Didn't See That Coming: Bungie Signs 10-Year Activision Deal

Avatar image for ryan
Posted by Ryan (2278 posts) -

 Presumably like this, but with a whole lot less Halo.
 Presumably like this, but with a whole lot less Halo.
Well that's not something I expected to wake up to. 
 
I'll implore you to hop over to G4 to read Patrick Klepek's full breakdown of the situation, as he's been on the forefront of all of Activision's recent high drama since the day Jason West and Vince Zampella were terminated from Infinity Ward, but here's the gist of it: Bungie has signed a 10-year publishing deal with Activision, a deal that will allow Bungie to retain the intellectual property rights to whatever new universe it cooks up. The plan apparently includes bringing the new property to "multiple platforms and devices," which would mark Bungie's first foray outside the Xbox hardware in a good long while. Bungie claims that while it's been working on Halo Reach for Microsoft, it has another team led by Bungie co-founder Jason Jones that's already hard at work on this new property. If the delicious irony here isn't already apparent, this seems to be exactly the deal that West and Zampella were looking for with the Call of Duty series, though it took their termination from Infinity Ward, the formation of their new studio Respawn Entertainment, and the negotiation of a deal with Activision competitor Electronic Arts for them to get something resembling it.
 
There's more, including an open letter from Bungie itself, but I'm just going to let all this sink in for a little bit. Feel free to go absolutely bananas in the comments below.
Staff
Avatar image for ryan
#1 Posted by Ryan (2278 posts) -

 Presumably like this, but with a whole lot less Halo.
 Presumably like this, but with a whole lot less Halo.
Well that's not something I expected to wake up to. 
 
I'll implore you to hop over to G4 to read Patrick Klepek's full breakdown of the situation, as he's been on the forefront of all of Activision's recent high drama since the day Jason West and Vince Zampella were terminated from Infinity Ward, but here's the gist of it: Bungie has signed a 10-year publishing deal with Activision, a deal that will allow Bungie to retain the intellectual property rights to whatever new universe it cooks up. The plan apparently includes bringing the new property to "multiple platforms and devices," which would mark Bungie's first foray outside the Xbox hardware in a good long while. Bungie claims that while it's been working on Halo Reach for Microsoft, it has another team led by Bungie co-founder Jason Jones that's already hard at work on this new property. If the delicious irony here isn't already apparent, this seems to be exactly the deal that West and Zampella were looking for with the Call of Duty series, though it took their termination from Infinity Ward, the formation of their new studio Respawn Entertainment, and the negotiation of a deal with Activision competitor Electronic Arts for them to get something resembling it.
 
There's more, including an open letter from Bungie itself, but I'm just going to let all this sink in for a little bit. Feel free to go absolutely bananas in the comments below.
Staff
Avatar image for ontheinterwebs
#2 Posted by Ontheinterwebs (16 posts) -

Damn yo.

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#3 Posted by EwaAzn (25 posts) -

Wack !

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#4 Posted by theMixxer (47 posts) -

10 years?!

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#5 Posted by thecleric (814 posts) -

...Bungie did you just miss the whole IW not getting paid thing or what?

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#6 Posted by zidane_24 (751 posts) -

I've heard a couple different views here. One view is that this has been in the works for a while. IW heard that Bungie gets to keep control of THEIR IP's, get angry, and the whole IW situation happens. The other way I see it is that Activision needed a big developer after losing most of IW, and Bungie fills that role nicely.

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#7 Posted by jas0n (56 posts) -

Good job they get to keep the IP. Wonder if this has got anything to do with the IW chaos recently. :/

Avatar image for rjpelonia
#8 Posted by RJPelonia (923 posts) -

Weird.

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#9 Edited by Red12b (9360 posts) -

 

  Feel free to go absolutely bananas in the comments below.


 
Already have
Avatar image for weegieanawrench
#10 Posted by weegieanawrench (1965 posts) -

B.A.N.A.N.A.S.!!
 
That's pretty crazy. I hope Bungie doesn't get screwed over like West and Zampella.

