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Bungie signs exclusive 10-year Activision deal on “next big action game universe” [Update]

Thursday, 29th April 2010 13:14 GMT By Patrick Garratt

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Update: There’s video of execs talking about the deal after the break.

Original: Activision has just announced a show-stopping 10-year deal with Bungie, the developer’s first alignment since splitting from Microsoft.

The contract is “an exclusive 10-year partnership to bring Bungie’s next big action game universe to market”.

Under the terms of the agreement, Activision will have exclusive, worldwide rights to publish and distribute all future Bungie games based on the new IP on “multiple platforms and devices”.

Bungie remains independent and will own the IP.

“We chose to partner with Activision on our next IP because of their global reach, multi-platform experience and marketing expertise,” said Harold Ryan, Bungie president.

“From working together over the past nine months on this agreement, it is clear that Activision supports our commitment to giving our fans the best possible gaming experiences.”

“Bungie is one of the premier studios in our industry and we are extremely pleased to have the opportunity to work with their talented team over the next decade,” stated Thomas Tippl, Acti COO.

“Bungie has developed some of the most compelling and successful games, multiplayer experiences and thriving fan communities, and this alliance underscores our long-standing commitment to foster the industry’s best creative talent. Our unprecedented partnership with Bungie will enable us to broaden our pipeline of exciting new games as we continue to strengthen our industry position and pursue long-term growth opportunities.”

The news will send shockwaves through the trade, especially given recent and apparently unstoppable staff losses at Modern Warfare developer Infinity Ward, Activision’s star turn.

Here. Check the video below.

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86 Comments

  1. XDamage

    Ok. Multiplatform then?

    #1 5 years ago
  2. Rhythm

    Makes sense seeing how well IW were treated by Kotick et al

    #2 5 years ago
  3. cookiejar

    Wow.

    #3 5 years ago
  4. mington

    if you can’t wait
    http://www.allgamesbeta.info/2010/04/bungie-and-activision-announce.html

    #4 5 years ago
  5. Rhythm

    Ah, just read it and it seems they’ve joined under the same terms that Respawn have negotiated with EA. Seperate company, Activision are simply exclusive publisher, all IP rights belong to Bungie…

    #5 5 years ago
  6. Blerk

    Holy shit!

    Bungie doing CoD now, then? :-D

    #6 5 years ago
  7. V_Ben

    good grief. Well, if they own the ip, then thats alright!

    #7 5 years ago
  8. Gheritt White

    MEGATON – espeically when you consider that Bungie (along with Blizzard and *maybe* Valve) are one of the very few developers with mainstream consumer brand recognition.

    #8 5 years ago
  9. pleasant_cabbage

    @8
    Ya. Interesting if they do get MW as it seem to be the antithesis of the Bungie approach to game design. I predict pain.

    #9 5 years ago
  10. Blerk

    Ten years is a looooooong time.

    #10 5 years ago
  11. Gheritt White

    @ 11: It’s only three games – four at the most.

    #11 5 years ago
  12. Mike

    Good move for Bungie.

    I’m just worried I’ll never get to play Halo 4.

    #12 5 years ago
  13. Benjo1981

    It seems to be a deal linked to one IP only so they could still do other work with other publishers, I guess.

    #13 5 years ago
  14. Gheritt White

    @ 13: 343 Industries is making the next Master Chief game, probably going to be Halo 4.

    #14 5 years ago
  15. Patrick Garratt

    Well. That’s exciting.

    #15 5 years ago
  16. Rhythm

    @12 – taken a look at Neversoft’s output recently? 10 years is about 15-20 games in Activision world

    #16 5 years ago
  17. Suikoden Fan

    so when will bungie split up and create a new studio then?

    #17 5 years ago
  18. theevilaires

    Shit just hit the fan! This is getting fucking crazy man. What’s next Ken and Phil return to Sony to unveil the PS4?

    I can’t take this stuff anymore. Day after day alliances are being shifted.

    #18 5 years ago
  19. Patrick Garratt

    E3′s going to be insane.

    *facepalm*

    #19 5 years ago
  20. Mike

    @15 So who’s going to publish it?

    #20 5 years ago
  21. Newbie101

    Correct me if I’m wrong (and I could be very, very wrong) but….

    I thought IW never ever owned the rights to CoD?

    And MW wouldn’t have been so big if it wasn’t for the mammoth marketing budget/

    #21 5 years ago
  22. cookiejar

    @21 Microsoft Game Studios?

