After weeks of ugly conflict with its most valuable studio and the resignation of its publishing executive
, Activision finally has some good news to report in the signing of a major ten-year deal with Bungie.
The new, exclusive multiplatform deal means Activision will publish the Halo
creator's new franchise, its first since it became independent
Bungie's next project is described as an "action game universe"; as an independent studio, the developer will continue to own the IP. The terms of the deal were not publicly disclosed, but do not include all Bungie titles -- purely the "rights to publish and distribute all future Bungie games based on the new intellectual property on multiple platforms and devices".
The publishing deal is a major win for Activision, following an employee exodus from Call of Duty: Modern Warfare
house Infinity Ward -- whose founders' next project will be published by Electronic Arts, Activision's biggest rival. Amid the brand reorganization for the prized Call of Duty
franchise, something of a cloud has been hung over Activision's key shooter property.
"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," said Activision COO Thomas Tippl.
"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," he adds.
As for Bungie, the studio will benefit from Activision's significant publishing infrastructure and marketing support, said studio president Harold Ryan. "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," says Ryan.
Bungie broke game sales records with the launch of Microsoft's Halo
-- records now held by Infinity Ward's Modern Warfare 2
. As of August 2009, the franchise overall has sold about 27 million units.