In 2010, Bungie sold the rights for the Halo franchise to Microsoft and partnered with Activision in order to make Destiny. The independent studio needed help from a large and established publisher in order to get Destiny off the ground, and now, after eight years, the two companies are parting ways.
In the official Bungie blog, Bungie announced that they will be taking over the publishing rights for Destiny and that the transition process is already underway, with both parties being committed to making sure the process is as smooth as possible:
When we first launched our partnership with Activision in 2010, the gaming industry was in a pretty different place. As an independent studio setting out to build a brand new experience, we wanted a partner willing to take a big leap of faith with us. We had a vision for Destiny that we believed in, but to launch a game of that magnitude, we needed the support of an established publishing partner. With Activision, we created something special. To date, Destiny has delivered a combination of over 50 million games and expansions to players all around the world. More importantly, we’ve also witnessed a remarkable community – tens of millions of Guardians strong – rise up and embrace Destiny, to play together, to make and share memories, and even to do truly great things that reach far beyond the game we share, to deliver a positive impact on people’s everyday lives. 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.
This is quite big news, and to be honest quite a shock. It’s not something that anybody really expected to happen since Destiny 2 might not be the massive moneymaker that Activision might have wanted, but it was still a steady revenue stream. Investors weren’t too happy with the news though, and Activision Blizzard stocks fell 7% in after-hours trade according to CNBC.
What this means for Bungie and the Destiny franchise is anybody’s guess, the studio has at times been at odds with Activision during the eight-year partnership, with them trying to deliver the best possible experience for the community and the publisher trying to maximise revenue for their investors. Bungie did assure the community that they will continue to deliver on the current seasonal experiences, as well as have some exciting announcements about what lies ahead for them.
Wait, does this means Destiny 2 is now an indie game?