Avatar image for lead_farmer
#11 Posted by lead_farmer (1076 posts) -

woah.  that's weird.  10 years is quite a commitment.

Avatar image for firesketch
#12 Posted by FireSketch (851 posts) -

This blows, I want Activision to sink. :3

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#13 Posted by Tebbit (4589 posts) -

BANANAS! 
 
Oh well, they had a good run.

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#14 Posted by Zereta (1521 posts) -

FFFFFFFUCK 
 
Thanks for the green light, Ryan. Part 1 of going nuts.

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#15 Posted by Sh4ft3d (137 posts) -

Fuck. Love Bungie, but screw Activision.

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#16 Posted by somethingepic (23 posts) -

this cant end well

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#17 Posted by Drebin_893 (3176 posts) -

What the fuck?

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#18 Posted by WickedCestus (3781 posts) -

DUDE WHAT.

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#19 Posted by WinterSnowblind (7598 posts) -

Awful news, Activision are terrible publishers.  I thought Bungie left Microsoft because 1.  They wanted to be independant.  and 2.  They didn't want to be stuck making Halo games until the end of time.  The first popular game series Bungie end up making now will be milked to death within the first two years, and the second they make something that sells below expectations, the entire team will be fired.
 
Why on Earth did Bungie do this?  What happened to the Seventh Collumn?

Avatar image for superfriend
#20 Posted by Superfriend (1715 posts) -

Holy shit, if Microsoft was to blame for the unfinished state Halo 2 shipped in, this is going to be WAY worse.
Bungie´s going to make 1 game a year from now on and they are going to poison whatever IP they´re working on. Way to go Bungie, so much for "independence".

Avatar image for mikkaq
#21 Posted by MikkaQ (10296 posts) -

BANANAAAAAAAS!

Avatar image for hamz
#22 Posted by Hamz (6899 posts) -

Seems like a solid contractual agreement between both parties. This is a mutual partnership between both companies rather than one having leverage or exclusive ownership of the other like Infinity Ward's relationship with Activision.
 
Great news!

Avatar image for berezov
#23 Posted by Berezov (556 posts) -

If I see Guitar Halo...

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#24 Posted by nail1080 (2025 posts) -

meh doesn't effect me who gives a fuck

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#25 Posted by Terranova (644 posts) -

Interesting,  i'm sure Bungie know what they are doing but the question is did they sign the deal before or after the whole IW incident, if it was before then no wonder the guys at IW were peeved off, and if it was after did Bungie really think Activision was the best place to go,  personally I would have stayed well clear, No doubt Activision will be looking towards Bungie to fill the COD MW crater that has been left behind.
Avatar image for hamz
#26 Posted by Hamz (6899 posts) -
@WinterSnowblind: You've got the situation all wrong. Bungie make the games and allow Activision the right to publish them, exclusively, which means all Activision can do is press discs and box the games. They don't own Bungie so they can't sack anyone. 
 
Calm down! :P
Avatar image for hallwaygiant
#27 Posted by hallwaygiant (168 posts) -

I think Bungie has enough experience with being pressured by publishers that they wouldn't sign an agreement with Activision if they thought they wouldn't let them be flexible with their new IP.

Avatar image for lordofultima
#28 Posted by lordofultima (6582 posts) -

Dear god. The world is ending.

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#29 Posted by FirePrince (1793 posts) -

So after they demolish IW,they take in Bungie,and for TEN YEARS? 
I predict a new Respawn.
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#30 Posted by Norusdog (356 posts) -

HAHAHAHAHA

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#31 Posted by MannAlive (162 posts) -

This is not good for anybody.  No, this does not feel good at all.

Avatar image for pepsipat1
#32 Posted by pepsipat1 (271 posts) -

MOTHER FUCKER!!!! WHY THE FUCK DOES STUPID SHIT LIKE THIS HAPPEN WHEN I AM BOYCOTTING ACTIVISION GAMES?!!!! I guess I could just boycott Call of duty and guitar hero/dj hero and tony hawk games.

