When Bungie signed its 10 year contract with Activision in 2010, there was bonus clause listed stating the first Destiny title would need a particular review ranking in order to receive a “Quality Bonus.” If current scores are any indication, the studio may miss out on a $2.5 million check.
As noted by Kotaku, it’s quite possible the contract no longer contains such a clause, as Activision has refused comment on the contents of the contract; however, if the “Quality Bonus” clause is still in place, the 76.29% on GameRankings and 77 on Metacritic will ensure the bonus will not be handed over.
According to the contract, which was originally published through legal documents pertaining to Activision’s court battle with Infinity Ward founders Vince Zampella and Jason West, Bungie would receive a $2.5 million bonus should the first Destiny title achieve a rating of at least 90 on GameRankings “within 30 days of release on Xbox 360.”
Note the mention of Xbox 360 at the end of the clause: when Bungie first announced it was working on a new title, PlayStation consoles weren’t confirmed by either party to be in the works, and PlayStation 4 and Xbox One has yet to be announced.
The game was only released last week, and many critics have yet to post review scores. This is due to the game’s scope and similarities to an MMO – a genre which is virtually impossible to hand a score to without spending at least a month playing. It’s quite possible more reviews will be released before the 30-day period is up, and hopefully that is indeed the case.
Many websites are posting “reviews in progress” due to the fact Destiny is rather large and the first raid only went live this morning. Many reviews were posted only two days after the game’s release, which is rather unfair, considering.
Again, the original contract was forged in 2010, and Kotaku has heard from sources close to the matter it has been reworked, so hopefully, the aggregated score clause has been changed or removed all together.