    #22 5 years ago
  23. scuz

    WTF

    #23 5 years ago
  24. Erthazus

    @9 No ! There is no place for Bungie along side with Blizzard and Valve in terms of brand recognition. USA is the only country where it have a recognition. No.Fucking.Way.
    Blizzard is popular not only in US, but in EU, Korea and e.t.c. Valve – same except of Korea.

    @13 Relax, Microsoft made 1st party called 343 industries and they are going to make next Halo games and Microsoft is going to publish it.

    Thats a Megaton news. Activision is printing money and going in to the right direction. I’m not interested in their new IP, but thats a huge news anyway.
    Soon we are going to see Activision console :D

    #24 5 years ago
  25. Mike

    @23 but I thought 343 Industries was a Bungie subsidiary.

    #25 5 years ago
  26. NGCes26294BIV

    I can only assume it’s a) shit, since Microsoft had first refusal on it, and b) Activision paid a shit-ton of money for it.

    #26 5 years ago
  27. Benjo1981

    @25

    Why aren’t u interested in their new IP? You don’t even know what it is yet.

    #27 5 years ago
  28. cookiejar

    @26, 343 was set up by Microsoft to take over the Halo stuff now Bungie are handing it over.

    #28 5 years ago
  29. DJ Deathstar

    Well Bungie said they might return to do another Halo in 10 years, so looks like that could actually be the case! They’re a smart bunch and i don’t expect them to let Activision run rule over them! Bring on the new Marathon game! If their first game with Acti is multiformat i doubt we’ll see it for a couple years at least especially as they don’t have experience using PS3 Dev kits

    #29 5 years ago
  30. Erthazus

    @28 After 4 dissapointments i don’t see them doing something awesome.

    But i remember Oni game, it was cool. I’m not interested for now, maybe when they will announce new IP i will be interested. Who knows.
    But for now, i don’t give a shit.

    #30 5 years ago
  31. Mike

    @29 I’m confused. So the same devs that worked on Halo 1,2+3 won’t be working on Halo 4?

    Or has Bungie moved the Halo hardcore over to 343 and employed a bunch of new devs to work on new stuff?

    #31 5 years ago
  32. Raining_Upwards

    Holy fucking shit! Ten years?

    Acti ‘lose’ IW and gain Bungie.

    I’d take that trade :)

    #32 5 years ago
  33. Eregol

    How long til Bungie get pissed of with Acti?

    #33 5 years ago
  34. Patrick Garratt

    We’ve got a Bungie interview later today.

    #34 5 years ago
  35. Erthazus

    @32 Same developers WON’T work on future Halo titles. 343 Industries is the 1st party company that was made by Microsoft and it will work on the NEXT GENERATION Halo franchises.

    Following the release of Halo 3, Bungie announced it was splitting off from Microsoft and becoming an independent limited liability company. While Bungie remains involved in the Halo series by developing games such as ODST and Reach, the rights to Halo remain with Microsoft. To oversee everything Halo, Microsoft created an internal division, 343 Industries, serving as “stewards” for the franchise. Frank O’Connor, formerly a Bungie employee, now serves as 343′s creative director. (c) Wikipedia

    #35 5 years ago
  36. Patrick Garratt

    So if you have any questions…

    #36 5 years ago
  37. Rhythm

    Weren’t 343 a bunch of ex-Bungie community staff along with some Halo fanboi developers?

    #37 5 years ago
  38. Mike

    PAt:

    I think my question is clear. :)

    #38 5 years ago
  39. Rhythm

    @Pat – are they planning to start totally new IPs or will they kick-off by revisiting things like Marathon/Myth?

    Also, are they in complete control of their destiny here? Do they get so drop the contract if Acti start applying too much pressure?

    #39 5 years ago
  40. NGCes26294BIV

    @37

    Yes please Pat…

    “Why did you decide to move to multiformat development after spending so many years as a 1st party developer?”

    Or similar…

    #40 5 years ago
  41. mington

    @pat ask them if they’ve ever done a bungie jump

    #41 5 years ago
  42. The Hindle

    Here is my question and its Why Activision? and have they not heard of the Infinity Ward saga.

    #42 5 years ago
  43. Gheritt White

    @ 25: Erthazus – my parents have heard of Bungie and Blizzard because Halo and WoW make it into the mainstream press. I was being generous by mentioning Valve – I don’t think your average man on the street has heard of them. Thinking about it, Blizzard, Bungie and Rockstar would probably be the only third-party developers with mainstream consumer brand recognition, for WoW, Halo and GTA respectively. People love CoD, but nobody’s heard of Infinity Ward or Treyarch as it’s Activision’s policy to play up the publisher’s brand and downplay the developer’s. Not that this policy will affect Bungie, due to the nature of their deal.

