Note: iOS 9 + Facebook users w/ trouble scrolling: #super sorry# we hope to fix it asap. In the meantime Chrome Mobile is a reach around
hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

Bungie/Activision 2010 contract lays out release plans

9:00 PM on 05.21.2012 // Brett Zeidler

[Update: Bungie has just stated they are still hard at work on their new project and they have confirmed that they will "See you starside in 2013."]

The LA Times has posted today the entire publishing contract that Bungie Studios and Activision signed back in 2010. Released in the ongoing legal dispute between former Call of Duty devs Jason West and Vincent Zampella and Activision, it lays out quite a bit of information about what the notoriously secret development house has planned in the coming years.

Unsurprisingly, Activision will have Bungie releasing four "sci-fantasy action shooter games" under the code-name "Destiny", and the agreement describes a publishing schedule whereby full title releases will arrive every other year, with the games each receiving a large expansion (referred to in the document as a "Comet") in the year following their release starting fall 2014. The first game is planned to be released on both the Xbox 360 and the next Xbox, while PS3 development remained uncertain, pending feasibility analysis which would have made that decision in March 2011. The second title is intended for the next generation Xbox and PlayStation as well as the Xbox 360 and PC.

It's been known that Bungie was able to secure the creative rights to their new IP, but there were a couple of intriguing aspects related to that part of the deal in the contract. If Activision hypothetically wanted to port one of the games to another platform, they first have to see if Bungie wants to handle the development. If not, they then can turn around and develop it internally at Activision, or hire out a Bungie-approved third party to do it. Interestingly, Valve, Gearbox, and Epic Games were specifically named in the contract as not considered by Bungie to be acceptable developers (unless Activision should obtain a whole or majority-stake in those companies).

Even though Bungie retained the creative control of their new IP, it sounds like Activision gets some control over the inner-workings at Bungie. From the period between when the contract was signed and the release of the DLC for the second "Destiny" game, Activision has to approve of mergers, board changes, etc. at the developer.

Other details include that the new IP is targeting a Teen rating from the ESRB (PEGI-16 in PEGI regions), and that Bungie will take responsibility for the servers again (for at least three years after release). If Bungie stays on-time/budget -- something that has been difficult for them in the past -- Activision will give them a $2.5 million bonus each quarter, and $2.5 million for a "quality bonus" if the games receive scores of 90 or better on GameRankings.

Another surprising part of the contract states that Bungie was allowed to devote 5% of its team and no more than 5% of its budget to a prototype Marathon sequel at the very start. The amount of resources they can apply to the project scales up over time, provided they hit benchmarks in Destiny-related revenue. Those resources can not only be used on a prototype Marathon, but any other side projects they wish to pursue. That's not a confirmation that a new Marathon game is coming, but it certainly signals that they're kicking around the idea over there.

The contract also offers Activision an escape hatch, provided "Destiny Game #1" doesn't sell 5,000,000 units in its first six months of release. If it does reach the 5M mark, Activision will be committed to "Destiny Game #2" and its DLC, at the very least. After that expansion pack for the second release, the floodgates open and Activision is no longer contractually obligated to any more releases for the new IP and can back out at any time for any reason.

The agreement also reveals the level of faith Bungie had in Halo: Reach, still in production as of the time Activision and Bungie were negotiating this deal. If it hadn't been a huge success, Activision could have ended the deal right there with a provision which allowed them to back out should Reach fail to meet expectations. Bungie had to at least sell 6,000,000 units and achieve at least an 80 on GameRankings in Reach's first six months of release. Good thing it did.

Activision Bungie contract unsealed in Call of Duty case [LA Times]

Brett Zeidler, Contributor and Engineer
 Follow Blog + disclosure BrettZeidler Tips
Destructoid's Resident Baby/Super Contributor. Musician. Computer Science Student. Panda, corgi, burrito, iced tea enthusiast. Praise Yeezus. more   |   staff directory

 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our community fisters, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding * to your whitelists.

Status updates from C-bloggers

Still in work clothes.
Gamemaniac3434 avatarGamemaniac3434
Welp, wrote up a blog for that there bloggers wanted. Its me bitching about Bioshock Infinite! Again! Yay!!!!!!
Sr Churros avatarSr Churros
Just finished watching The Phantom Menace. Yeah, Jar Jar is as bad as people say. Baby Vader is so cute and also kicks some serious ass. One of the best lightsaber battles of the series, if not the best one. It was pretty neat!
Roxas1359 avatarRoxas1359
Can't decide where I should upload my latest project. Either on my YouTube Channel or on Game Anyone. On the one hand YouTube gets more exposure, but Game Anyone is where some of my more popular walkthroughs are. The game is 3D Land if anyone is wondering
Fuzunga avatarFuzunga
Thanksgiving dinner for days!
OverlordZetta avatarOverlordZetta
Anyone know if the Bethesda games on sale on Amazon for a certain amount of time, or through Monday?
TysonOfTime avatarTysonOfTime
In light of the fact that Xenoblade Chronicles X is fast approaching, I suggest we start planning out a Destructoid Squad! NNID is TysonOfTime. From what I've heard, it doesn't appear Squads are region locked (except for Japan), so everyone's welcome!
Jed Whitaker avatarJed Whitaker
Typing of the Dead > all other typing games.
Lawman avatarLawman
Listening to this on a Tall Oaks level of RE: Revelations 2's Raid Mode is entrancing, for some reason.
EdgyDude avatarEdgyDude
Need a reason to support Indivisible? Shantae is in it!. Back it or spread the word, every bit of help counts.
KeithTheGeek avatarKeithTheGeek
Sometimes I miss how hilariously janky Brawl was, and I still have a lot of fun playing it. Not sure if I could ever take it seriously as a competitive game, but I want to enter at least one Brawl tournament in the future. You know, if I can find one.
KnickKnackMyWack avatarKnickKnackMyWack
I love how on a slow news day I can always turn to Qposts for something else to read and think about. Keep up the mojo fellas!
Rad Party God avatarRad Party God
I finally caved in to those sweet deals, got Shantae and The Pirate's Curse, Downwell and Super House of Dead Ninjas :)
CoilWhine avatarCoilWhine
I hope that Prototype runs better on my dad's old laptop than it does on my AMD gaming rig. Some badly coded games run like ass on AMD cards.
LinkSlayer64 avatarLinkSlayer64
Please spare me from issues in the process of publishing my blog! Especially since I modified CSS to unnecessarily pseudo-crop an image, and make it so some images float next to text, and make it look decent on mobile. I'm a frickin' nerd, love it.
Nathan D avatarNathan D
The night brims with defiled scum, and is permeated by their rotten stench. Just think, now you're all set to hunt and kill to your heart's content! #FashionBorne [img][/img]
MeanderBot avatarMeanderBot
Two more days to get in on the unofficial Christmas Card! [Url][/URL]
Solar Pony Django avatarSolar Pony Django has got a mystery sale on T Shirts and Tank Tops atm, $5 for each. Only catch is they're random. But I've had some good luck, got a Captain Falcon one before, Zombies ate my Neighbors and a Persona 4 X Earthbound crossover.
OverlordZetta avatarOverlordZetta
I would really, really love if "publish now" could work without me having to post a blog multiple because the site is such a mess right now.
fitzen avatarfitzen
I got it all the way back in spring, but I still haven't finished Majoras Mask. Think I've done the first temple.. It's hard not knowing where to go. All those linear corridors and objective markers in games has made me dumb and impatient.
more quickposts



Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme

Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo

Back to Top

We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -