Bungie Parts Ways With Activision Blizzard, And It's Taking Destiny

A new future for Destiny.

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Now Playing: Bungie Takes Destiny 2 And Parts With Activision Blizzard

Bungie will assume full publishing rights of the Destiny series from Activision, the developer announced on Thursday. This will mark the end of a 10-year contract established in 2010, which saw Activision help Bungie to launch its first post-Halo project after it gained its independence from former owner Microsoft.

The process of transitioning Destiny's publishing from Activision to Bungie has already begun, according to a post on Bungie's website. There's no word on any impact on Destiny 2, and Bungie says its plans are "unchanged." The PC version--which operates using the Activision-owned Blizzard Battle.net launcher--will "still receive full support on BattleNet and we do not anticipate any disruption to our services or your gameplay experience," Blizzard confirmed.

In a statement, Activision said, "Today, we're announcing plans for Bungie to assume full publishing rights and responsibilities for the Destiny franchise. Going forward, Bungie will own and develop the franchise, and Activision will increase its focus on owned IP and other projects. Activision and Bungie are committed to a seamless transition for the Destiny franchise and will continue to work closely together during the transition on behalf of the community of Destiny players around the world."

Both Destiny and Destiny 2 have been uneven games, delivering a mixture of highs and lows, with Bungie often correcting mistakes and offering dramatically improved experiences with post-launch expansions. Destiny 2 in particular has been maligned by some for its use of microtransactions and the Eververse store. While it's difficult to separate decisions made by Bungie versus Activision, some players worried that the latter's influence on the game had resulted in the heavy push of Eververse.

Reports have surfaced in the past about development issues with the series, as Destiny 2 was said to be rebooted at one point. Signs of possible strain between the companies' relationship became public last year following the release of the Forsaken expansion in September. Despite being received much more warmly than the base game, Activision publicly stated that it had been a commercial disappointment. This in turn led to Destiny 2 director Luke Smith responding on Twitter, saying, "We are not disappointed with Forsaken. We set out to build a game that Destiny players would love, and at Bungie, we love it too. Building Destiny for players who love it is and will remain our focus going forward."

In Bungie's new statement regarding the split, it stated, "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."

The news provides no indication of what Destiny's future might hold; Bungie appears to be fully dedicated to it and can perhaps have more freedom in how it handles Destiny 2 and beyond. But we also know part of Bungie is looking elsewhere, as just last year it received $100 million in funding from NetEase to work on non-Destiny projects. Bungie is a massive company, allowing it to work on multiple projects at once, and it insisted the Destiny franchise will "grow for many years to come. Our commitment to that world is not diminished by this announcement."

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Avatar image for yeezer
Yeezer

PLEASE PLEASE rejoin Microsoft. Joseph Staten is now a creative head at Microsoft. Jason Jones still owns and works at Bungie. Them back together would mean everything!

Avatar image for bat725
bat725

@yeezer: Yeah, but, M$ sucks. No self-respecting gamer games on XB1 when you have PS4, Switch, and PC.

Honestly, I can’t believe M$ is still in the game, at this point. It’s like watching a 50-mile long train wreck.

Avatar image for xenomorphalien
XenomorphAlien

@bat725: Okay fanboy.

Avatar image for Barighm
Barighm

@bat725: Well, save for Halo fans, and Bungie under MS was THE reason to own an Xbox. And they didn't disappoint (much).

Avatar image for yeezer
Yeezer

@bat725:

Please don't bring your brand loyalty console fanboy shit here. I want Staten and Jones to work together again. They were the main reason behind Halo's success and created Bungie. Only way that's going to happen is through Microsoft.

Avatar image for bat725
bat725

@yeezer: Poor Xbots. You just can’t fix stupid.

Anyway, Bungie isn’t going back to M$. Get over it and get yourself a decent gaming console or a PC. Anything is better than Xbox.

Avatar image for bat725
bat725

@yeezer: I own PS4, 3DS, Switch, and PC.

But, I don’t own XB1 because it’s a hot piece of garbage with fucking zero 1st party games worth mentioning. No brand loyalty, just good common sense, really. Didn’t mean to offend you, ma’am.

Namasté.

Avatar image for MMX377
MMX377

@yeezer: I am sorry. Bungies made their own decision. They choose to leave. They will be fine without MS and Activision/Blizzard. You can't force or beg them to go back to there.

Let it go. Don't make them regret if you plead them to do so. Let it go because they had fulfilled their purpose for Activision/Blizzard and MS. They will have their new purpose for themselves.

