Following their break with Destiny developers Bungie earlier this week, Activision Blizzard stock plummeted in the wake of fears around the publisher’s stability. Yesterday, Activision Blizzard cut short their ten year contract with Bungie for a further two games in the Destiny series, with their stock falling by almost 10% over the ensuing night and Friday morning.
The split appeared to be amicable according to a joint statement in which Bungie acquired the full publishing rights for Destiny. There has been no indication whether either party had a wider reason for this move, especially considering that the fall in Activision Blizzard stock would likely have been anticipated.
“We have enjoyed a successful eight-year run and would like to thank Activision for their partnership on Destiny,” Bungie wrote in a separate statement. “Looking ahead, we’re excited to announce plans for Activision to transfer publishing rights for 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.”
Activision is still engaged with their iconic Call of Duty series, after launching Black Ops 4 in 2018 and reportedly working on the next installment, while Blizzard continues to support Overwatch, Hearthstone, World of Warcraft, Diablo, and Starcraft. The loss of the Destiny series is by no means the end of Activision Blizzard, especially considering that Activision reported disappointing sales of the Destiny 2 Forsaken DLC in November last year.
However, the fall in Activision Blizzard stock demonstrates just how integral the Destiny series had become for the company; even in February of last year, Destiny 2 was one of the driving forces behind valuable microtransaction revenue for Activision.
For Bungie, this split sets them up to self-publish the next Destiny title, and potentially even move to develop new IPs of their own following a $100 million investment last year.