Halo creators Bungie and uber-publisher Activision are now Best Friends Forever (forever being at least 10 years as per contract). They look so happy together, but once upon a time, so did Activision and Infinity Ward. And now they’re not speaking to each other anymore, except via lawsuits.
We can assume this merger was planned over a year ago, so well in advance of the Infinity Ward situation. The question everyone must be asking, is what does Bungie think of the Infinity Ward situation, in light of this new partnership?
It’s pretty dry stuff, official press release is below if you want the real details on this merger/partnership/whatever.
So what does this mean for Joe Gamer?
Well, Bungie’s going to make some uber-universe property for Activision, the ten-year contract has “franchise” written all over it. Whatever it is, we’re talking numbers 2 and 3 after whatever game they make becomes a huge hit. Probably even an RTS-based spinoff. Either way, whatever Bungie makes, eyes are gonna be on them to see if they can do something other than Halo again. Will they bring back the Marathon franchise, reboot it? Longer shot, will they revive their real-time strategy franchise, Myth, since it would be well-suited to console controls? Bungie is obviously quite comfortable on the Xbox 360, it’s unlikely they’ll start to develop for PS3, Wii or PC. Whatever it ends up being and what it ends up being for, it will probably be announced at E3 next year, probably nothing playable, just some target renders and perhaps a slice of pre-canned gameplay.
Warning, press release follows: keep away from children.
10-Year Alliance Expands Global Reach for Leading Game Developer Across Multiple Platforms
Johannesburg, South Africa – April 29, 2010 – Megarom Interactive (Pty) Ltd., South Africa’s leading importer and distributor of interactive video games, today announced that Bungie, the developer of blockbuster game franchises including Halo, Myth and Marathon, and Activision, a wholly owned subsidiary of Activision Blizzard, the #1 online games publisher (Nasdaq: ATVI), announced today that they have entered into an exclusive 10-year partnership to bring Bungie’s next big action game universe to market. 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. Additional terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
The groundbreaking alliance will provide Bungie its first such partnership since splitting off from Microsoft in 2007, significantly broadening its global reach by providing the resources and support to develop, distribute and release games worldwide on multiple platforms and devices.
Activision will broaden its portfolio with a new franchise from one of the industry’s most creative, successful and proven studios, whose games have sold more than 25 million units worldwide. To date, Bungie’s Halo games have generated approximately $1.5 billion in revenues, according to The NPD Group, Charttrack and GfK. Activision expects this agreement to be accretive to its operating margins as of the release of the first game.
“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. “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.”
“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.”
Members of the media can visit Activision’s Broadcast Media Center to download broadcast quality video, web-ready video and high-resolution images. Members of the media using Pathfire can take advantage of a Pathfire enabled video download. Sound bites from Thomas Tippl and Harold Ryan along with b-roll footage regarding today’s announcement are available for download. Broadcast Media Center: http://www.usngondemand.com/index.php.
Bungie, now 180 employees strong, was founded in 1991 with two simple goals: develop games that combine brilliant technology, beautiful art, compelling stories and deep gameplay, and sell enough copies to achieve its real goal of total world domination. Over the past 10 years it has produced games such as the “Marathon Trilogy” and the first two “Myth” games, hailed as classics by critics and gamers around the world. Bungie’s “Halo” franchise is an international award-winning action franchise that has grown into a global entertainment phenomenon, selling more than 25 million units worldwide, spawning best-selling novels and award winning soundtracks. Players have logged nearly 2 billion hours of multiplayer action over Xbox LIVE, created millions of pieces of user created content, and established a ravenous fan community. More information on Bungie can be found at http://www.bungie.net .
About Activision Publishing, Inc.
Headquartered in Santa Monica, California, Activision Publishing, Inc. is a leading worldwide developer, publisher and distributor of interactive entertainment and leisure products.
Activision Publishing maintains operations in the U.S., Canada, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Sweden, Spain, Norway, Denmark, the Netherlands, Australia, Russia, Japan, South Korea, China and the region of Taiwan. More information about Activision and its products can be found on the company’s website, www.activision.com.
Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-looking Statements: Information in this press release that involves Activision Publishing’s expectations, plans, intentions or strategies regarding the future are forward-looking statements that are not facts and involve a number of risks and uncertainties. Activision Publishing generally uses words such as “outlook,” “will,” “could,” “would,” “might,” “remains,” “to be,” “plans,” “believes,” “may,” “expects,” “intends,” “anticipates,” “estimate,” future,” “plan,” “positioned,” “potential,” “project,” “remain,” “scheduled,” “set to,” “subject to,” “upcoming” and similar expressions to identify forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause Activision Publishing’s actual future results to differ materially from those expressed in the forward-looking statements set forth in this release include, but are not limited to, sales levels of Activision Publishing’s titles, shifts in consumer spending trends, the impact of the current macroeconomic environment, the seasonal and cyclical nature of the interactive game market, Activision Publishing’s ability to predict consumer preferences among competing hardware platforms, declines in software pricing, product returns and price protection, product delays, retail acceptance of Activision Publishing’s products, adoption rate and availability of new hardware (including peripherals) and related software, industry competition, rapid changes in technology, industry standards and consumer preferences, protection of proprietary rights, litigation against Activision Publishing, maintenance of relationships with key personnel, customers, licensees, licensors, vendors and third-party developers, counterparty risks relating to customers, licensees, licensors and manufacturers, domestic and international economic, financial and political conditions and policies, foreign exchange rates and tax rates, integration of recent acquisitions and the identification of suitable future acquisition opportunities, and the other factors identified in the risk factors section of Activision Blizzard’s most recent annual report on Form 10-K and any subsequent quarterly reports on Form 10-Q. The forward-looking statements in this release are based upon information available to Activision Publishing and Activision Blizzard as of the date of this release, and neither Activision Publishing nor Activision Blizzard assumes any obligation to update any such forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements believed to be true when made may ultimately prove to be incorrect. These statements are not guarantees of the future performance of Activision Publishing or Activision Blizzard and are subject to risks, uncertainties and other factors, some of which are beyond its control and may cause actual results to differ materially from current expectations.
About Megarom Interactive (Pty) Ltd.
Megarom Interactive (Pty) Ltd. is based in Fourways, Johannesburg, South Africa and is South Africa’s leading interactive video game importer and distributor. Megarom distributes PC, Playstation 2™, Playstation 3™, Xbox360™, PSP™, Nintendo Wii™ and Nintendo DS™, video games. Megarom was established in 1995. Megarom distributes interactive entertainment software to leading chain stores as well as independent stores nationwide.