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‘Destiny’ Rights Return to Bungie as Developer, Activision Part Ways

Destiny” developer Bungie Thursday announced plans for Activision to transfer publishing rights back to the game’s creator as the two companies part ways.

“We have enjoyed a successful eight-year run and would like to thank Activision for their partnership on Destiny,” Bungie wrote in a post on its site Thursday. “Looking ahead, we’re excited to announce plans for Activision to transfer publishing rights for Destiny to Bungie. With our remarkable Destiny community, we are ready to publish on our own, while Activision will increase their focus on owned IP projects.

“The planned transition process is already underway in its early stages, with Bungie and Activision both committed to making sure the handoff is as seamless as possible.”

The game will continue to receive “full support on BattleNet and we do not anticipate any disruption to our services or your gameplay experience,” according to a Tweet from the official Blizzard account.

In a joint statement released by Activision and Bungie Thursday, the companies said that going forward Bungie will own and develop the franchise, and Activision will “Increase its focus on owned IP and other projects.

“Activision and Bungie are committed to a seamless transition for the Destiny franchise and will continue to work closely together during the transition on behalf of the community of Destiny players around the world.”

In a filing with the SEC Thursday, Activision wrote that as a result of the deal the company “does not expect to recognize material revenue, operating income or operating loss from the Destiny franchise in 2019.”

News of the split between the two companies hit Activision Blizzard stock, resulting in an almost immediate 6.5% drop after hours.

The news comes in the midst of an executive shuffle at Activision Blizzard that saw the departure of two executives and the company naming new heads for Activision, Blizzard, and King.

The original “Destiny” was developed by Bungie and published by Activision as part of a ten-year agreement between the two companies. Development on the game started in 2010. The original title was released in 2014, the sequel, “Destiny 2,” was released in 2017.

In announcing the “Destiny” news Thursday, Bungie noted that the game industry was in a pretty different place when the two companies first launched their partnership in 2010.

“As an independent studio setting out to build a brand new experience, we wanted a partner willing to take a big leap of faith with us,” according to the post. “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. More importantly, we’ve also witnessed a remarkable community – tens of millions of Guardians strong – rise up and embrace Destiny, to play together, to make and share memories, and even to do truly great things that reach far beyond the game we share, to deliver a positive impact on people’s everyday lives.”

Bungie pointed to its release of “Destiny 2: Forsaken” as a sign of how the company has “learned, and listened, and leaned in to what we believe our players want from a great ‘Destiny’ experience.”

“Rest assured there is more of that on the way,” the studio wrote. “We’ll continue to deliver on the existing Destiny roadmap, and we’re looking forward to releasing more seasonal experiences in the coming months, as well as surprising our community with some exciting announcements about what lies beyond.”

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