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Bungie Signs 10-Year Deal With Activision 85

An anonymous reader writes "Infinity Ward may be suing Activision under allegations of low payment and no royalties, but it seems some developers are still happy to work with the publisher — it has just signed a 10-year deal with Bungie, the studio behind the popular Halo series of FPS games. Activision will publish all of Bungie's games in the next decade — although Bungie will own the IP. The terms of the deal are similar to those brokered by former Infinity Ward chiefs Jason West and Vince Zampella when they signed with EA after being fired in March."
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Bungie Signs 10-Year Deal With Activision

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  • Yes... (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Sign your souls away to us for the next 10 years while we milk you for all you're worth...I mean this will be a profitable 10 years for both of us...

    • Re:Yes... (Score:5, Informative)

      by The Velour Fog ( 1087217 ) on Friday April 30, 2010 @04:19AM (#32041866)

      The summary is wrong, they've only signed away the publishing rights to their new franchise, not all games. If things with activision go sour they can still go to another publisher and not continue whatever the new franchise is.

      • by Moryath ( 553296 )

        Well, here we go. One more good game out of Bungie, followed by layoffs, firings, and an endless line of crapass worthless "sequels" from ripoff studios like Neversoft.

        I can't believe Bungie was that stupid. Microsoft might have pushed to get a couple things out the door earlier but come on, Craptivision's sequel-itis is making EA look like a sane company these days. The damage Craptivision did to Guitar Hero alone should have warned Bungie away, never mind the damage to Marvel's game lines, the absolutely

        • by Pojut ( 1027544 )

          Craptivision's sequel-itis is making EA look like a sane company these days

          With the exception of a few hiccups, EA has actually been pretty awesome the past couple of years. They did a complete turnaround. They aren't quite what they were in their glory days, but they are well on their way back.

          There was a time when I would have refused to purchase a game with "EA" stamped on it. Now, I'm starting to get excited to see their name again.

          EA rightfully caught tons of crap for a while, but they have really improved themselves as of late.

          • saying ea improved themselves is like saying microsoft suddenly became ethical. I'd give it a solid 20 years before companies this large would be expected to reasonably stop treating their customers like shit.

            • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

              by Pojut ( 1027544 )

              They've released a few big time games with no DRM (Dragon Age being the most notable). They are well on their way.

              • no drm? Do you know what a disc check is? It's DRM. It's less of it, and it's much more sane, but it's still DRM.

                • Also, the DLC in Dragon Age is a clever disguise for DRM. You make an account, attach the serial key to it and purchase the DLC. DLC can only be purchased once per serial key.
            • by ooshna ( 1654125 )
              Hey Bill Gates is trying his hardest to show everyone he is trying to change. Why else would he spend so much money to make cows that don't fart [] and helping to spread awareness for malaria []?
              • by kkwst2 ( 992504 )

                What do you mean change? Regardless of what you think of Microsoft or his role in it, he's been one of the most philanthropic guys for the past two decades and has long had plans to give away the majority of his fortune. He's just only recently begun to talk a lot about it, perhaps because he's been convinced that his voice is an asset to the cause in addition to the money, perhaps because he enjoys the celebrity, perhaps both. But the giving of mucho dinero is nothing new.

        • Craptivision's sequel-itis is making EA look like a sane company these days. The damage Craptivision did to Guitar Hero alone should have warned Bungie away, never mind the damage to Marvel's game lines, the absolutely crappy X-men "fighting games", the nonsense with Infinity Ward...

          Respectfully, remember that we are talking about Bungie here. After seeing the success of Halo CE, Halo 2, Halo 3, Halo: ODST, and the excitement over Halo: Reach, I can certainly understand why they might want to find a publisher for their next big franchise that will has the marketing knowledge and culture to support a 10 year string of sequels. Maybe they are looking for a franchise like Guitar Hero, which would allow them to crap out a new full price game every 9-12 months with minimal development.

          • Halo: Reach isn't being made by Bungie, it's being made by 343 Studios, a MS Game Studios company that broke off of Bungie to continue working on Halo related products.
            • Sorry, I didn't say that very clearly. My point was that they are probably very aware of how excited people are over Reach, even though it will be the 5th FPS in the series. I meant to imply that Bungie see's how successful they can be with cranking out sequels on a single (kick-ass) franchise.
        • Well, here we go. One more good game out of Bungie, followed by layoffs, firings, and an endless line of crapass worthless "sequels" from ripoff studios like Neversoft.

          Activision didn't buy out Bungie, it's just a publishing deal for one franchise, they have no control over them so they can't fire anyone.

          As for rip off sequels from Neversoft, Bungie still own the IP

    • Ctrl+Alt+Del [] sums it up nicely.
  • Is Activision going to feed off Bungie's core until it, too implodes?
  • The silver lining (Score:4, Insightful)

    by bbqsrc ( 1441981 ) on Friday April 30, 2010 @03:48AM (#32041746) Homepage
    No more rehashes of Halo :D
    • Says who? The article suggests this may end any exclusivity agreement Bungee had with Microsoft, so if anything this may mean having Halo on more consoles is a possibility (and hopefully some PC ports sometime in the next decade, even if they are castrated).

