Bungie is acquiring the rights to self-publish Destiny from Activision, the company revealed in a surprise announcement Thursday afternoon. The two companies are currently in the “early stages” of transferring Destiny publishing rights from Activision to Bungie, a process likely complicated by the continued content release plans for Destiny 2. Both companies are said to be “committed to making the handoff as seamless as possible.” No immediate changes are expected to impact Destiny 2‘s availability or previously announced roadmap.
While Bungie doesn’t cite any one reason for the split with Activision, it does acknowledge that the industry has rapidly changed in the eight years since 2010 when the contract was initially signed. A newly independent studio launching a game the size of Destiny required an established publishing partner. Now, however, Bungie believes that it’s capable of moving the franchise forward on its own.
“With Forsaken, we’ve learned, and listened, and leaned in to what we believe our players want from a great Destiny experience. Rest assured there is more of that on the way. We’ll continue to deliver on the existing Destiny roadmap, and we’re looking forward to releasing more seasonal experiences in the coming months, as well as surprising our community with some exciting announcements about what lies beyond.”
There’s clearly much left to detail about Bungie and Activision’s split going forward. Separating the two companies when a major property like Destiny is involved will be no simple feat. Nevertheless, it seems like both Bungie and Activision believe this to be the best option for both of their respective companies.
Bungie’s pending separation from Activision is already being met with energetic approval across the industry. Bungie’s official Twitter account even retweeted comments from both Xbox boss Phil Spencer and Epic Games VP Mark Rein. Rumormongers are already having a field day. Even Bungie’s employees couldn’t hide their excitement, as the studio reportedly loudly cheered during a studio meeting announcing the split.
Issues between Bungie and Activision have been apparent going all the way back to before the original Destiny was released. Bungie being rushed to release both the original Destiny and Destiny 2, leading to major controversies over each game’s launch, are well recorded. And while post-launch content including The Taken King and Forsaken have in turn been extremely well-received, the ever-present struggle with rapid-fire content releases and excessive microtransactions have constantly flustered Destiny’s community.
While there’s no promise that an entirely independent Bungie will immediately get things right, it does give Bungie complete control over its own future. Destiny‘s future, good or bad, will be Bungie and Bungie alone’s responsibility. For both studio and fans, that’s a very exciting promise.
Destiny 2 is available now on PC, PS4, and Xbox One.