    Bear in mind, mainstream consumer recognition does not denote quality. Btw, Bungie is very well recognised in the UK too. If Valve is well known by Mums and Dads wherever you’re from, good for them. As far as I’m aware, the US and the UK alone usually make for about two thirds of any Western videogame’s lifetime sales, with only the odd exception (like StarCraft in Korea).

    @ 29: This is correct. 343 are an MGS studio set up to handle the Halo universe. They’re currently working on Master Chief’s next adventure, apparently.

    @ 18: Bungie have *already* split – founder Alex Seropian and several other Bungie old guard from their Mac days left after Halo:CE was published on PC and formed Wideload Games, now owned by Disney Interactive.

    #43 5 years ago
  44. Gheritt White

    @ 30: YES! OMG that would be so cool – they wouldn’t even have to make a new game, just re-imagining the first Marathon for modern consoles would be awesome!

    #44 5 years ago
  45. mington

    @pat motion controls? ask them there take on the waggle? have they experimented with the waggle? are they getting involved with the waggle? is the future of video games all about the waggle?

    #45 5 years ago
  46. Patrick Garratt

    All good. I’ll get as many in as I can.

    #46 5 years ago
  47. Patrick Garratt

    “What’s better? PlayStations or Xboxes?”

    #47 5 years ago
  48. Gheritt White

    Ask them if they can at least rule out that it’s Marathon – the anticipation will kill me otherwise.

    #48 5 years ago
  49. Mike

    “Do you hate your fans?”

    “How many of the PS3′s Cells are you planning on using?”

    “How does it feel taking Kotick’s money?”

    #49 5 years ago
  50. DJ Deathstar

    Does Microsoft have first refusal on their new IP/Game?

    I have seen people say they do but i’ve also seen people say they don’t i’d like to know as surely MS will just take whatever Bungie are making

    #50 5 years ago
  51. mington

    @pat If they had a barge pole, would they touch the Wii with it?

    oh, and 3D tech?

    #51 5 years ago
  52. DJ Deathstar

    Have they tried using PS3 dev kits at all?

    #52 5 years ago
  53. airdom

    Did i just read that? Teaming up with Activision? Man..Bungie has just ruined EVERYTHING! After fucking up IW they are gonna screw with Bungie now…

    #53 5 years ago
  54. Freek

    Question:
    The deal has been in the making for 9 months, but have recent events surrounding Infinity Ward made Bungie a little nervouse? Becuase to the outside world it looks like only Blizzard is allowed to be independand, everybody else needs to fall in line or risk closure.

    #54 5 years ago
  55. Rhythm

    I can’t understand how people think this is a bad thing. Bungie’s strong enough to choose who they want to sign with. Acti hasn’t stepped in here and said “we’re buying you, make our next 15 CoD games”, they’ve signed into a partnership to publish content, much like Valve/EA, Respawn/EA, Naughty Dog/Sony

    #55 5 years ago
  56. Gheritt White

    Pat – can you ask them whether they’ll be staying true to their roots and do a Mac version for their new game?

    #56 5 years ago
  57. mington

    @pat I dare you to ask them nothing about Reach

    or, start the interview with “Is there anything you can tell us that we don’t already know about Reach?”

    serious question: is story/narrative going to play a major part in your next IP?

    #57 5 years ago
  58. Freek

    That’s how Infinity Ward started out: a publishing deal on Call of Duty. Then later on buying more and more into studio untill Activission owned it completly and then destroyed it.

    Obivously there’s more to it then that, and the people making these deals know way more then we ever will, but it looks weird.

    #58 5 years ago
  59. DJ Deathstar

    One thing everyone forgetting is that IW was a start up with Activision, they left EA to join Acti and created IW. The main problem between Acti and IW is/was Treyarch and Acti so happy to let others develop IW’s COD franchise. In this case we have Bungie a huge developer having their games published by Acti, thats all, they will go into this knowing how to approach it. They won’t take others creating their franchise if they don’t want them to i’m fairly certain.

    #59 5 years ago
  60. JonFE

    @Pat:

    I’ll just echo DJ’s question as well:

    Didn’t Microsoft have first refusal on their new IP/Game?

    It would be nice if we got any clarification on that, although I doubt it’s accurate, because it nullifies this Acti/Bungie deal…

    #60 5 years ago
  61. G1GAHURTZ

    @ Pat: I’ve got a question!

    Who do you think would win in a fight between Master Chief, Marcus Fenix and Captain Price, and why?