Avatar image for seraphim2150
#33 Posted by Seraphim2150 (397 posts) -

Dang

Avatar image for griddler
#34 Posted by Griddler (3374 posts) -

Haha Bungie possibly developing on PS3 now.. I don't see that sitting too well with Xbots

Avatar image for jeffk38uk
#35 Posted by Jeffk38uk (726 posts) -

Very surprising, I'm thinking many assumed they would go for Electronic Arts, given the recent fiasco as it were but since this was a long talk, guess not. And it seems to be a publication deal only. 
 
Course, things have been stranger. Lets hope it won't be like Vader, altering a deal. Pray he does not alter it any further.

Avatar image for pepsipat1
#36 Posted by pepsipat1 (271 posts) -

Also I would like to add....... WHAT THE FUCK?!!!!!!!

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#37 Posted by Ratfoot (211 posts) -

Please somebody put a bullet in my brain, this is truly a nightmare.

Avatar image for madthad0890
#38 Posted by MadThad0890 (98 posts) -

CALL OF DUTY: SPACE COMBAT. FUND IT

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#39 Posted by armaan8014 (6114 posts) -

So?

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#40 Posted by agemyth (115 posts) -

Whaaaaaaaaaaa??

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#41 Posted by AllanIceman (1355 posts) -

CRAZY!

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#42 Posted by MildMolasses (3200 posts) -

It wouldn't surpise me if the sticking point in negotiations was who got to hold the IP rights. When the IW situation came through, Activision realised that it might be worth giving in on that point for Bungie if it still meant that they would get 10 years of money out of the deal. Mind you a big difference between Bungie and IW is that Activision actually owned IW, whereas they only have a publishing deal with Bungie
Avatar image for rhaknar
#43 Posted by Rhaknar (6299 posts) -

bet this new title will be at E3

Avatar image for mattyftm
#44 Edited by MattyFTM (14804 posts) -

 
 

No Caption Provided

 Sorry, I couldn't resist.
 
Anyway, I really don't see what the fuss is about. All it means is that an Activision logo will apear next to Bungie's on game boxes for the next 10 years. Sure, it came out of the blue, but it really isn't going to affect gamers in any noticeable way. It's not like Activision has taken over Bungie, and we're going to see a repeat of the IW fiasco again. They've just signed a publishing agreement. It's really not a big deal. The Bungie team have enough sense to not relinquish too much control to the publisher in a deal like this. The contract will leave the ball firmly in Bungie's court. 
 
Ultimately it makes sense. Bungie need a publisher for it's new IP. Activision are a willing to publish it. Sure, why not?
Moderator
Avatar image for alternate
#45 Edited by alternate (2819 posts) -

It makes sense.  They needed someone to do the publishing/marketing for their new IP and as MS only publish exclusives it was going to be either EA partners or a similar deal with Activision.
 
As to Activision - minimal risk for them as a Bungie game is always going to sell and while they prefer to own the whole pie - getting a small slice of a potentially huge pie for just publishing - and taking it away from their competitors - is a no loss proposition.
 
This whole situation surprisingly makes MS look good.  Faced with a rebellious studio that was going to splinter anyway they showed some class by accepting the situation and setting them free rather than having the whole thing self destruct like with IW.

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#46 Posted by jmrwacko (2537 posts) -

Does this mean Halo is going to be crossplatform?

Avatar image for hamz
#47 Posted by Hamz (6899 posts) -
@MildMolasses: Exactly my point. The relationship in this deal is totally different, it's more mutual. Bungie gain a strong publisher and Activision gain exclusive rights to publish games from one of the industries more successful development studios. Then of course mix in the fact that it took almost a year of negotiations before both parties were in agreement to the terms of the contract and you suddenly realise this is almost a win/win situation for all involved.
Avatar image for fallen189
#48 Posted by Fallen189 (5453 posts) -

I dont even know what this means.

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#49 Edited by MannAlive (162 posts) -

So how many of the Bungie team are going to quit now and join Respawn?

Avatar image for wolf_blitzer85
#50 Posted by wolf_blitzer85 (5441 posts) -

Oh snap!

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