After two full games and a handful of expansion packs, Activision and Bungie are splitting up. But instead of a joint ownership, Bungie is getting full custody of the Destiny franchise. The developer turned publisher will retain the publishing rights to the RPG space shooter from here on out.
Bungie announced the news through a relatively short blog post. In it, the company gave a brief, if vague, synopsis of what will happen.
“We have enjoyed a successful eight-year run and would like to thank Activision for their partnership on Destiny,” it said. “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 transition has already been happening behind the scenes and Bungie reassured players that each party is making sure that the “handoff is as seamless as possible.” Activison echoed a similar sentiment in its own statement. Self-publishing is new for the developer but it said it sees “unbounded opportunities and potential in Destiny” and was possibly a challenge the studio wanted to explore.
But Bungie’s true intentions behind gather the publishing rights remains unclear. It’s possible that Activision was suffocating the developer (as some Blizzard employees have claimed) or that Bungie wanted to take on a new challenge.
This also means that the two negotiated an end to the historic deal from April 2010. It entailed that Activision would publish the new IP (that would later become Destiny) during a 10-year period but Bungie would keep the rights to said property. This announcement is, of course, just under nine years since that agreement.
Bungie made it seem like it would be business as usual for its games. The blog post also relays the team’s continued support for Destiny 2 by following its announced roadmap and releasing more surprises down the line. Blizzard also chimed in and said that Destiny 2‘s PC version would still remain on Battle.net and it does not “anticipate any disruption.”