In a surprise announcement on their site and through Twitter, Bungie has announced plans to assume full ownership and publishing rights for Destiny. This will likely come as something of a surprise for those with a passing familiarity with the details of Bungie’s agreement with Activision in regard to their science-fantasy shooter. It was almost certain that Bungie was going to have to deliver at least one more game in order to make a clean break from the publisher, but it may be that that’s not the case anymore.
Both Bungie and Activision delivered a statement outlining the basics of what’s going on. Activision delivered the joint statement via Twitter, basically saying that Bungie will own and continue to develop the franchise while Activision focuses its attention on other IP. The statement concluded by saying that Bungie is committed to continuing the Destiny series, so fans need not worry about seeing it disappear in the near future.
Thank you Guardians. It’s been an honor and a privilege to help bring the world of Destiny to life for you. pic.twitter.com/EB1y19OTD8
— Activision (@Activision) January 10, 2019
Bungie’s statement on their site more or less said the same thing, but also offered a bit of perspective on their relationship with Activision over the past eight years as well as a couple small details regarding the status of the transition. Bungie made sure to remind fans that Destiny would not have been possible without Activision, and they made sure to thank the publisher for their support. As far as taking control of Destiny goes, it seems the process is already underway. “The planned transition process is already underway in its early stages, with Bungie and Activision both committed to making sure the hand-off is as seamless as possible,” they said. Bungie also stated that this won’t affect the road map they laid out for Destiny 2, so no need to worry about that Annual Pass content.
No concrete details were offered as to why they’re working on taking control of the Destiny IP earlier than expected, but there are some hints. Bungie’s statement mentions that they’ve learned a lot about what Destiny players want thanks to their ongoing experience with Forsaken. Given the difference of opinion expressed by Bungie and Activision over Forsaken, it might not be too much of a stretch to think that creative differences might be at play here. For their part, Activision is on record as being disappointed with Forsaken and Destiny 2, so maybe they’re just not all that opposed to dropping an IP that isn’t paying the desired returns. This is of course just speculation though, as no official reasoning has been stated as of yet.
While this may worry some fans, Bungie at least seems quite committed to continuing to develop and improve Destiny in the future. They wouldn’t be taking control of it otherwise. If the myriad theories on the internet are to be believed, then this transition can only be a good thing for the series. Of course, we’ll probably only know for sure once Destiny 3 is released.