The truth about Bungie and Activision

Were we to make a list of announcements that dropped our jaws in astonishment, yesterday’s news of Bungie teaming up with Activision would be near the top. That probably the number one free agent in game development decided to publish their next major franchise with the biggest third-party publisher there is makes sense on paper, but after all the shit with Infinity Ward, we are still dumbstruck.

But now that the hugeness of the announcement has set in, some things need to be made clear, as many smaller details of the deal got missed initially and only now have become clear via interviews and other news. Here’s what you should know:

Bungie is only exclusive with Activision for this specific game series

When one reads a headline stating “Activision signs Bungie” and “10-year exclusive” you’d be forgiven for jumping to the conclusion that any Bungie game until 2020 will be published Acti, but that just isn’t so. Bungie's Brian Jarrard set the record straight, telling fans that the contract only means that whatever their new series is, only that is exclusive to be published by Activision for the next decade. If Bungie works on any unrelated property, they can publish that wherever. The situation isn’t that different from what Epic and the Gears of War franchise is to Microsoft. Epic makes the games and owns the IP, but they have a pretty exclusive deal with Microsoft for the series, which is why it hasn’t gone elsewhere. But that doesn’t stop Epic from making Unreal games or the just announced Bulletstorm and publishing those elsewhere.

Bungie is still an independent company

Above: Bungie's last break-up 

Don’t think for a minute Bungie has sold out any of their hard earned independence to work with Activision. No, they’re still as free as they have been since the shocking break from Microsoft nearly three years ago. This type of partnership is what they wanted ever since that split, particularly because…

Bungie owns the rights to whatever new game they’re making

Above: Bet they wish they owned this

After all the hullabaloo with Infinity Ward and Activision, with one of the major sticking points apparently being IW wanting to own the Modern Warfare IP and Activision choosing to keep it, it was good to hear from the beginning that Bungie owns the rights to what Activision will publish. Ten years of exclusivity may be a long time, but having the developers own their product when dealing with a company as big as Activision is very rare.

The new game will be on the PS3

Above: This is the system it will come to

Technically it hasn’t been said specifically that their next game is coming to PS3, but it has been made it very clear that it will be multiplatform, so we feel it is 99.9999999999999999999999 percent certain the PS3 will be among them. Activision games get on every console technology allows, so why would Bungie’s next game be 360 and PC only? Not gonna happen.

The new game won’t be at E3

Above: But this one sure will

Yes, we’re all excited to see what this mystery game is but you’ll have to be patient. It has already been said the game won’t be at this year’s E3 and probably not even this year. Why? Tthey have a little game called Halo: Reach to finish first, so don’t expect them to distract from that hype by showing off whatever their next thing is.

Apr 30, 2010


  • Cyberninja - May 4, 2010 12:18 a.m.

    just as long as the games are good i dont care about the details
  • MidSnacker - May 3, 2010 4:24 p.m.

    I wouldn't worry everyone. Activision wouldn't dare lay a hand on anything Bungie creates. Yeah Activision is just going to get richer but I could care less. I would love to see more Bungie titles out there. Maybe some decent hand helds... maybe.
  • ThisIsMyBoomThingy - May 1, 2010 10:22 p.m.

    So a company shouldn't do things to make money? Oh, I get it now their suppose to do things just to make fanboys happy. That makes sense. Then the games industry won't make anything but Halo and Call of Duty. I happen to not care who the publisher is as long as the game is good. Oh and farsighted "Fuck Bungie, they should have joined up with EA." Really. I mean its pretty much the same MEGA COMPANY OUT TO GET YOUR MONEY. Remember?
  • EnragedTortoise1 - May 1, 2010 10:06 p.m.

    will someone PLEASE ban DarkDispatch? Please?
  • krabsich - May 1, 2010 1:52 p.m.

    @darkdispatch: where do i go for the TRUTH again?
  • darkdispatch523 - May 1, 2010 11:04 a.m.

    For the TRUTH go to::
  • darkdispatch523 - May 1, 2010 11:01 a.m.

    For the TRUTH go to::
  • steviekfc - May 1, 2010 10:55 a.m.

  • darkdispatch523 - May 1, 2010 10:52 a.m.

    For the TRUTH go to::
  • Doctalen - May 1, 2010 2:53 a.m.

    @CurryIsGood: Isn't that want is executive supposed to do, make money? If every Exec. stuck to fanbases they would go out of business.
  • CurryIsGood - May 1, 2010 2:14 a.m.

    but the point is the company is run by old executives who only care about the quarterly earnings, not the fanbase who will support them later
  • DanAmrich - May 1, 2010 2:10 a.m.

    @Doorstop: "My biggest problem is it's just another excuse for Activision to get money" And this makes them completely unlike EA, Ubisoft, Sega, Nintendo, Microsoft, Sony, WB, Valve, and every other game, exactly? I don't care if I am TEH BIAS -- this is still a very weak excuse. "How dare companies want to succeed!" has never held water.
  • farsided - May 1, 2010 1:49 a.m.

    doesn't change the fact that Activision is distributing it, meaning there's no way in hell I'm going to touch it. Fuck Bungie, they should have joined up with EA.
  • Doorstop - May 1, 2010 1:34 a.m.

    My biggest problem is it's just another excuse for Activision to get money. It's like God and Devil teaming up and selling products together, so if you want to pay one, you have pay the other. I know it's not like we can bring Activision down, but now this is a fool-proof way for me to give them money. Crap.
  • PurplePancake - May 1, 2010 1:27 a.m.

    It has already been said the game won’t be at this year’s E3 and probably not even this year. Why? Tthey
  • FearlessRaven - May 1, 2010 12:57 a.m.

    alright thank you gamesradar for this. Does make me feel a lot better about the Activision-Bungie deal especially since there was so little data presented in the press release. Still not happy about it but hey it's better then what it could be... Hmm now imagine if Infinity Ward's unpaid bonuses were used to pay Bungie instead.
  • krabsich - April 30, 2010 11:43 p.m.

    I hate for my fanboy to show, but Bungie. PS3. Exciting to me. ok, no more rhyming, i mean it.

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