Bungie and Activision are splitting up, an industry-shaking divorce that will see the shared world shooter series Destiny enter fully into Bungie’s control.
This development comes after years of tension between the two companies—tension that has existed since before the first Destiny even shipped. Bungie told employees during a team meeting this afternoon, framing it as fantastic news for a studio that has long grown sick of dealing with its publisher. Employees cheered and popped champagne, according to one person who was there.
“We have enjoyed a successful eight-year run and would like to thank Activision for their partnership on Destiny,” Bungie said in a blog post today. “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.”
Destiny, which first launched in September 2014, has had a long and rocky road through expansions, updates, and a sequel. The most recent major entry in the franchise, Destiny 2: Forsaken, was beloved by players but failed to meet Activision’s sales standards.
One of the most significant tensions between Bungie and Activision had long been the annualised schedule, which mandated the release of a new Destiny game or expansion every autumn. Now, separated from Activision, Bungie will no longer be constrained to that schedule. “We’ll continue to deliver on the existing Destiny roadmap, and we’re looking forward to releasing more seasonal experiences in the coming months,” the company said, “as well as surprising our community with some exciting announcements about what lies beyond.”