Developer Bungie has officially announced that it has withdrawn from it’s eight year partnership with publisher Activision and will self-publish future Destiny installments.
The decision was made public via a joint statement from Bungie and Activision stating the following:
“Today, we’re announcing plans for Bungie to assume full publishing rights and responsibilities for the Destiny franchise. Going forward, Bungie will own and develop the franchise, and Activision will increase its focus on owned IP and other projects. Activision and Bungie are committed to a seamless transition for the Destiny franchise and will continue to work closely together during the transition on behalf of the community of Destiny players around the world.”
Bungie also published a blog post on their website detailing what the transition will look like for both companies in the near future.
The blog post reads, “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 publisher made it clear that the transition towards self-publishing is already underway in its early stages. Bungie also was able to indicate that the transition will not have an impact with its current roadmap for the release of Destiny 2 content.
The decision for Bungie pursue publishing freedom and break from Activision has been a long time coming. According to Kotaku’s Jason Schreier, the decision marks the end of a rocky eight year relationship that has gone on between the two companies since before the first Destiny shipped in 2014.
At today's meeting announcing the news, Bungie staff cheered loudly. Can't over-emphasize how happy they are not just to get away from Activision, but to have a game that they now own completely. Imagine a Destiny free from Activision's restrictive annualized schedule!
— Jason Schreier (@jasonschreier) January 10, 2019
With their newfound publishing freedom it is possible that Bungie will loosen up on their production schedule in order to give their development teams more time to polish content before it releases, which is something they were not able to do previously for much of Destiny 2’s life. Most importantly though it gives them the license to discontinue certain practices that were likely forced upon them by their former publisher such as the widely controversial “pay-to-win” model of forcing microtransactions on to consumers. Overall, Bungie fans have a lot of reasons to rejoice at this news and the future of their favorite company.
What this self-publishing initiative could mean for Activision is uncertain. It is a decision that will cost them to a lose a franchise that has been widely profitable for them alongside Call of Duty and it may not be the only company that breaks from them. Other companies owned by Activision such as Blizzard could also possibly move towards self-publishing after that company’s co-founder resigned a few days ago with World of Warcraft executive producer Allen J. Brack taking over. Activision has constantly come under scrutiny for its aggressive application of microtransactions and loot boxes in their AAA franchises and for Call of Duty‘s annually declining sales since 2014.
What do you think of this news? Is it a good idea for Bungie to self-publish? Let us know in the comments down below!