Halo developers Bungie have teamed up with Call of Duty and Guitar Hero mega-publisher Activision for an “exclusive, worldwide partnership”. Lasting for ten years, the deal will include at least one completely new intellectual property, but does not include the Halo franchise, which is to be passed over to Microsoft.
The official press release reads, “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.”
Though the agreement does in no way constitute a merger between the two companies, it does mean that Activision have won themselves the rights to publish an IP on multiple platforms from one of the industry’s most prized developers.
Bungie were keen to emphasis on their official blog today that they remain independent; “Today, we’re poised to open a new chapter in Bungie’s history, 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 official press release all-but-confirms one key point however; Bungie, a long time developer of Microsoft-exclusive titles, are about to develop games for multiple consoles.
“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 in the official release. “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.”
Bungie’s last game under their current contract with Microsoft is Halo: Reach, with Bungie handing the reigns to the franchise over to Microsoft Game Studios after its release.