In a move that has taken all but the most psychic of us by surprise, Bungie has decided to separate from Activision, and bring Destiny with them to boot. Of course, both sides are going to do their best to make sure that the transition goes smoothly. Destiny 2 is going to run its course as originally planned. After that, though, both Bungie and the Destiny franchise are off to greener pastures, without any publisher control. It’s gonna be very interesting to see what they do from now on.
To paraphrase my dear coworker Ketchua: Destiny is now an indie game. I certainly didn’t see that one coming; although, there have been tensions between Bungie and Activision Blizzard in hindsight. There was the whole thing where Activision annoucned during an earnings call that Destiny 2 was underperforming, for example, as well as the grueling release schedules that Activision kept putting the devs on. According to Kotaku, the folks at Bungie are full-on celebrating this split as “fantastic news for a studio that has long grown sick of dealing with its publisher.” Their official statement takes a more mellow tone, thanking Activision for the years of working together and expressing excitement for the Destiny IP to switch fully into their control.
If you’re afraid that this will mess with Destiny 2 in some fashion, there’s apparently no reason to fret. Both Activision and Bungie are committed to making the transition as smooth as possible, as pointed out in their joint statement. If you need evidence, here’s a tweet from Blizzard confirming that “Destiny 2 will still receive full support on BattleNet.” Destiny 2 is simply too important a project for all sides for them to just drop it, despite reports from Activision Blizzard that the game has been underperforming. That’s just due to “unreasonable” stock-holder expectations. Anyway, back on topic: don’t worry about Destiny 2. It’s going to live out its life cycle just as intended, with little to no more than the usual hiccups.
So, what does the future hold for Bungie and Destiny? Well, at this specific juncture, it’s hard to say. Yes, for the short term, things aren’t going to change much; at least, until Destiny 2 runs its course fully. After that, though? Who knows. Bungie’s statement acknowledges that there’s a lot for them to learn as an “independent, global studio”. To me, that signals that they have no plans to work with publishers any time soon, and good for them. Plus, I’d imagine they have both the capital and the fanbase to pull through the transitional period. In short,they’re gonna be just fine, I’d wager. Either way, I truly wish them all the best in their new-found freedom. I hope they make the most of it.