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Bungie to Assume Full Publishing Rights for the Destiny Franchise

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.

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Newmanator10d ago

Yeah I'd have to agree with you there. I hope Bungie start with something completely fresh.

-Foxtrot10d ago

It's the only way really to gain a bigger audience.

People have already made up their minds with Destiny and if you've missed out on the first and second game along with all the expansions for the lore they've built up then you won't have a clue what's going on in future games.

Better off making a brand new game to capture a bigger audience

AngelicIceDiamond10d ago (Edited 10d ago )

Starting fresh indeed they know these AAA's companies are no good. Insomniac learned quickly from EA 5 years ago when they released Fuse when their new IP got ran into the ground. Congrats to Bungie I think it'll be wise of them to stay independent for awhile.

ps3vita4life10d ago (Edited 10d ago )

I agree, I’d like to see Bungie do something else! I hope they go back to their proper single-player campaign roots and create a beautiful universe distinct from Destiny/Halo.

PapaBop10d ago

Unlikely to happen any time soon, Bungie had a ten year agreement with Activision which was naturally coming to an end in two years. The big news here from Bungie's point of view is that they've managed to acquire the complete rights to Destiny including publishing.

darthv7210d ago (Edited 10d ago )

Bungie was owned by MS for 7 years but had contractual deals for 10 before they signed on with Activision for a 10 year publishing deal. That only lasted 8 years.

Personally I think they had a much better working relationship with MS than with Activision. At least under MS they released 5 games all to great acclaim (some more than others) but under Activision they released 2.

We all know Bungie wanted to stop making Halo games so what do they do...? They go independent and still end up making a game that has some similarities to Halo. You can take the Bungie out of the Halo but you can't take the Halo out of the Bungie.

I'm thinking this might have something to do with their decision to end things with Activision before their contract was up: https://www.gamesindustry.b...

Michiel198910d ago

@Angelic I really dislike activision, but im totally on their side when it comes to Destiny. bungie fucked it up, not activision. Bungie is the one who misled their consumers, throttled exp to sell more mtx, locked old content unless you bought the newest expansion and Bungie were the ones who advocated for mtx in Destiny. Activision wanted to give them more time, because Bungie couldnt realize the plans they made in the correct time. They couldnt produce enough content for their expansions/patches so they advocated for mtx to make up for the lost revenue.

I love the old Bungie games, but I did lose faith in them. I hope they are able to return to their glory days, but im not blindly gonna buy their games anymore.

DaDrunkenJester10d ago

@Michiel

It's hard to distinguish when it was the dev, or an order from above. I'd have to assume the pressure to make a certain revenue margin from their handler was more of the reason why Bungie had to use more money hungry techniques. Considering we saw none of that when they were with MS, I can only assume it was Activisions greedy ways that led them to design the game around Season passes and MT's. Much like they do with their other franchises like CoD.

remixx11610d ago

@Michiel

Lol bro what the hell are you talking about??

How is it bungies fault when damn near all games published by Activision are milked and pumped full of microtransactions. You literally did zero research and just blew chunks on your keyboard and called it facts.

Hell Activision even came out after their earnings call and claimed they were unhappy with the way forsake (destinys latest big expansion) perform monetization wise and planned to increase monetization going forward( they were unhappy with the how poorly mtx sold during the expansion even though the player base flew up dramatically so now they plan to increase the amount if revenue generated through mtx going forward). Bungie retaliated saying they loved the way forsaken performed regardless of what Activision said.

All of this is because of Activisions greed and wanting to sell more and more dlc and microtransactions in a timely frame to keep player monetization high.

Try Google, it helps.

DarXyde10d ago

I think it's for the best.

I do a lot of work with and for NGOs and nonprofits. One thing I can say for certain is, where donors are involved, you almost wonder what you're allowed to do with your own organization for projects and undertakings.

I'm sure a similar principle applies when you're a smaller development studio and Activision or EA are your publishers.

Ninjamonkey8210d ago

@Michiel

how does it feel to have you're foot in your ass?

