If there ever was a sign of the coming apocalypse, I’m sure it would be notoriously evil publisher Activison-Blizzard snapping up Bungie Studios, creators of such renowned franchise as Halo, Marathon and Myth. Well, “snapping up” is technically incorrect, as Bungie has entered into a ten-year publishing agreement with Activision but are retaining their autonomy.
This is different from Infinity Ward’s situation, as they were a wholly owned subsidiary, so conspiracy theorists can lay that one to rest. The fact of the matter is that Bungie is an extremely strong studio, whereas Infinity Ward was a struggling start-up when they were taken over by Activision. Besides, Bungie retains control over any Intellectual Properties they develop under this agreement. While pressure from the publisher can lead to complications, chances are Bungie will invest all their man-power into this new game after they finish development of Halo: Reach.
After Bungie parted ways with Microsoft in 2007, they were contractually obligated to ship one more Halo game before pursuing other interests. This is a big coup for Activision, who just recently lost a lot of talented staff from Call of Duty development house Infinity Ward, and may stand to lose a lot more than that.
What do you guys think of this development? Eager to see what Bungie produces after Reach? Are you PS3 owners excited at the prospect of having Bungie develop for your console? Will the average consumer even notice a difference?