Ex-Bungie board member and composer Marty O’Donnell has said Bungie’s deal with Activision was “as bad as we thought it to be.”
According to an interview O’Donnell did with the HiddenXperia YouTube channel, the Bungie partnership with Activision was made in order for the firm to have control over the IP, as other “big players during that period” would not agree to do that, including Microsoft.
From the start, O’Donnell had reservations about signing the deal, but since the firm promised Bungie total control over the Destiny IP, a deal was ultimately made.
However, over the course of the relationship, both companies had different goals for what Destiny was supposed to be, and ultimately, the partnership dissolved. Despite being portrayed as an amicable split, it was not a “marriage made in heaven,” according to O’Donnell.
“Because I was in leadership and on the board of directors when we went with Activision, if there is any blame for going to Activision, I am part of it,” he said. “There were seven of us total I think [that] made that deal with Activision. We knew it was a risk right from the get-go, and it turned out to be exactly as bad as we thought it to be.
“I am the only one who is gonna say that, except anyone who no longer works for Bungie, and anyone who no longer works for Bungie is gonna say, ‘yeah, it was bad from the start,'” (thanks, GI.biz).
“We launched this franchise with Activision, naturally and over the course of time we both decided we had different goals for what we wanted it to be, so we both went our separate ways.”
Bungie and Activision parted ways in 2019, with the developer gaining full publishing rights to the Destiny franchise.
Activision signed a 10-year deal in 2010 with the studio to publish Destiny. The contract was an “exclusive 10-year partnership,” with Activision holding exclusive, worldwide rights to publish and distribute all future Bungie games based on the IP.