Bungie is ending its partnership with Activision but keeping the rights to Destiny

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Bungie’s 10-year publishing partnership with Activision is ending and that’s incredibly exciting news for Destiny fans.

We’re only 10 days into 2019 and we already have a huge, surprise announcement – one that may make Bungie fans incredibly happy. The developer is ending its publishing partnership with Activision.

Bungie initially entered a 10-year publishing agreement with Activision Blizzard back in 2010, but it sounds like both sides have agreed to end the partnership early. In doing so, this will allow Bungie to explore new projects as its own publisher, free from the shackles of Activision Blizzard’s management and corporate greed.

What’s more, Bungie will assume the publishing rights for Destiny movie forward. The initial deal had already allowed Bungie ownership over any new intellectual property created by the studio, so they were already free to do as they please with the sci-fi universe they created. Obtaining publishing rights is just icing on the cake.

According to the studio, “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.”

Bungie had nothing but kind words to say about Activision regarding their partnership, calling it a “successful eight-year run.” There’s no doubt Destiny was a financially successful franchise, with “a combination of over 50 million games and expansions” delivered to players globally; however, the franchise was far from the vision that was once pitched to gamers.

The original Destiny was a commercial success but received mixed reviews. Most criticism was directed at the game’s lack of story content and disappointing narrative; but, a repetitive end game, dysfunctional loot system and myriad of gameplay balance issues also contributed to a disappointing overall experience.

To Bungie’s credit, they learned from their mistakes and delivered a much-improved Destiny 2 in 2017. The sequel received generally favorable reviews and was viewed as a large improvement over its predecessor.

Yet for some reason, Destiny 2 has not been able to replicate the longevity of its predecessor. Just six months after its launch, many had begun to question if the game had already died. There are many possible explanations for Destiny 2‘s decline in popularity, though a lot of the reasons seem to stem from poor business practices like an emphasis on microtransactions, a rushed sequel and a disappointing first expansion.

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A lot of these issues can probably be attributed to pressure from the publisher, though, to be clear, this is my own speculation. There have been no reports that Activision is the one responsible for such poor decisions regarding post-launch content and shoe-horning microtransactions into the game.

Still, you don’t have to search long to find examples of publishers, like Activision, and attempting to shoe-horn microtransactions into games in an effort to fatten the bottom line. Let’s also not forget that a lot of Destiny‘s content was cut from the game in order to meet Activision’s tight, annualized schedule. I’m not saying Destiny 2‘s problems are completely Activision’s fault, but I am saying I have a better hope for the future without them involved.

Under Bungie’s control, hopefully Destiny can find itself once again. Bungie promises to release more seasonal experiences in the coming months and is teasing “some exciting announcements about what lies beyond.”

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“We know self-publishing won’t be easy; there’s still much for us to learn as we grow as an independent, global studio, but we see unbounded opportunities and potential in Destiny,” Bungie concluded in their message to fans. “We know that new adventures await us all on new worlds filled with mystery, adventure, and hope. We hope you’ll join us there.”

Does Bungie breaking off from Activision and assuming publisher duties for Destiny reinstill your faith in the franchise?