AngelicIceDiamond9d ago

@michiel If that were true then we would of seen such acts in the Halo Franchise Specifically in Reach. I haven't. Played Reach in a awhile but from my understanding there were no overpriced DLC lvl throttling, content cutting, MTX. It makes no sense why they would start now. I highly doubt it was Activision in all this.

UltraNova9d ago (Edited 9d ago )

Eight years ago Bungie wanted to escape their controlling Publisher (MS) who wanted them to be a one trick pony indefinitely, to pursue their own fate. What did they do? They signed a 10 year deal with the devil himself, Activision. Now they want to escape their controlling Publisher (Activision) to pursue...wait..this sound familiar...

Smh...

Fun aside, I'm not excited for Bungie. They knew better. They sure as hell know how to draft a contract with Publishers though, I'd give them that, since they can breeak free when they choose to(and keep the IP) so thats that.

I'm sure all the anti- consumer "mistakes" during Destiny's life cycle were made by both Bungie and Activision, and this is coming from someone who absolutely loathes the latter...

I hope Bungie made enough money through the years to stay independed through their next project, because I'm very very curious to see the real, unshackled Bungie in action with no one else to blame but themselves if it all goes south.

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beulahland10d ago

Hold your expectations, dude. A good amount of the bad ideas and practices on Destiny came from Bungie itself, not Activision.

--Onilink--10d ago

True, the difference is when you are self publishing, you can make time to correct those mistakes before launching anything.
When you are contractually obligated to an annual release cycle, it becomes significantly more complicated

CaptainObvious8789d ago

@beulah

Thank you. I was going to say that but you beat me to it.

There's a whole laundry list of crap they pulled.

One of the more egregious things was locking the 1st dungeon behind a paywall and then claiming it was an accident...

DaDrunkenJester9d ago

They pulled that due to having to hit certain revenue goals through MT's. You really think a dev would purposely hurt their own game? It was obvious Activision was putting the pressure on to hit goal, forcing Bungie to do what they had to do.

DVAcme10d ago

That is LITERALLY the first thing that came to mind when I read this, holy shit indeed!!

This not only is easily the biggest piece of gaming news in ages, it's an absolute indictment of the AAA publishing industry. This is Bungie making a statement that their creative vision was sacrificed because of Activision's shitty-ass policies and that they're now putting on their big boy pants to right the ship. I am beyond glad for them, and am genuinely excited to see what they have i store for the future.

Potnoodle99910d ago

Jesus, with the way they talk they may aswell change the company name to destiny. It doesn’t sound like they want to do anything other than destiny. It’s just bizarre to me how these companies go independent to be able to create something new and then just keep churning out the same crap. Destiny has always been mediocre at best. Anyway, clearly everyone commenting here will disagree with me. I remember when bungie we’re leaving ms and I was so excited to see what they could bring us. Such an underwhelming effort from such a highly respected dev. Hopefully they create something really unique one of these days and not another gaas snoozefest

Nu10d ago

Microsoft is going to swoop in on this quickly

Ceaser98573619d ago

NU

LOL! Bungie wont go back to MS for sure...

KillBill9d ago

Not sure why you are shocked here? It was already known that the contract between them was up. Bungie has always simply utilized the ability of larger companies just enough until they can get their own feet underneath them.

9d ago
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THC CELL10d ago

Probably run back to ms if they get a offer

AngelicIceDiamond10d ago

I think its best they stay independent for now.

Araragifeels 10d ago

I don't think Bungie would like to work with Xbox as partner again. I can see them going to PlayStation instead but I don't think Bungie would like to split their fanbase even thinner.

ImGumbyDammit10d ago (Edited 10d ago )

The whole reason they wanted out from Microsoft ownership was to create something new and not have to work on Halo. Not because the two had a strained relationship otherwise. Yet, what does Bungie do they do when they leave? They created a new take on Halo called Destiny. Hardly a change. Seems to me they have only proven that they are only a one trick pony.

