Activision And Bungie Are Splitting Up, Bungie To Take Over Destiny Publishing

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Bungie was founded in 1991, but came to global fame after it was purchased by Microsoft in 2000 and the release of Halo: Combat Evolved in 2001. As the years went by, the relationship with Microsoft grew dull. In 2007, Bungie split from Microsoft and became an independent studio once more. The terms of that divorce meant Microsoft got to keep the Halo IP, forcing Bungie to come up with a new one: Destiny.

To help launch their new project, Bungie made the dubious decision to sign a 10-year publishing contract with Activision, but now the two companies have announced that the relationship is coming to a premature end. A joint statement released on the official Activision twitter account makes the split official. Bungie released a lengthier post on their official site outlining the split. While the full terms of this early termination have not yet been made public, we do know that Bungie is getting custody of Destiny.

The breakup is a bit complicated due to the fact that the PC version of Destiny 2 is currently hosted on the Battle.net launcher under the Activision label along with Call of Duty: Black Ops 4. It has not yet been made clear whether PC players will have to migrate their Destiny 2 accounts away from Battle.net.

Why the sudden split? Many sources who have followed the Activision/Bungie partnership have stated that it has been rocky for years now. But a more likely catalyst is that Bungie has once again found a more alluring suitor. This time its NetEase, China's second biggest gaming company. NetEase made a $100 million investment in Bungie last year, and we suspect a stronger partnership between the two to emerge as 2019 continues.

Further Reading: Bungie Post on Activision Split, Bungie/Activision 10-year Agreement (2010), NetEase $100 million Investment