Bungie Splits With Activision, Keeps Destiny

Bungie Splits With Activision, Keeps Destiny

Bungie and Activision are splitting up, an industry-shaking divorce that will see Destiny enter fully into Bungie’s control.

This development comes after years of tension between the two companies—tension that has existed since before the first Destiny even shipped. Bungie told employees during a team meeting this afternoon, framing it as fantastic news for a studio that has long grown sick of dealing with its publisher.

“We have enjoyed a successful eight-year run and would like to thank Activision for their partnership on Destiny,” Bungie said in a blog post today. “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.”

Destiny, which first launched in September 2014, has had a long and rocky road through expansions, updates, and a sequel. The most recent major entry in the franchise, Destiny 2: Forsaken, was beloved by players but failed to meet Activision’s sales standards.


  • Well that’s a positive development for the gamer friendliness of that game and the studio.

  • Smartest move Bungle has made in years. I think Activision’s upcoming plan to inject more microtransactions into the game may have been the last straw. I might even start playing again!

    • Got on. The Forge and Foresaken DLC’s have made this damn good now. So much to do and so many hidden things. Been playing everyday and last Friday found a cat in a tree at Dreaming City – there’s 9 to find. Always a surprise, even if you’ve played heaps and heaps!!
      Smeg – awesome. A fellow Dwarfer perhaps???

    • And their new flagship game, Destiny: Immortal.

      Edit: Whoa, I just read that Bungie got a $100 million dollar from Netease (of Diablo Immortal infamy) in June last year, so a mobile game may be on the cards!

  • Huge news. Hopefully destiny will move forward following bungies vision from now on and more focus on content rather than microtransaction.

  • Whilst I’ve question many of Destiny’s design choices, IMO, this is the only way the game and series was going to be saved.

  • here’s hoping the horrible cost of entry will change, although at least this split might mean D2 won’t continue to have micro transactions shoveled into it

    • Yep, this. I absolutely loved Destiny until they tried to charge me $70 for the 3rd expansion. Never touched it since.

      • Well, Bungie was a wholly owned subsidiary of Microsoft until Microsoft agreed to a management buy-out.

        It’s not completely impossible that something like this could happen for Blizzard, but you’d probably be looking at a Blizzard without Warcraft, Starcraft, and Overwatch, and with some key staff from those projects remaining at Activision.

        • Not necessarily. Destiny seems to be Bungies big IP at the moment and they were able to extricate themselves with it intact. I would expect it’d cost Blizzard a ton of money to split with their IPs intact though. And honestly, I don’t know whether they even want to.

          • My point is that “Blizzard leaving Activision” is more like “Bungie splitting from Microsoft” than “Bungie dissolving its publishing contract with Activision”. When Bungie went independent, Microsoft held on to Halo, and it’s not clear MS would have parted with it for any amount of money. In contrast Bungie owns Destiny and only ever sold Activision the right to publish the game, so that is a lot easier to disentangle.

            Now there is one recent example of a publisher selling a studio together with the IP they developed: Square Enix selling IO Interactive together with Hitman. Although in that case, SE considered the Hitman franchise to be underperforming.

    • I’m absolutely stoked by this news story.

      I have assumed Blizzard was dead – but there’s still a chance they could rise from the ashes like Bungie.

  • I get the positive response to Bungie splitting from Activision but I think it’s a little premature and unrealistic to think all the bad that happened was Activisions fault.
    Obviously their investment came with controls but we always knew Bungie retained the IP and had enough clout to make certain decisions on their own.

    I’m happy, but I will hold off on expecting things to improve just yet.

    • Perhaps – but unlike Blizzard, there have been multiple reports over the years of how much Bungie disliked Activisions involvement in their games.

    • This, right here.

      Bungie’s attitude in what it fixes and what it doesn’t, around how it communicates, can’t have been all Activision. Their arrogance in communication and in design (if you play any way other than what they want you to, you’re doing it wrong, and the next patch will try to railroad you into the devs’ preferred playstyle) is all their own.

      The only thing I see this changing is the audience giving Destiny 3 more of a chance than it was going to based on the performance of Destiny 2. A little wedge of doubt, to say, “But I’ve changed, baby! It was all the Activision!”

  • Haha this is hilarious, they should of known better in the first place.

    It really bugs me that both games came with a season pass that contained barely anything as the first two expansions are tiny, then they release a 3rd large proper expansion but don’t include it in the season pass.

    • You mean, another original IP? They split from Microsoft to create Destiny in the first place after 5 Halo titles. They’re not the sort to only want to work on one IP forever.

      • That’s a good point. I just hope they don’t make 5 Destiny games before they start on something new.

  • Brilliant news. I thought Bungie was all but finished. Redownloading Destiny 2.

    What I’d do for this same news story, but about Blizzard.

  • I honestly don’t think that there will be much of a change. They don’t have a major backer now and will need to self publish and fund themselves. Activision cut them loose because they were not the cash cow they hoped for.

  • Great but I gave up on the Destiny franchise after the first DLC for D2 and I don’t think anything will ever bring me back

  • Brilliant news. Hilariously so many over at reddit thinks this will cure every issues they have ever had, its going to be such a comical and rude (and tiresome for us) awakening, months/years down the line, when they realise that is not the case.

    • Yep, I think we can treat every overly excitable comment on Reddit with a grain of salt (front page of the internet my arse!). However I’m reasonably confident that Bungo will sort a few things out, including pushing D3 back so they can hopefully get it right the first time.

      • I agree that all the issues clearly weren’t activisions fault (the cost of DLC and MTX everywhere likely were though), so who knows how much this split will actually change. But I think that is the one big thing this can help fix, not rushing out the next game just to meet a deadline

        • Hm. Makes me wonder how they are going to survive an extended development period for 3 without Activision’s support. Debt? Or is their devil’s bargain with Chinese mobile-game publishing meant to prop up their ‘real’ game development?

          • hopefully they have been saving up some money over these last few years. But yeah otherwise at least they got some china money to keep them going for now.
            I’m very excited to see how this all plays out and how much effect it actually has on their games and DLC.

  • I Thought Craptivi$ion only had publishing rights, not a majority share of the IP?
    But anyway, i hope this fares better for Bungie, the lack of communication between Bungie and the players had the same vibe as blizzard’s after Craptivi$ion started muscling in. So with any luck we’ll see a company come back to us

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