Bungie Announces Divorce From Activision Blizzard, Keeps Destiny Franchise

Destiny 2
We don't know if it was bound to happen, but it did—publisher Activision Blizzard and developer Bungie have split up. Perhaps it was...destiny? Or more precisely, the Destiny franchise, which Bungie will assume complete creative control and publishing rights, Activision Blizzard and Bungie announced in a joint statement.

"Going forward, Bungie will own and develop the [Destiny] franchise, and Activision will increase its focus on owned IP and other projects. Activision and Bungie are committed to a seamless transition for the Destiny franchise and will continue to work closely together during the transition on behalf of the community of Destiny players around the world," the companies stated.

News of the split was met largely with celebration on Twitter, with several fans of the Destiny franchise taking shots at Activision Blizzard. "Sorry Activision your love of your stock holders is far beyond your concern for your customers! I'm happy for Bungie. Cheers," one use wrote. "And now it will be even better. Bye Feli...Activision," another user wrote.

While the announcement may have come as a surprise to some, this was probably inevitable, given the tensions that developed following the release of Destiny 2 and the Forsaken expansion. Back in November, Activision COO Coddy Johnson said Destiny 2 was under performing and had not met the company's expectations, especially in terms of player engagement.

This prompted a response by Destiny director Luke Smith, who stated on Twitter that Bungie is "not disappointed with Forsaken. We set out to build a game that Destiny players would love, and at Bungie, we love it too."

Some of the folks inside Bungie were not able to contain their excitement over the split, including Eric Osborne, the game's marketing director and contributing writer.

"Here’s to a new year, another turn, a new beginning. Here’s to last year’s dark clouds parting to make way for rain and light and life. Here’s to you, to us, and to all of the adventures that await in 2019. Happy New Year!," Osborne said.

Investors were not as happy with the news. Shares of Activision Blizzard are down more than 10 percent to $46.08 at the time of this writing. That's also way down from last year's high of $83 and change.