Developer Bungie has created multiple worlds in their 27-year history. Marathon, Myth, Oni, Halo, and Destiny are all original universes they've crafted and, according to their new blog post, they're hinting at adding one more to that list. In addition to announcing the $100 million investment from Chinese technology company NetEase, they also hinted at a new Bungie IP by mentioning that they wanted to sustain Destiny "and new worlds to come."
Their blog post said this partnership was about wanting to "become an entertainment company that sustains many worlds simultaneously." As they aren't in charge of the Halo franchise anymore, this hint, along with the "new worlds to come" line, heavily points at them creating a new IP sometime in the future. Bungie brought on NetEase to help them facilitate this new expansion.
The Destiny developer is hoping that NetEase's expertise will "support separate teams inside Bungie to bring our newest ambitions to life." Bungie CEO Pete Parsons even told the Wall Street Journal that this was an effort to self-publish in the future.
NetEase, while maybe an unknown entity to most players, is one of the largest internet and video game companies in the whole world, coming in just behind Electronic Arts last year. They operate some of China's online PC and mobile games and have a regional partnership with Blizzard. The Shanghai Dragons, one of the teams in the Overwatch League, is even run by NetEase. With this deal and NetEase's new minority stake in the Washington-based developer, it's easy to see how this would help bring a new Bungie IP to more audiences around the world, particularly in China.
Bungie reassured Destiny fans that their hobby won't be impacted despite the developer's new endeavors. They made it clear that their "commitment to that world is not diminished by this announcement." Although despite their success, Destiny and Destiny 2's less than smooth times make these words a little troublesome, especially since their actions haven't always been received well by the community. Parsons gave his reassurance to Destiny fans in a quote picked up by GameIndustry.biz.
"We have a great partner already in Activision," said Parsons. Activision is an amazing partner, has been an amazing partner, and remains an amazing partner for us. Destiny has been a fantastic experience for both groups."
Even though they struck a decade-long deal with Activision in 2010, Bungie maintained their independence. That deal allowed them to keep the Destiny IP in their partnership and make deals like this.