    #61 5 years ago
  62. Patrick Garratt

    @62 – Genius. I’m asking that.

    #62 5 years ago
  63. Patrick Garratt

    @61 – Yep, I’ll ask.

    #63 5 years ago
  64. Gheritt White

    Pat – can you ask them if Bungie’s artists have ever created hentai machinima of Master Chief doing Cortana and Samus Aran at the same time? Can they also provide FTP details for where we can download it from?

    #64 5 years ago
  65. ZarraN

    Bungie will make a good game and Activision will turns it to shit and in 2020 Bungie sues Activision to get paid.

    #65 5 years ago
  66. Raining_Upwards

    I have a question.

    Their last comment that they gave a week or so ago; regading the fact that they might develop another Halo game in ‘ten years or so’, was ironically timed no? :)

    #66 5 years ago
  67. Raining_Upwards

    Duplicated post. Please delete.

    #67 5 years ago
  68. Gekidami

    @66
    And how would Acti affect their game in anyway? What are they going to do; print the discs badly? *rolls eyes*

    #68 5 years ago
  69. Raining_Upwards

    Seriously speaking though, the biggest question I have for them is what challenges do they envision having to develop for multiple platforms in comparison to the single-console development that they have been accustomed to?

    #69 5 years ago
  70. Raining_Upwards

    Going on from my previous question, given the fact that they are in engaged in multiplatform development, will they (like CryTek) pursue the aggressive development of a cross-platform engine to optimise results across all formats?

    #70 5 years ago
  71. Raining_Upwards

    70 and 71 represent the real question that I wanted you guys to ask, not the pisstake that was 67 :)

    #71 5 years ago
  72. Gekidami

    Your question in comment 67 seems worth asking to me. :D

    #72 5 years ago
  73. Eregol

    Bungie is still independant right?
    Just Acti will be publishing this new ip?

    Sorta like Epic Games with MS holding the publishing side up.

    #73 5 years ago
  74. DeSpiritusBellum

    Aaaaaaaaaand… There it is.

    Fair enough if people still want to bang their little drums about Activision somehow being childmolesting slavetraders, but they definitely know how to turn a profit.

    Even when they take a hit and lose the studio behind one of the best console shooters around, they just get right back up and grab another.

    Somehow I doubt that either Bungie or the Dead Space devs are a bunch of lobotomized masochists that just want Activision to hurt them. Only on the internet or in a sewing circle would that kind of logic be valid. Activision most likely provides just fine for it’s partners as long as those partners don’t try to fuck them over.

    #74 5 years ago
  75. Freek

    Or, another possibility, the ugly law suites that followed after heavy handed intervention on the part of Activission has caused them to re-evaluate how they deal with thier studios, making a deal like this a posibility for Bungie.

    #75 5 years ago
  76. joshua nash

    bungie should just look at whats happening to infinityward to see how a “partnership” with activision will turn out

    #76 5 years ago
  77. Patrick Garratt

    Interview’s in 25 mins.

    #77 5 years ago
  78. The Hindle

    @ Pat

    If you can ask when can we expect details on thier new project and its E3 a legitmate possiblity?

    #78 5 years ago
  79. The Hindle

    Also have they ever heard of the phrase doing a deal with the devil because Bobby Kotick come on

    #79 5 years ago
  80. Anders

    Looks like Activision has found their new IW. Madness.

    #80 5 years ago
  81. No_PUDding

    Ask them: Since their next IP will have to be a conceptual/fictional departure, do they think they could ever top the mainstream appeal, success and identity they spawned and nurtured with Halo.

    #81 5 years ago
  82. No_PUDding

    Smply put… How or can you top Halo?

    #82 5 years ago
  83. Gekidami

    You’re to late PUD, to late!

    #83 5 years ago
  84. Amored

    Would be nice if the video would load :)

    #84 5 years ago
  85. DeSpiritusBellum

    @76 Granted, withholding bonuses is going nuclear, but nothing they’ve done outside of that has been less than what’s expected when you find out your proteges are shopping around.

    Either way, if their practices had been deemed unacceptable by the industry itself in any way, Bungie would hardly be signing anything. Not that they’re now an inhouse studio like Infinity Ward, but they just wouldn’t dream of it.

    Fact is, gamers have become obsessed with the whole faustian myth of Activision and Bobby Kotick especially, even though it’s just a well run business, that has so far proven itself to be more than competent in its decisions.

    #85 5 years ago
  86. Dannybuoy

    Halo Party mini game collection?

    #86 5 years ago

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