Bungie and Activision Split Up, Full Publishing Rights of the Destiny Franchise Going to Bungie

Bungie announced today that plans are already underway to split away from Activision, allowing the beloved studio to gain full publishing rights on the Destiny series. Bungie originally partnered with Activision to help support the ambitious vision they had for Destiny and what it would become. With this split, Bungie will self-publish Destiny going forward. The studio will announce its full plans for the transfer in the near future.

We have enjoyed a successful eight-year run and would like to thank Activision for their partnership on Destiny. 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 planned transition process is already underway in its early stages, with Bungie and Activision both committed to making sure the handoff is as seamless as possible.

Kotaku’s Jason Schreier reports that this split comes after “years of tension between the two companies—tension that has existed since before the first Destiny even shipped.” It’s been clear, especially within Destiny 2, that there was some friction between monetized elements of the game and the player experience. Schreier continued “Bungie told employees during a team meeting this afternoon, framing it as fantastic news for a studio that has long grown sick of dealing with its publisher.”

Accounting for all games and expansions launched, the Destiny franchise has exceeded 50 million unit sales worldwide since its initial launch. Most recently, the Forsaken expansion, beloved by players, failed to meet Activision’s lofty expectations for sales. Bungie quickly fired back, saying that they were not disappointed with the expansion and player engagement with it.

Those who worry about what this might impart on the future of the game should be excited as Bungie fully takes the reins.

With Forsaken, we’ve learned, and listened, and leaned in to what we believe our players want from a great Destiny experience. Rest assured there is more of that on the way. We’ll continue to deliver on the existing Destiny roadmap, and we’re looking forward to releasing more seasonal experiences in the coming months, as well as surprising our community with some exciting announcements about what lies beyond.

Thank you so much for your continued support. Our success is owed in no small part to the incredible community of players who have graced our worlds with light and life. We know self-publishing won’t be easy; there’s still much for us to learn as we grow as an independent, global studio, but we see unbounded opportunities and potential in Destiny. We know that new adventures await us all on new worlds filled with mystery, adventure, and hope. We hope you’ll join us there.

See you starside.

The latest content drop to Destiny 2 saw players trying to solve a seemingly impossible puzzle (that still remains unsolved), and the controversy that surrounded how the puzzle blocked additional content. Most players at least give Bungie credit for trying something new, even if they did stumble a little bit in the execution. Without Activision, Bungie is now free to take more risks like this and make a game that is not beholden to investor expectations, but rather one that is made for the players.

What’s your take on Bungie breaking for Activision to publish the Destiny franchise on their own?

[Source: Bungie]