Silly gameAr10d ago

Run back to a company they had to buy their freedom from? I kind of doubt that would happen.

darthv7210d ago

you make it sound like a heated divorce, that wasnt the case. it was a mutual split and as such even after they were "free" they still made both ODST and Reach for MS before signing with Activision.

rainslacker10d ago

I dunno about that. Unless MS offered them full control over which games they were going to make, which is why they left in the first place. While MS may be willing to give them creative control over any project they are working on, it's hard to ask a publisher to support you if they aren't willing to finance the games you want to make.

Hard to say what might happen, or if MS even wants them back at this point. Destiny, while popular enough, hasn't become one of the generations must have IP's. As of now, Bungie is mostly known for Halo, and a Halo like MMO. MS doesn't need another halo like studio, so unless Bungie had something else up their sleeve, it's hard to say that MS would even make them an offer at this point.

DaDrunkenJester10d ago

It COULD happen, but highly unlikely. I only say that because 343 is now doing Halo so theoretically they could give Bungie full creative control for whatever. But like you said... do we need Halo AND a Halo-like IP? If Bungie could break off and do something different, it may make more sense.

But, again, I don't think MS+Bungie will happen again. I think Bungie is staying independent for a while after this Activision disaster. Just please for the love of god don't go EA haha

rainslacker10d ago

Sure, anything could happen.:)

I don't think it was really full creative control they were going for, rather the ability to make the games they wanted to make. They obviously were willing to let the publisher have their say in the game itself.

Bungie has enough money to self publish. They used to publish their own games before MS brought them.

Atom66610d ago

Makes sense to all sides to stay independent. Destiny's had a rocky time, but it is still one of the biggest new IPs from this generation. It'll continue to make Bungie a lot of money going forward, and hopefully Activision's touch gets washed away with Destiny 3.

MS should just write them a big check to cover whatever their next game might be. Similiar to Sunset Overdrive. Let Bungie keep the IP, but let MS keep publishing rights to it. It's not ideal to MS's push to start developing its own ip, but they still need 3rd party exclusives.

Bungie's received sizable investments recently, and are going to be growing imo. I think their prior relationship with MS should be capitalized upon by MS, but not with an acquisition.

Kribwalker10d ago

Ms still owns a minority equity in Bungie. It was part of the deal when they became independent. They also got right of first refusal for all future bungie projects. So I could see them partner up again

johndoe1121110d ago

How is that possible when sony got the marketing deals and first access to dlc for destiny? Where did you get that info from?

Jin_Sakai10d ago

@Kribwalker

“So I could see them partner up again”

Not happening.

Bungie: “We want to self-publish.”

Atom66610d ago

@Johndoe

Marketing rights and stupid DLC deals were Activision's deal.

Krib is referring to what was reported at the time of the split.

http://www.washingtonpost.c...

Kribwalker10d ago

@johndoe
https://news.microsoft.com/...

when Activision signed on to publish, they signed the deal with Sony for the DLC

Christopher10d ago

IIRC, it was not all future projects but their next project. No one in their right mind would make a limitless deal like that.

Kribwalker10d ago

@Christopher

“Microsoft will retain an equity interest in Bungie, at the same time continuing its long-standing publishing agreement between Microsoft Game Studios and Bungie for the Microsoft-owned “Halo” intellectual property as well as other future properties developed by Bungie.”

Other future properties does tell me it’s not limited to a project.

Don’t forget as well, Destiny was originally supposed to be a timed Xbox 360 exclusive published by Activision then ported to other platforms later.

https://www.geek.com/games/...

I’m sure that played a part and MS must have gotten paid out some money for it to not be the case

johndoe1121110d ago

Ok, it seems microsoft does own a small percentage of the company still.

Christopher9d ago (Edited 9d ago )

A standing publishing agreement != Right of first refusal

A standard agreement/contract means for work that Microsoft is publishing, which means the work they have done for Microsoft or may continue to do as far as compensation (read: Halo stuff). It doesn't mean anything about giving Microsoft dibs on future work.

....

So I was correct. Thanks?

Kribwalker9d ago

it was reported everywhere at the time of the split even on your website
https://n4g.com/news/71830/...

https://www.gamesradar.com/...

