It’s a big day for Destiny. Bungie, now an independent studio, released the next expansion content for Destiny 2, Shadowkeep. At the same time, the base game is being made…
Bungie, best known for creating the Halo series and more recently the Destiny games, has announced they are splitting from parent company Activision after eight years. As part of the deal, Activision will transfer ownership rights of Destiny to Bungie, who will become an independent publisher.
“We have enjoyed a successful eight-year run and would like to thank Activision for their partnership on Destiny,” states the official update post. “Looking ahead, we’re excited to announce plans for Activision to transfer publishing rights for Destiny to Bungie. With our remarkable Destiny community, we are ready to publish on our own, while Activision will increase their focus on owned IP projects.”
Bungie has a history of independent development as well as partnerships with large corporations. After developing PC games in the 90s, Bungie was acquired by Microsoft in 1999 after showing its new first-person shooter, Halo: Combat Evolved. Halo became an Xbox exclusive and was instrumental in catapulting the new console’s success throughout the early 2000s.
In 2007 Bungie split from Microsoft, but Microsoft would retain the rights to the Halo franchise. Bungie continued to develop Halo games for Microsoft, releasing Halo 3: ODST and Halo Reach.
Then in 2010 Bungie announced a 10-year publishing agreement with Activision, which included letting Bungie keep the intellectual property rights of any new games. The Destiny series was born from that agreement. “We had a vision for Destiny that we believed in, but to launch a game of that magnitude, we needed the support of an established publishing partner,” states the post.
Destiny and its sequel, Destiny 2, have enjoyed critical and commercial success, with numerous content updates and DLC over the years. Bungie promises to continue this trend as they resume life as an independent developer. “We’ll continue to deliver on the existing Destiny roadmap, and we’re looking forward to releasing more seasonal experiences in the coming months, as well as surprising our community with some exciting announcements about what lies beyond,” states the post. “We know self-publishing won’t be easy; there’s still much for us to learn as we grow as an independent, global studio, but we see unbounded opportunities and potential in Destiny.”
Destiny 2 developer Bungie has been in full damage control-mode following a recent controversy regarding hidden XP scaling. In a lengthy blog post developers Luke Smith and Chris Barrett pledged to do better with communicating any future fixes and changes.
— Bungie (@Bungie) November 29, 2017
“Our team has been reading feedback and working on updates to improve the game. We’ve also been reading some tough criticism about our lack of communication, and we agree we need to be more open,” states the blog post. “We know it’s frustrating when there isn’t enough of a dialog with the development team. You have our commitment that we’re going to do a better job going forward.”
December will see many new improvements and fixes coming to Destiny 2, along with release of the first DLC pack Curse of Osiris, and the beginning of season two.
The blog post specifically addresses the XP controversy: “Last weekend, we disabled a scaling mechanism that adjusted XP gains up and down without reflecting those adjustments in the UI […] the silent nature of the mechanic betrayed the expectation of transparency that you have for Destiny 2.”
This XP scaling has since been disabled, but Bungie is currently looking at ways to re-balance XP, and they admit leveling is too slow for some activities.
In related Destiny 2 news, you can now play a limited version of the game for free in the Free Trial. It’s available on PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. The first expansion, Curse of Osiris, is arriving December 5.
One of the most highly anticipated sequels of the year, Destiny 2 is out today on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. For a series first it’s also coming to PC…