Activision owns the MW IP... the less interest they have in keeping ZW from IW because of their tumultuous relationship. This looks as if Activision set this up to pay some money for the removal of IW while giving space to a top notch dev like Bungie with a clean slate. Activision looks more guilty with every new news report out.

xeromus
xeromus

Sportsfan282's comment is perfect. In addition you have to remember that they may still make Halo. They will not be published by Activision. Most likely Microsoft. This only applies to one IP. They can always make other titles that can be published by other companies. Activision is a soulless money grubbing slut, but that's exactly why Bungie signed on with them. It frees them up to make games, not to sell them. I think all things considered they made a pretty good move, it'll take time to see what comes of it. The whole Infinity Ward fiasco came about because Activision was getting their grubby mitts too involved in the workings on the studio. I feel the publisher-developer relationship needs to be very laissez-faire. Activision does not know how to make games, they know how to make money. That's why they should both stick to what they do best and not interfere with each other. You see this in all publisher relationships. Writer takes a book to a publisher, they want to publish it. But then the publisher is like "we think you should change this and that". It really depends them on the quality of work and the writer's prestige that determines whether they can tell the publisher to go suck a $% or not.

ipikisis
ipikisis

Let's see, we'll see ...

Swedish_Chef
Swedish_Chef

@CoolKidX They probably have some sort of deal in place where they have to create x amount of games over the 10 years, but Activision has no say in what those games are.

-Snooze-
-Snooze-

It's going to be an excellent game, let down by pricey DLC. The positives outweight the negatives by quite a margin

Valas_Azuviir
Valas_Azuviir

@Beprice3 On the contrary, it's remarkably similar. Activision signed a memorandum of understanding with the two head honcho's of IW. In exchange for IW working on MW2, IW would get certain things in return. Said things being not that different from what Bungie is getting now, plus IW would get the opportunity to buy itself free, like Bungie did with Microsoft. Activision did not live up to its end of the bargain, the IW chaps did stick to theirs. Hence, also why some of their own employees are suing them, IWEG isn't just former employees, but also still current ones. And you don't sue your boss unless he's really mucking you up.

jedikevin2
jedikevin2

@ Sportsfan282 Thank you man. I didn't feel like explaining it to the ignorant but you hit it right on the head. Everyone should read down and read his comment.

beprice3
beprice3

@ everyone. Try reading Sportsfan282 post. Its short, legible, and doesn't use too many big words. Hope it helps with the people that refuse to read these articles, but post comments anyway.

beprice3
beprice3

@ Fernin-Ker This is no where near the same thing they "told" IW. They owned IW. Do you actually read what is going on, or just make it up as you go?

Xuix
Xuix

lol its like people think bungie didn't exist before halo. Derp Marathon, Derp Myth series.

Ravenor12345678
Ravenor12345678

@ IKIRYIPT, yeah because it's not like Activision have ever gone against contractual obligations in an effort to grab as much cash as possible without paying those responsible for the success the money they are due. Oh wait...

Fernin-Ker
Fernin-Ker

@IKIRYIPT First: Learn what punctuation and capitalization are, you need them, badly... Second: This is about the same thing they told IW, and look how that turned out!

Shardz7
Shardz7

Everything Activision touches turns to poop in the end. Good luck, Bungie! You'll be needing it!

mightEone
mightEone

Will be interesting. Can Bungie make something trully great? Or will they forever be known as the Halo guys? Similiar to a child actor... no matter how many movies he makes, he will always be known as McLuvin! You get what I'm saying?

Timmy_Jimmy
Timmy_Jimmy

Just don't publish a game in 10 years and you'll make money, right?

IKIRYIPT
IKIRYIPT

are you guys retards who think bungie will suffer because of this deal. Listen bungie has complete control over there new ip. The sweet thing is the game will be multi plat and bungie can focus on finishing the game its been in development for 7 months ruomor is its a open world sandbox GTA killer ? while activision pays for all the pr this game will sell advertising genius is what activision is whats nice is for ten years bungie can sit back and relax while activision pays the bills and do what they love and thats give us gamers good games ps3 gamers u should really embrace this