Bungie has confirmed in a new blog post that it has assumed all rights to the Destiny franchise, as the studio has withdrawn from its partnership with publisher Activision.
This means that all future Destiny games will be self-published by Bungie. Assuming, that is, that the Bellevue-based studio doesn't agree a fresh deal with a new partner in the future.
Right now, that's not on the cards - Bungie is aiming to control everything about Destiny, going forwards. An excerpt from the post reads as follows:
"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 planned transition process is already underway in its early stages, with Bungie and Activision both committed to making sure the handoff is as seamless as possible."
Blizzard has confirmed that the Windows version of Destiny 2 will continue to be supported on BattleNet, and is not anticipating any disruption to the current service.
For Bungie, this split represents its second big industry divorce, after the company parted ways with Microsoft back in 2007. Back then, Microsoft retained the rights to the Bungie-developed Halo series, as Bungie pressed ahead with its then-new Destiny project.
Activision posted its gratitude for the eight-year partnership on Twitter:
Activision had previously expressed concerns with Destiny 2's commercial performance, with its COO Coddy Johnson saying that the game wasn't reaching the levels of success the publisher had been expecting. In an earnings call in early November 2018, he commented: "We've not yet seen the full core re-engage in Destiny, which has led to the underperformance... Some players are in 'wait and see' mode."
Suffice to say - okay, assume - that relations between Activision and Bungie haven't been completely smooth in recent months. And Kotaku news editor Jason Schreier has tweeted that Bungie staff greeted the official announcement of their separation with jubilation, adding that this split had been coming "for years".
Head of Xbox, Phil Spencer, has tweeted his support for Bungie, and excitement for the future:
And indie dev Rami Ismail, co-founder of Vlambeer, also expressed his glee at seeing the news:
Featured Image Credit: Activision/Bungie