Destiny and ex-Halo developer Bungie has announced a new partnership, with a new publisher. That publisher, Chinese company NetEase, separately announced it has invested $100 million in the storied developer. With this investment, NetEase has purchased a minority stake in Bungie, which comes with a seat on the board of directors. While Bungie insists this won’t have an impact with its relationship with Activision Blizzard (and Destiny by extension), this move is being spun as an opportunity for the company to work on new IP.
In a post on Bungie’s own website, the narrative in place suggests the move will “empower us to build new worlds and invite players, new and old, to join us there.” In the same statement, Bungie states Destiny is alive and well, that this news will not interfere with that franchise, and the plan is to “turn new players from all over the world into Guardians.” Meanwhile, while gamesindustry.biz wonders if NeatEase will help bring Bungie’s games to China for the first time, Bungie stated there’s “no explicit deal” regarding Chinese publishing.
Bungie CEO Pete Parsons points to its long-term goals to foster a global presence as its primary motivator for the sale, citing NetEase’s experience with branding and development in China, and on mobile platforms. Parsons also notes how difficult it was to even determine Bungie’s standing brand value in China, and that this move could also assist Bungie in exploring options like self-publishing.