Since splitting with Microsoft in 2007, Bungie have been floating around the place, doing a few bits and pieces – and this deal’s been in the works for nearly a year, very quietly. Today, the ink has finally dried, and Activision have exclusive, worldwide rights to publish and distribute all future games from the developer – at least, those based on a new intellectual property on multiple platforms and devices, anyway.
“New intellectual property?” you ask… well, it seems that while most of the company focussed their attentions on Halo: Reach (which goes into beta mode very shortly), another games team, lead by company co-founder and Studio Creative Director Jason Jones, has been “laying the groundwork” to bring an a new universe, stories and characters to life.
From Bungie‘s awesome official statement:
Today, we’re poised to open a new chapter in Bungie’s history—one that begins with a partnership between Bungie and Activision and ends where we always knew it would, with World Domination. Our Next Big Thing now has a concrete path, leading from our studio to the platforms of our choosing. The business formalities are behind us. Our Constitution remains unchanged. We are still Bungie, still independent, and now we are free to bring our stories to an ever bigger audience.
So – who does this benefit? It gives Bungie a pretty sweet deal, “significantly broadening” their global reach by developing, distributing and releasing their games internationally – on multiple platforms and devices (which all sounds very much non-Xbox 360 exclusive).
It isn’t too bad for Activision either, who have just expanded their portfolio with a new franchise from one of the industry’s “most creative, successful and proven studios”. Plus it should line their pockets nicely – the Halo franchise generated something like $1.5 billion in revenue – and Activision see no reason this should stop simply due to a new publisher.
Harold Ryan, Bungie president, explains:
“We chose to partner with Activision on our next IP because of their global reach, multi-platform experience and marketing expertise.
“From working together over the past nine months on this agreement, it is clear that Activision supports our commitment to giving our fans the best possible gaming experiences.”
Thomas Tippl, Chief Operating Officer of Activision Blizzard is also pleased:
“Bungie is one of the premier studios in our industry and we are extremely pleased to have the opportunity to work with their talented team over the next decade.
“Bungie has developed some of the most compelling and successful games, multiplayer experiences and thriving fan communities, and this alliance underscores our long-standing commitment to foster the industry’s best creative talent. Our unprecedented partnership with Bungie will enable us to broaden our pipeline of exciting new games as we continue to strengthen our industry position and pursue long-term growth opportunities.”
Importantly, Bungie will remain an independent company, and even more importantly, they will continue to own their intellectual property. Reassuring, in this day and age.