The iconic partnership reaches its end. Déjà vu anyone?
It’s the kind of headline that makes you stop scrolling and correct your posture in order to read the article, in a similar fashion to when the publishing deal got inked roughly a decade ago. Bungie announced today that it will be parting ways with Activision, retaining their IP rights to Destiny, and effectively ending their 10 year deal with the battle.net juggernaut.
Bungie broke the news roughly one hour ago with a send off post titled Our Destiny. The brief piece bids a fond farewell to their publisher, and cultivates that vague aura of excitement and anticipation that Bungie is known for. They also address the transitioning process of the IP now that the publishing deal is finito—writing that it’s “already underway in its early stages, with Bungie and Activision both committed to making sure the handoff is as seamless as possible.” As of now, Destiny 2 currently resides alongside its console counterparts as part of the “Blizzard Battle.net” PC launcher. Historians will recall Blizzard’s deft branding shuffle that took place back in 2017, which some pointed out was just in time to smooth out some space for Destiny 2 on their launcher (for years Bungie’s site has also been affectionately called b.net).
Professional glad-handing and business deals aside, the news might not be the surprise that some are making it out to be. With much of the criticism regarding the financial design of the Destiny franchise (which may very well have been an example of publisher directives in the efforts of “corporate profit chasing“), and the recently announced 100 million dollars in capital acquired from Chinese company NetEase, the writing seems to have been on the wall all along. This parting of ways coincides with the scale-down of Heroes of the Storm, a move seen by many as a way of cutting costs and shifting attention to potentially more profitable ventures—like Blizzard’s OWL (Overwatch League) and the now infamous Diablo Immortal.
Jason Schreier writes that as per sources, employees were informed of the trajectory “during a team meeting this afternoon, framing it as fantastic news for a studio that has long grown sick of dealing with its publisher. Employees cheered and popped champagne.” Schreier also notes that Bungie was once upon a time owned by Microsoft, making them now two-for-two when it comes to the studio’s recurring independence.
Clandestine in nature, details remain scarce regarding the iconic dev’s “Matter” trademark filing. But with a cool one hundred mil in pocket, the smart money might just be on Bungie.
If you’re into reading about divorces, you can check out our rundown of the Crunchyroll and Funimation break up. Our Destiny 2 coverage is as recent as today, regarding the gated content release of the Bergusia Forge.
Image Source: Bungie via Author