Activision and Bungie have announced they are parting ways, despite having nearly two years still left on the original deal's clock, with Destiny following Bungie out of the door.
Best known for its development of the Marathon first-person shooter franchise and its spiritual successor Halo, Bungie Software was acquired by Microsoft back in 2000 - a deal which turned what was to be a cross-platform title, the original Halo, into an exclusive for Microsoft's at-the-time shiny new Xbox console. Eventually, though, Bungie's relationship with Microsoft would sour, and the two companies would split. Shortly thereafter, Bungie signed a ten-year contract with Activision for the development of a massively multiplayer online project it would eventually unveil as Destiny, a game as close to being an MMO Halo as it could get having left the rights to the franchise with Microsoft.
Despite impressive hype, Destiny did not turn into the stellar success Bungie and Activision predicted, and the company's missteps continued with its sequel. Now, under new leadership, Bungie is calling time on its partnership and has announced it is splitting from Activision after just over eight years - less than the originally-contracted decade.
'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,' Bungie's Destiny development team claims in a blog post announcing the change. '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. The planned transition process is already underway in its early stages, with Bungie and Activision both committed to making sure the handoff is as seamless as possible. With Forsaken, we’ve learned, and listened, and leaned in to what we believe our players want from a great Destiny experience. Rest assured 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.'
Neither Bungie nor Activision have disclosed financial terms of the early split.