Bungie unquestionably changed the shape of the console FPS when they partnered with Microsoft and released Halo exclusive to the XBOX. That partnership ended in 2007, and now it looks like they are teaming up with Activision, a publisher hemorrhaging talent after the Infinity Ward fiasco.
BUNGIE AND ACTIVISION ANNOUNCE EXCLUSIVE, WORLDWIDE PARTNERSHIP
10-Year Alliance Expands Global Reach for Leading Game Developer Across Multiple Platforms
Kirkland, WA and Santa Monica, CA – April 29, 2010 – Bungie, the developer of blockbuster game franchises including Halo, Myth and Marathon, and Activision, a wholly owned subsidiary of Activision Blizzard, the #1 online games publisher (Nasdaq: ATVI), announced today that they have entered into an exclusive 10-year partnership to bring Bungie’s next big action game universe to market. Under the terms of the agreement, Activision will have exclusive, worldwide rights to publish and distribute all future Bungie games based on the new intellectual property on multiple platforms and devices. Bungie remains an independent company and will continue to own their intellectual property. Additional terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
The groundbreaking alliance will provide Bungie its first such partnership since splitting off from Microsoft in 2007, significantly broadening its global reach by providing the resources and support to develop, distribute and release games worldwide on multiple platforms and devices.
Activision will broaden its portfolio with a new franchise from one of the industry’s most creative, successful and proven studios, whose games have sold more than 25 million units worldwide. To date, Bungie’s Halo games have generated approximately $1.5 billion in revenues, according to The NPD Group, Charttrack and GfK. Activision expects this agreement to be accretive to its operating margins as of the release of the first game.
“We chose to partner with Activision on our next IP because of their global reach, multi-platform experience and marketing expertise,” said Harold Ryan, President of Bungie. “From working together over the past nine months on this agreement, it is clear that Activision supports our commitment to giving our fans the best possible gaming experiences.”
“Bungie is one of the premier studios in our industry and we are extremely pleased to have the opportunity to work with their talented team over the next decade,” stated Thomas Tippl, Chief Operating Officer of Activision Blizzard. “Bungie has developed some of the most compelling and successful games, multiplayer experiences and thriving fan communities, and this alliance underscores our long-standing commitment to foster the industry’s best creative talent. Our unprecedented partnership with Bungie will enable us to broaden our pipeline of exciting new games as we continue to strengthen our industry position and pursue long-term growth opportunities.”
This is a fairly impressive revelation. Ten Years is a long time. Hell, you could almost make Duke Nukem Forever in that amount of time. And no more platform exclusivity means that Bungie has the potential to reach a far larger audience. The real question here is whether or not the developer can make lightening strike twice with this new IP, and whether Activision will treat them right or make another Infinity Ward style blunder.