Bungie is flying the Activision flag these days but there was a time when rival publisher Electronic Arts was also digging hard to bring the Halo studio under its tent and the company remains hopeful that someday it’ll be able to make that deal.
It was big news a few weeks back when Bungie revealed that it had signed an exclusive ten-year deal with Activision, which was (and still is) embroiled in the Infinity Ward fiasco. But the Halo gang didn’t go straight to Santa Monica when it was looking for a new partner.
“We had extensive conversations with them, but could never really figure out a deal that made sense for both of us. It just didn’t come to fruition,” EA Partners head David DeMartini admitted to CVG. “Obviously, they were able to come up with some kind of deal that made sense to Activision and made sense to Bungie and we hope they make great games. It’s healthy for the industry to have big independent studios that are making great products.”
DeMartini said Bungie looked like a “great fit” for the EA Partners program, which publishers and distributes games developed by a number of high-profile studios including Valve, Crytek, Harmonix and Epic. “But at the same time, we have a very specific set of criteria we have in regards to our deals,” he added. “It’s not good to enter into a partnership that doesn’t make financial sense for both sides.”
He remains hopeful, however, that a future deal between Bungie and EA will happen, despite the failure of earlier talks and the partnership with arch-rival Activision. “I don’t want to see them fail – I want them to be successful. And when they start up a second team, we’ll have other discussions with them about that game as well – because they’re a great studio,” he said. “There are probably only 20 studios in the world that are that highest level – and they’re certainly one of them.”
EA may have lost out on the Bungie sweepstakes, but it did manage to pick up most of the important parts of Modern Warfare studio Infinity Ward, which now stands under the EA tent as Respawn Entertainment. The cosmic scales of the universe, as they say, remain in balance.