Avatar image for nikon133
nikon133

@yeezer: Joining MS would see them lose PS4 gamers - which is the most lucrative bunch, at the moment.

But they could work with one of more benign publishers - basically anyone but Activision and EA. I think they could work with MS and Sony directly as well - without selling their soul (and exclusivity) to either one.

Avatar image for iamrafy
iAmRafy

@yeezer: Nah, then MS gets the exclusives, exclusives suck, stay indie.

Avatar image for yeezer
Yeezer

@iamrafy:

It would be on Windows 10, either way I want Staten working with Bungie again. That can only happen through Microsoft

Avatar image for Barighm
Barighm

@yeezer: Well, MS did buy a bunch of studios recently. Maybe they will make a play for Bungie? That sounds like a worthwhile investment to me.

Avatar image for Hagan
Hagan

cool

Avatar image for thisistheslam
thisistheslam

Of all the decisions Bungie made splitting from Microsoft to work with Activision is their worst. Microsoft is a very good publisher that has been said to allow a lot of creative freedom and try not to interrupt the process any more than is absolutely necessary. I'm sure Microsoft would gladly take on Destiny if Bungie needed a new publisher but my guess is Bungie will just have to eat the publishing costs directly and become a more nimble, vibrant RPG maker in the future. Destiny 3 is already somewhat doomed because of how shoddy Destiny has been all along. Taken King and Forsaken have been the sole bright spots that have kept the series on life support instead of folding completely. But D3 needs to blow some socks off in 2020 or 2021, whenever it comes, if the game hopes to steal attention back since new consoles and other shooter RPG players are getting established now.

Avatar image for deactivated-5cd08b1605da1

@thisistheslam: Ah, lol "freedom", thats a good one. It was well known Bungie left MS because they wanted to do other things other than Halo and MS didnt let'em. MS has also been pushing for Multiplayer while saying "SP games dont sell anymore". MS being a good publisher... ah, now thats precious

Avatar image for Vodoo
Vodoo

@Vatusus: MS wasn't the one saying single player games don't sell anymore. That was Ubisoft and EA.

MS also needed a studio to keep making Halo. Half of Bungie stayed with MS to form 343. So now that MS has Halo covered, Bungie would be free to do what they wanted. Your comments are pre-Phil Spencer.

Regardless, I don't think Bungie would sell themselves. They're a private company, so they can't be taken over. I also don't think MS would fork over the cash Bungie would want.

Avatar image for deactivated-5cd08b1605da1

@Vodoo: https://mspoweruser.com/phil-spencer-says-single-player-games-like-horizon-zero-dawn-dont-impact/

"The audience for those big story-driven games…I won’t say it isn’t as large, but they’re not as consistent. You’ll have things like The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild or Horizon Zero Dawn that’ll come out, and they’ll do really well, but they don’t have the same impact that they used to have because the big service-based games are capturing such a large amount of the audience"

Avatar image for Vodoo
Vodoo

@Vatusus: Ok. He didn't say single player is dead. The first line of your quote he says that he WOULDN'T say a single player audience isn't as large as MP, but they're more inconsistent (based on the game). That's far from saying they're dead. Ubisoft actually put out a spreadsheet saying that games were already the past and "Live Services" are where it's at. EA flat out said single player is dead so they can monetize everything.

Avatar image for deactivated-5cd08b1605da1

@Vodoo: Oh c'mon, its obvious he was saying MS didnt want to focus on SP driven games anymore. Its PR talk, he didnt want to alienate SP gamers by straight up saying "SP games are dead" like EA did say (and didnt work out well for them) but its obvious what his intentions were. He was preparing people for the lack of future SP driven experiences on xbox. Now that they've seen good SP games do, in fact, sell pretty well as long as they're good, they've backpaddled and are now aquiring SP focused studios like Ninja Theory and Obsidian. Only the future will tell how that will turn out

Avatar image for Vodoo
Vodoo

@Vatusus: If you look at MS's top 3 exclusives (or only exclusives), Halo, Gears and Forza, each one has had a well developed and lengthy campaign. Yes, they also have MP, but they didn't skimp on any single player content.

While more hard core gamers enjoy single player, which I only play myself (no MP anymore), the casual gamers are mostly there for the MP with their friends.

They should recognize that it has to do with the context of the game. Like CoD is a huge casual game for MP. Probably few hard core gamers even bother with that game anymore so the campaign is a waste, financially. But Halo, even though it has substantial MP modes, it's also heavily story based on the lore from previous games and the books (which were excellent).