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Bungie and Microsoft already agreed to end Bungie's development of the Halo franchise following Reach. Going forward, Halo will be developed by 343 Industries, an internal Microsoft studio. This deal with Activision will not affect Halo at all. It will however see Bungie produce games for consoles other than the 360, as you suggested.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by arogier ( 1250960 ) *
        I'm pretty sure Microsoft still has the rights to the Halo franchise and is pushing Halo development after Halo Reach to 343 Industries.
    • >>No more rehashes of Halo :D

      Oh come on, Halo Wars and Orbital Drop Whatever were certainly better games than a classroom of 5th graders could have made in their free time.

  • Great! (Score:4, Funny)

    by DemonBeaver ( 1485573 ) on Friday April 30, 2010 @03:58AM (#32041766)
    Looking forward to Guitar Hero: Halo and Call of Duty 57: Master Chief
  • Wonder $$ (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    10 years? that must be a huge chunk of change and little regret toward the future. Halo has already been fairly simple so they don't have much to lose tech wise.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Hadlock ( 143607 )

      It's probably enough money to support the company while they rebuild after being let loose from under Microsoft's wing for what.. 8 years now? You need a huge chunk of investment cash flow from somewhere to support a major studio while they build a new AAA level blockbuster game. Activision will be breathing down their neck to see a first release inside of two years, so expect it to be shitty. They won't have the luxury of time to put out a top notch game like Blizzard does. Does anyone remember Blizzard an

      • Oni doesn't belong to Bungie. Take Two got it in the MS buyout deal, then rushed it to market and didn't even give us fucking multiplayer, which would've rocked.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Graff ( 532189 )

        Luckily Bungie is sitting on the Myth property, along with ... well, [googles bungie's properties owned] uh, Marathon, and Oni [googles "Oni"]. So unless their plan is to release Myth 4 less than two years after Starcraft II, they'll be building some sort of new property just to generate cash. I'm doubtful if much of the creative staff that built Myth and Halo still work for the company.

        Bungie transferred the rights to Myth and Oni to Take-Two Interactive as part of being bought out by Microsoft so those are toast unless they manage to buy them back. Myth 3 was pretty much a disaster so I'm betting they don't bother. Oni was an extremely cool FPS at the time it came out but it also didn't go too far.

        I'm on board with Bungie being pretty much dead. Most of their original staff left for more exciting work over the years and they'll have to do a lot of rebuilding. Maybe they'll pull it off bu

        • Most? You mean Seropian? Like, one guy? Two of the three founders are still there.
          • by Graff ( 532189 )

            Like, one guy? Two of the three founders are still there.

            Two founders are still with Bungie, yes. However, a lot of the rest of the top staff went to other companies over the years, such as Wideload Games, Certain Affinity, and Giant Bite.

            We'll see if they can regain the magic they once had but they are definitely not in the same place they were before they were bought out by Microsoft.

          • Most? You mean Seropian? Like, one guy? Two of the three founders are still there.

            Three founders? Who is this third person you speak of? Bungie was founded entirely by Jason and Alex.

            The only person still there from even the Marathon days, besides Jason, is Rob McLees. Everybody else is from the Myth days at the earliest, and while they may call themselves "Grizzled Ancients" now, I still consider them newbs.

            Signed, a formerly proud [] Bungie fan [] since 1992,

  • great idea. (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    all this means is that bungie won't have to gamble with their own money, just Activision's.

    they still retain the IP, which means they won't make anything they don't want to.

    smart on their part.

  • by Rogerborg ( 306625 ) on Friday April 30, 2010 @04:23AM (#32041884) Homepage
    Because Bungie is the people, not the corporate entity. Oh, how we'd all laugh if all the Bungie staff tunnelled their way into Respawn [].
  • Recruiting (Score:1, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Activision - Hey, it beats working for Microsoft!

  • Oni 2. I've been waiting years for a sequel to Oni. Maybe they could call it Offi.
  • by Tobor the Eighth Man ( 13061 ) on Friday April 30, 2010 @10:33AM (#32044026)

    Every time I see this story, there's some ridiculous note about how Activision is screwing Infinity Ward or how Bungie worked to break off from Microsoft, so why would they go back to Activision?

    This is a PUBLISHING AGREEMENT. Microsoft owned Bungie, just like Activision *owns* Infinity Ward. A publisher has a degree of control over a developer, yes, but comparing that to an ownership situation like Bungie/MS or IW/Activision is patently absurd. It's not even apples to oranges; it's apples to rocks.

  • We shouldn't forget in this period of transition that the technical brains behind Bungie is Jason Jones (not the guy from John's Stewart's The Daily Show). Historically, he has shown an inclination to not want to retread ideas endlessly. He created his own game Minotaur before joining Alexander Seropian at Bungie.

    When they wanted to create a 3-D version of Minotaur, they apparently found the format lacking and so modified the ancient Greek location to a Mayan pyramid inhabited by a god-like space alien to c

It is not for me to attempt to fathom the inscrutable workings of Providence. -- The Earl of Birkenhead