Video game developer Bungie and publisher Activision are splitting up.
In a surprise announcement Thursday, the two gaming giants announced that they are going their separate ways, with developer Bungie keeping the rights to the popular “Destiny” franchise that the two companies partnered on.
“When we first launched our partnership with Activision in 2010, the gaming industry was in a pretty different place. 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,” Bungie wrote in a statement published on its website.
“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.”
In a tweet with a joint statement from the two companies, Activision thanked fans for their support. “Thank you Guardians. It’s been an honor and a privilege to help bring the world of Destiny to life for you,” the company wrote in a message above the more formal statement.
“Guardians” are what the player characters in “Destiny” are called.
The split comes eight years into a 10-year partnership between the two companies that was announced in April of 2010. Prior to creating “Destiny” and its sequel “Destiny 2,” Bungie had created the popular Xbox franchise “Halo” for Microsoft. Unlike “Halo,” the “Destiny” games were available on multiple platforms including Xbox, PlayStation and PC.
In its announcement, Bungie revealed that it has delivered a “combination of over 50 million games and expansions” of the franchise to gamers around the world. The company will continue to deliver updates to “Destiny” and will also be publishing future versions on its own.
Activision, meanwhile, will continue to focus on its own games. In addition to “Destiny,” the studio also publishes the popular “Call of Duty,” “Skylanders,” “Crash Bandicoot” and “Spyro” franchises.
Gamers seemed to celebrate the news of the separation, with Bungie quickly rising to the top of Twitter’s trending topics in the United States Thursday afternoon as fans shared their excitement and reactions to the news.
Executives from Microsoft’s Xbox division and “Fortnite”-maker Epic Games congratulated Bungie, while Sony’s PlayStation account chimed in as well.
Investors, however, were not so kind to Activision’s parent company Activision Blizzard. Shares of the gaming giant fell over 7 percent in after-hours trading.
Follow Eli Blumenthal on Twitter at @eliblumenthal
Read or Share this story: https://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/talkingtech/2019/01/10/bungie-splits-activision-keep-rights-destiny/2541762002/