So I think context matters for the specific game, where SP doesn't really much matter in a CoD game anymore.

I don't think MS will ever abandon SP, but I do think all of their games will have MP to cover all players preferences.

Avatar image for gamingdevil800
gamingdevil800

It's very rare for Activision to publish titles from developers they don't own with Sekiro Shadows Die Twice being the next most notable one. Apart from COD and rubbish super hero licensed games Activision really isn't as bad as people make them out to be. Blizzards recent bad decisions are on Blizzard and the bad decisions with Destiny are on Bungie firing the lead writers, introducing micro transactions, over hyping your game to something it's not etc etc. Outside of COD Activisions recent offerings have been very good such as Spyro, Crash, Overwatch and most likely Sekiro.

Anyway this is why I doubt this will improve Destiny if Bungie make a third entry...

Avatar image for Barighm
Barighm

@gamingdevil800: Actually, ex-Blizzard employees have stated recently that Activision has been pushing people into positions of power at Blizzard with more of a focus on making money rather than quality development, so in this case we can suggest Activision is at fault here.

Avatar image for Boonimal23
Boonimal23

@gamingdevil800: bungie fired lead writers and Marty because they didn’t like the overt and stifling influence Activision was having on the studio and game.

Avatar image for gamingdevil800
gamingdevil800

@Boonimal23: That doesn't make any sense. Bungie fired the lead writers and scrapped the story one year before launch of the original Destiny because of Activision's stifling influence?

Avatar image for Barighm
Barighm

@gamingdevil800: Yes, actually. There is evidence to suggest Activision felt the story was "too complex" and wanted a much simpler, shooty game. Frankly, it's fairly common knowledge that the game was rebooted and rushed for a barebones launch.

Avatar image for James_xeno
James_xeno

@Barighm:

Ugggh.... Just the thought of people actually arguing that ("too complex") let alone basically forcing the "fixing" of said "issues", is just...... *headboom*

The same "logic" has ruined so many games in the last ~15 years... It's why MA2-3 were basically FPS (along with most everything else), why most western RPGs are really FPS/C (first person slashers/casters) today and where "superfluous" stats went. (like a magic attack stat.. *coughskyrimcough*)

Avatar image for Boonimal23
Boonimal23

@gamingdevil800: you didn’t say anything about why they fired them. You stated bungie fires them=a mistake. I mentioned the firing (Staten actually quit) was due to the writers’ discontent with Activision’s control, thereby implying that the control Activision has over the company and product was the impetus for the Staten’s resignation.

I’m also saying the reason they scrapped the story was because the higher-ups at Bungie felt the story wasn’t good, a result of Activision influence mentioned by Marty O’Donnel (sp?), angering Staten, the lead writer, and causing him to Quit, not get fired.

Avatar image for gamingdevil800
gamingdevil800

@Boonimal23: If the story wasn't good then that doesn't make what we finally got in 2014 any better lol actually I'd argue it was probably worse since there practically wasn't a coherent story. With Bungie not even really knowing what the "darkness" is themselves. "I don't have time to explain why I don't have time to explain".

Avatar image for Boonimal23
Boonimal23

@gamingdevil800: I wholeheartedly agree that what we got was terrible. But what was there before the redo was actually much better. Uldren not being the prince and the real character of the stranger was part of the original story. The higher-ups felt it was too linear, which was a huge mistake on their parts, and broke it up so that the player could travel to any planet they wanted. The reason so much of the story seems incoherent is because they gutted it last minute and broke it up.

Hell, the dreadnought stuff was originally part of the main campaign!

Avatar image for gamingdevil800
gamingdevil800

@Boonimal23: Yeah there is parts of the 2013 trailers where you can spot stuff that appeared in the DLC plus actually the European woodland setting in Destiny 2 actually briefly appears way back in the 2013 trailers...

Avatar image for dashaka
DaShaka

Hopefully they actually revive this series with good decisions. Activision couldn’t have done good things for its creative process, only destroyed it.

I don’t have a ton of hope, but there’s at least some hope now.

I wouldn’t mind them creating something completely new though.

Avatar image for gamingdevil800
gamingdevil800

@dashaka: LOL most of the bad decisions were actually on Bungie. Bungie actually were the ones that wanted to put in microtransactions and wouldn't be surprised if the half baked DLC was Bungie's idea too they are a shadow of their former self. Guarantee there will be some PR "speel" from them about Destiny 3, people will buy it then will be annoyed again.

