In a huge turn of events, it’s been confirmed that developer Bungie and publisher Activision are parting ways, leaving the former Halo studio in full control of the Destiny franchise going forward.
Kotaku reports that tensions have existed between the two companies for years, going back to before the first Destiny game launched in 2014. Apparently Bungie sees this split as great news after having grown tired of working with the publisher, with one person telling Kotaku that the announcement was met with cheers and even champagne.
Bungie said in a blog post today:
We have enjoyed a successful eight-year run and would like to thank Activision for their partnership on Destiny. Looking ahead, we’re excited to announce plans for Activision to transfer publishing rights for Destiny to Bungie. With our remarkable Destiny community, we are ready to publish on our own, while Activision will increase their focus on owned IP projects.
It’s no secret that Destiny and its sequel have proven divisive over the years, with the recent Destiny 2: Forsaken expansion failing to meet Activision’s sales expectations despite going down a treat with fans.
Kotaku notes that one particularly sore point between the two companies was the annualised schedule, which saw Activision expecting a new game or expansion every fall. Obviously, Bungie are now free of this schedule.
Bungie confirmed it’s business as usual for now though, saying:
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.
For now, Bungie’s future remains shrouded in mystery to everyone but them, but the consensus at the studio seems to be that this is an exciting time.
The studio already has a new game in development courtesy of a $100 million investment from NetEase, and Destiny 3 rumours from last year do seem to suggest that the studio is keen to cater more to the hardcore fans they already have and include more RPG elements in the franchise.
The consensus then, seems to be that this is good news for Destiny fans, but Bungie will undoubtedly face challenges without the might of Activision behind them.