TA partnership that started in 2010 with the first Destiny, has finally run its course as Activision and Bungie have finally parted ways after what can only be described as strenuous 8 years.
In a recent blog post, Bungie confirmed the split, thanking Activision for their help in making Destiny and Destiny 2 a big success, and saying that:
“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.”
The Bungie Activision relationship has been tumultuous in the past few years. While Destiny 2 Forsaken DLC was well received by the community, Activision lamented that the game did not meet their sales target. While Bungie has always tried to cater to the hardcore involved community, Activision has visibly asked them to make their games accessible to casual gamers as well. The biggest rift though has to be the strict fall schedule that Activision has asked Bungie to follow asking them to drop either a major release or a new game every fall in an annual cycle, irrespective of whether it’s finished or not.
Of course, the relationship between Activision and Bungie is not the only factor in this split. Activision has been on a cost-cutting warpath in the past 12 months or so, with Blizzard being the biggest target. Activision has also abandoned the Skylander license recently. So cutting off a franchise which wasn’t profiting enough in their opinion might have been another strategic move.
Bungie, on the other hand, has always savored independence as a big factor in their work culture, and are also highly protective of their work. In 2007, they split from Microsoft, relinquishing the HALO IP, when the franchise was shared with other studios for spin-off games. Interestingly, Activision had High Moon and Vicarious Visions (2 of their other studios) working on Destiny 2 content. How much was that a factor?
Plus there is a recent investment of $100 Million from a Chinese mobile giant NetEase. with which their dependence on Activision might have reduced, and the deadline restrictions placed on them wouldn’t have seemed like too much of a compromise for the studio.
Bungie plans to transfer the entire publishing rights from Activision to themselves in the near future. The game will still stay on Battle.net, and the planned content drops are to continue as planned.
What happens after the last season has been delivered is anyone’s guess. Would Bungie scrap Eververse, would it release Destiny 3, will there be a new expansion to Destiny 2. No one knows.
Guess 10 years means 8 in Activision time.