Avatar image for dashaka
DaShaka

@gamingdevil800: “most of the bad deicisions were bungie”. Do you have a source to back this up? Also, I disagree that people will buy into Destiny 3, I think it will do MUCH worse, people aren’t easily fooled a third time, and most of the community already fully abandoned it.

I agree with you though, I don’t have much faith in the series even with Activision gone.

Avatar image for gamingdevil800
gamingdevil800

@dashaka: I'll link some sources below but yeah I think they need to move onto a new ip but honestly I've lost a lot of faith in these guys Destiny was a long con that kinda still burns me to this day haha considering I bought it back in 2014.

https://segmentnext.com/2018/01/04/destiny-2-reboot/

https://kotaku.com/the-messy-true-story-behind-the-making-of-destiny-1737556731

Avatar image for santinegrete
santinegrete

I wonder what will happen with Battle.net since that portal and client is massive, well established and own by Activision Blizzard.

I can dream of better, more focused Destiny games with a different focus, but that's that, dreams.

Avatar image for RiverDan
RiverDan

I rarely comment, but this is great news!

Avatar image for Bread_or_Decide
Bread_or_Decide

Time to go back to Microsoft.

Avatar image for kasenn
D3adTree

This is great news right? Like, really good news?

Avatar image for dlCHIEF58
dlCHIEF58

@kasenn: You might think so, but I am not so sure. Bungie was already heading down the path they are currently on before leaving Microsoft (lazy programming by reusing environments in Reach for MP). It is good they are getting away from Activision but how much they may improve is entirely another question. But it might give them the opportunity to make a new Marathon, something that never materialized while at Activision but was in their contract if they met certain milestones.

Avatar image for Spartan_418
Spartan_418

@dlCHIEF58: "reusing environments in Reach for MP"

This is not true, it's a common misperception. All of Reach's MP maps were designed for MP first, and then later integrated as sections of campaign levels. It was part of Bungie's effort to make Reach's different modes feel more seamlessly linked together, like how the armor customization applied to both your MP Spartan and your campaign Noble Six.

A provable example of this is the map Reflection, which is a remake of Halo 2's Ivory Tower, but also appears in the campaign

Avatar image for dlCHIEF58
dlCHIEF58

@Spartan_418: That only reaffirms my assertion of Bungie's laziness as well as their ability to try to BS their way out of it. I was sure it was the other way around, which forced them to add and constantly adjust soft kill zones for parts of the map they never intended people to use as camping zones. One remake of old maps on the disc does not disprove what I said either - if anything it adds weight to my point. Even if you are correct about the order of development, my main point still stands - this game was a lazy last attempt by Bungie only made to fulfill their obligations to Microsoft before cutting ties. And this mindset carried over into Destiny.

Avatar image for Spartan_418
Spartan_418

@dlCHIEF58: Including a remake of an old map affirms laziness, when every Halo sequel has included map remakes? What?

Consider that when the maps appear in the campaign, much of the space in them goes unused. For example with Boardwalk, the player merely walks through part of it and views the scenery, there are no enemies to fight. It's a large and complex space because of being designed for MP.

Avatar image for Bread_or_Decide
Bread_or_Decide

@kasenn: Bungie has neither the means nor capacity to publish a game of that magnitude on their own.

Avatar image for dlCHIEF58
dlCHIEF58

@Bread_or_Decide: If companies like Team17 can publish themselves and other developers, no reason Bungie (being a larger company with more money) cannot do the same.

Avatar image for dlCHIEF58
dlCHIEF58

@Bread_or_Decide: They may now with Destiny money in the bank. Regardless of the hate the game gets it was a big success and moneymaker for them and Activision.

Avatar image for santinegrete
santinegrete

@Bread_or_Decide: This colossus is bloated anyway. A more centered project could be good, well, I hope.

Avatar image for kasenn
D3adTree

@Bread_or_Decide: Well something is going to happen with Destiny. Maybe Bungie could go to another publisher that will give them more freedom? If, in fact Activision was even an issue with the game.

Avatar image for spartanx169x
spartanx169x

@kasenn@santinegrete@dlCHIEF58@Bread_or_Decide

I'm surprised none of you considered the obvious. Bungie could easily partner with Ubisoft, EA, 2K, and with the millions EPIC has, possibly even EPIC. Bungie has no need to sweat self publishing.

Avatar image for santinegrete
santinegrete

@spartanx169x: another dream: no signing with some of those asshats.