In the past two months, all hell has been breaking loose with Activision and Infinity Ward. What started with a the removal of the head of Infinity Ward has grown to a loss of a large chunk of Infinity Ward employees, a whole new company reborn from the ashes, and lawsuits going back and forth between the two parties. What seemed like a huge blow to Activision has only seemed to be a minor nuisance. Not only is the Call of Duty series continuing with the new Call of Duty: Black Ops that will be developed by Treyarch (developer of Call of Duty: World at War), but now, Bungie has reached a partnership with one of the most well known developers out there: Bungie.
In an unprecedented move, Activision and Bungie have partnered together for an astounding 10 year agreement. With the deal, Activision will publish all of Bungie’s games from now on, after Halo Reach of course. One has to wonder what kind of backdoor shenanigans have been going on the past several months between Activision, Infinity Ward, Bungie, and even EA. Was Infinity Ward looking to have EA publisher their next game without informing Activision? Did they do this because they got wind of the Bungie deal that was coming? Or instead, was the Bungie deal a result of the Activision planning to get rid of the heads of Infinity Ward thus creating an incredible backup plan? Hard to say right now, and we probably won’t know for some time on what actually happened.
There are a lot of questions about what will happen with this future deal, and we’ll find out more over time. For full details, here’s the official press release:
KIRKLAND, Wash. and SANTA MONICA, Calif., April 29, 2010 /PRNewswire via COMTEX News Network/ -- 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."