Then frank O’connor gave an interview where he was directly asked if they have right or first refusal and he said he wasn’t allowed to discuss the specifics....

Christopher9d ago

Krib, that's a rumor, not fact, And most rumors...

You're going to need way more than a rumor to push me over. I'm not saying it's absolutely not possible, but it just isn't probable by a wide margin either. And not allowed to discuss specifics of contracts is 101 in contract law creation.

I am ready to be proven wrong. but it is so illogical that I don't see it happening unless they decide to join Microsoft as a whole again.

+ Show (7) more repliesLast reply 9d ago
Ceaser98573619d ago

Bungie wont go back to MS for sure...

Thundercat779d ago

I don't know why would they make such a terrible business desicion. Leaving MS was the best thing that happened for them. Running back to the last competitor in the market would be horrible.

DonkeyWalrus9d ago

Wrong. Microsoft initially acquiring Bungie and transforming Halo into a first person shooter was the best thing that ever happened for them. The success of Halo is the only reason anybody originally cared about Destiny. Leaving Microsoft has resulted in the utter destruction if Bungie's soul. With the loss of both the creative director Joseph Staten (now back at microsoft) and the music director Marty O'donnell, the name "Bungie" no longer has much meaning.

bluefox7559d ago

Lol, what part of them becoming independent makes you think they'd sel out to the third place console? Lol

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TGGJustin10d ago

This is great news for Bungie and the game. Activision put too many restrictions on them. The game could head in exciting directions now.

D3TH_D33LR10d ago (Edited 10d ago )

No idea why people disagree. Activision sabotaged the first games launch forcing the rewrite and causing several key bungie employees to leave. Quite literally almost all the problems I’ve had with Destiny were the result of Activisions greedy practices

Old McGroin10d ago

@D3TH_D33LR

"No idea why people disagree"
This is N4G, the people who disagree have no idea why they disagree.

Gameseeker_Frampt10d ago

You mention the Kotaku article in your second post but I don't think you actually read it. According to it, the problems and failings of Destiny are all Bungie's fault. I never understood why some Bungie fans cannot accept that the studio isn't as talented as they think it is. Bungie butchered the story. Bungie added the microtransactions. Destiny 2 was only made better once Activision tasked 2 of their studios to help clean up Bungie's mess.

https://kotaku.com/the-mess...

zahdab10d ago

Coz disagre > agree!!!! more characters !

D3TH_D33LR9d ago (Edited 9d ago )

@Gameseeker Bungie added microtransactions because activision obviously demanded money. Bungie cant make dlc content fast enough to satisfy activision or even the players but the demands for monetization undoubtingly came from Activsion. I’m sure it was up to Bungie to determine a way to implement that but I put the blame on Activision for demanding it in the first place. I fail to see how else Bungie would’ve been able to monetize this game and even still, the microtransactions are all cosmetic and in the entire time this games launched, not once have I felt the need to buy any of them. They’re probably the least intrusive micro transaction policy in games today.

gamer99d ago

Why was the entire Destiny 2 campaign a cake-walk? There was zero challenge. Why has Bungie not added in better gameplay elements to keep things less repetitive? Diablo had randomized enemies 20 years ago. Would it kill Bungie to put in some variation to keep us engaged, rather than repeating the exact same strikes/raids with the exact same enemy placements and same difficulty? Surely this is not all on Activision. Most of my issues are 100% due to the repetitive gameplay, and lack of challenge (outside of the nightfall and raid).

Gameseeker_Frampt9d ago

@D3TH_D33LR

Like I said, you didn't even read the Kotaku article you mentioned. Not only does it specifically say that the microtransactions were Bungie's idea, but also that they came about from the fact that Bungie - a studio of 700 people - messed up Destiny 1 so bad that they were not able to patch it and make new content at the same time. 700 people and somehow they couldn't get the job done. Makes one wonder how many people they originally planned to make patches for the game. Maybe they forget to plan for patching the game entirely?

