Bungie and Activision are calling it quits. The Halo developer partnered with Activision in 2010 to develop the science fiction MMO-FPS Destiny, but as of January 10, 2019, that partnership has ended with Bungie taking ownership of the Destiny IP.
“We have enjoyed a successful eight-year run and would like to thank Activision for their partnership on Destiny,” Bungie stated via Bungie.net. “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.”
The reason behind the split remains unclear. The 10-year contract between Bungie and Activision is still unfulfilled. In a document that surfaced in 2012, the contract outlined four mainline Destiny titles to be released on 2013, 2015, 2017, and 2019 with expansions added in the years between, but Destiny (2014) and Destiny 2 (2017) were the only games launched during this time-frame.
What is clear, however, is that the Destiny franchise will continue with Bungie working as developer and publisher. Per Bungie’s statement: “The planned transition process is already underway in its early stages, with Bungie and Activision both committed to making sure that the handoff is as seamless as possible.”
This amicable divorce is a shock for many. Activision invested $500 million dollars into the first game alone, but the publisher recently signaled a loss of faith in the brand. In Activision-Blizzard’s 2018 third quarter earnings call, Activision expressed disappointment in Destiny 2’s Forsaken DLC expansion pack and promised future in-game monetization to recoup the losses.
Bungie’s outlook on Destiny, however, is the polar opposite. Per Bungie’s statement: “With Forsaken, we’ve learned, listened, and leaned in to what our players want from a great Destiny experience. Rest assured that 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.”
Until then, gamers can only speculate on Destiny’s future, and whether Bungie, as both developer and publisher, can finally deliver the game they promised.