After forming a partnership agreement in 2010, Halo and Destiny developer Bungie has split from Activision.
In their official announcement on Bungie.net, they state “We had a vision for Destiny that we believed in, but to launch a game of that magnitude, we needed the support of an established publishing partner. With Activision, we created something special. To date, Destiny has delivered a combination of over 50 million games and expansions to players all around the world.”
Now, after 8 years of co-producing Destiny and Destiny 2 with Activision, Bungie is ready to go independent and produce the franchise on its own. Activision has transferred over the rights to Destiny, meaning Activision can focus more on other IP it owns. During the separation process, Activision will continue to help supporting Destiny 2 to ensure a seamless experience for players.
Bungie will “continue to deliver on the existing Destiny roadmap”, and have many plans for seasonal experiences and announcements in the future. Any future games in the Destiny franchise will be self-published by Bungie themselves.
Activision have wished the departing developer well on social media, tweeting “Thank you Guardians. It’s been an honor and a privilege to help bring the world of Destiny to life for you.” According to Blizzard Customer Support, Destiny 2 will continue to be fully supported on Battle.net.
Before working on with Activision on the Destiny franchise, Bungie had partnered with Microsoft on the Halo franchise. However, Bungie left in 2007 to become an independent studio, leaving the rights to Halo with Microsoft. Microsoft since formed a new studio, 343 Industries, to develop future Halo games. After that, they formed a 10 year exclusive publishing contract with Activision in 2010, although the studio remained independent.
Now that that deal has come to an end, the future could look very different for Destiny, and any other projects that Bungie decides to work on. In June of 2018, the studio announced on its site that it was forming a partnership with Chinese firm NetEase to help them “support separate teams inside Bungie to bring our newest ambitions to life.” Whilst it sounds like they want to work on the Destiny franchise independently, any future separate projects may be produced from this new partnership.