There is so much wrong with Destiny that it is laughable when some try to blame Activision for its failings. Exotic engrams decoding into blues. Pathetic amount of loot for your time. No matchmaking for endgame content. 0 new races added to the game after 4 years, instead just constant reskins of existing enemies. Character level tied to RNG. One of the worst PVP matchmaking systems. The "story".

D3TH_D33LR9d ago (Edited 9d ago )

@gameseeker you can go ahead and stfu about me not reading the article. I did. It’s up to you with how you interpret the information. Maybe it’s you who didn’t read it since you could answer your own question about the fact that their game engine took 48hrs just to render any changes made making development and patches take significantly longer. Most of that could have been avoided if they weren’t forced to change their game under a year before launch. Sure bungie execs made that call but you truly think their own company would’ve tried sabotaging a smooth release months before launch?? Who do you think bungie execs meet with on a fairly regular basis?

I told you how I interpreted their statements and I know that no matter what statement you get from a situation like this, you will never know 100% what happens behind closed doors. It’s also laughable if you think activision has nothing to do with this games shortcomings and failures. I laugh at your comment about “so much wrong with destiny”. The games got a few issues but it’s hardly “so many problems”. People complain about repetitiveness and yet there’s so much shit to chase in that game now it’s almost too difficult to keep up. That’s a good thing for a loot shooter. Microtransactions hardly matter in the game. Sure destiny could very much be better, but it’s peoblems hardly make it a bad game. All those gripes you mention have answers and honestly none of what you mentioned is a real problem. It might be a problem to you, but to those of us playing the game and enjoying it, we honestly don’t give much of a fuck about anything you’ve tried saying is a problem.

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ps3vita4life10d ago (Edited 10d ago )

To be fair, we don’t know the behind-the-scenes of how Destiny came to be and it’s more then likely Bungie isn’t entirely without its own faults. And no I’m not defending Activision, both EA and Acti are the worst lol. I do hope that Bungie comes to their senses and fixes their mistakes.

D3TH_D33LR10d ago (Edited 10d ago )

There’s actually quite a bit of solid insider information about what happened with D1. Kotaku did a pretty solid investigation and I normally find that site terribly obnoxious to give out commendations to them.

Doge10d ago

Divorced and have taken full custody of their child. About damn time.

Sono4219d ago

I'm going to contain my excitement, they need to prove to me they can still make a great game that isn't entirely based around grinding as it's only source of gameplay.

-Foxtrot10d ago

Yeah well it makes no difference now, they got a taste of the money and Destiny won't change in the future

I think people will get suckered into Destiny 3 with this now thinking it'll be improved without Activision but they are too far gone, they are better continuing to improve Destiny 2 with the community they have as their little money pit and make a new single player driven game with drop in/out co-op.

Old McGroin10d ago

I disagree. Sales for Forsaken didn't reach their target, they know they are losing their audience. They're not stupid, they will know they need to change things up to draw people back in.

-Foxtrot10d ago

Yeah well I don't believe it at all...developers are so out of touch they'll say anything especially when for them it's less work and more income with the suckers who buy into the game. They'll say the same thing to draw people into the next one

"Destiny 3 will offer more RPG elements"

"Destiny 3 will be bigger and include more content"

"Destiny 3 will be what we wanted from the original Destiny"

Fool me once...

Old McGroin10d ago

@ -Foxtrot

Yeah maybe. I hope Bungie can be the exception. If they applied themselves to the level we all know they are capable of to Destiny it could be something great. We'll just have to wait and see.

ZaWarudo10d ago

I think we should wait and see. Now we will really see who was responsible for Destiny's squandered potential.

Purrfection10d ago ShowReplies(2)
CaptainObvious8789d ago

Completely out of touch developers have made me loose almost all trust in them as well, but I'll still take a wait and see approach with Bungie's next game.

And that includes having to wait at least 6 months minimum after release to see what overpriced, shallow DLC they add, and any greedy MTs.

AngelicIceDiamond9d ago

Fox the issue with your statement is we don't know the long term financial state of bungie. Since they'r
e independent they have no choice but to create a good Destiny game unless they want to risk going bankrupt.

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