Bungie, the studio that created the Halo franchise, will be partnering with Activision for an "exclusive, worldwide partnership" the developer revealed this morning. The partnership will encompass one upcoming franchise and will last for the next ten years.
Bungie was founded in 1991 and was purchased by software giant Microsoft in 2000, but parted with the company in October 2007. After the split, Microsoft created a subsidiary to handle now owns the rights to the Halo franchise — a franchise that Bungie created.
According to the official press release, "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." From the sound of it, Activision gets to publishing rights to one IP on multiple platforms. This agreement certainly does not mean that Bungie is part of Activision.
"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," stated the company's official blog . "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 decision might come as a surprise to some; however, Bungie describes its decision why it chose the publishing giant, best known for the Call of Duty series and the Guitar Hero games. "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." This essentially confirms that Bungie, a former Microsoft developer, will be making multi-platform games.
"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 is currently working on Halo: Reach for Microsoft Game Studios and the Xbox 360. Bungie calls Reach the "most ambitious game" it has ever made. The title is expected to be one of the biggest titles released this year. Early access to the Beta starts today.