Halo developer Bungie, on the same day that the beta for their latest game Halo: Reach starts for certain users, dropped a bomb on the videogame industry today, announcing that they are entering a ten year publishing deal with Activision, known for series such as Call of Duty, Rock Band and Tony Hawk. This marks Bungie’s first deal since they split with Microsoft in 2007. Financial terms were not disclosed in the press release, but Bungie will retain their autonomy and will remain fully independent, much like newly formed Respawn Entertainment’s relationship with Electronic Arts.
On their website, Bungie stated that they were interested in getting their games to a wider audience. “Today, we’re poised to open a new chapter in Bungie’s history”â€one that begins with a partnership between Bungie and Activision and ends where we always knew it would, with World Domination. Our Next Big Thing now has a concrete path, leading from our studio to the platforms of our choosing. The business formalities are behind us. Our Constitution remains unchanged. We are still Bungie, still independent, and now we are free to bring our stories to an ever bigger audience.” The key statement there is “to the platforms of our choosing”, making it apparent that we’ll see Bungie games on systems other than Microsoft’s XBox line.
Halo: Reach is looking to be the last Bungie developed Halo game before Microsoft-formed 343 Industries takes over the series. Bungie has not announced their next project yet, and pointed out that the details of this deal have been in the works for the past nine months.
The full press release is below the cut.
London, UK – 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 device. 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,”Â 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.”Â
“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,”Â 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.”Â
Members of the media can visit Activision’s Broadcast Media Center to download broadcast quality video, web-ready video and high-resolution images. Members of the media using Pathfire can take advantage of a Pathfire enabled video download. Sound bites from Thomas Tippl and Harold Ryan along with b-roll footage regarding today’s announcement are available for download. Broadcast Media Center: http://www.usngondemand.com/index.php.
Bungie, now 180 employees strong, was founded in 1991 with two simple goals: develop games that combine brilliant technology, beautiful art, compelling stories and deep gameplay, and sell enough copies to achieve its real goal of total world domination. Over the past 10 years it has produced games such as the “Marathon Trilogy”Â and the first two “Myth”Â games, hailed as classics by critics and gamers around the world. Bungie’s “Halo”Â franchise is an international award-winning action franchise that has grown into a global entertainment phenomenon, selling more than 25 million units worldwide, spawning best-selling novels and award winning soundtracks. Players have logged nearly 2 billion hours of multiplayer action over Xbox LIVE, created millions of pieces of user created content, and established a ravenous fan community. More information on Bungie can be found at http://www.bungie.net.
About Activision Publishing
Headquartered in Santa Monica, California, Activision Publishing, Inc. is a leading worldwide developer, publisher and distributor of interactive entertainment and leisure products.
Activision Publishing maintains operations in the U.S., Canada, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Sweden, Spain, Norway, Denmark, the Netherlands, Australia, Russia, Japan, South Korea, China and the region of Taiwan. More information about Activision and its products can be found on the company’s website, www.activision.com.