After the Infinity Ward debacle, one would think that major development talent with an eye on keeping their creations their own property would be wary of teaming with Activision, and yet famed Halo-creator Bungie has chosen to sign a ten-year publishing deal with the Call of Duty publisher. With all of the creative differences going on at Activision right now over property ownership issues, why would Bungie - a studio that left its Microsoft ownership behind in order to retain its ownership rights to its next non-Halo project - team up with a publisher that is known to treat its major creative powerhouses with disrespect? Kombo's Joey Davidson believes that it's all about the money.
Most not surprising is that this move is one that will bring Bungie towards the world of multiplatform. Activision is, after all, one of the big companies completely capable of pushing out a massive, multiplatform release with the Bungie name. They did it just fine with Modern Warfare 2. From the release:
"10-Year Alliance Expands Global Reach for Leading Game Developer Across Multiple Platforms"
Can't get much more point blank than that.
Folks that read Kombo have been adamant about how they view the recent Activision debacle. Like most hardcore gamers supporting the developer over the publisher, Kombo's readers have always stood against Activision. But what now? Bungie, one of the most beloved developers in the gaming world, moves towards the object of a lot of internet rage. How will that affect the company and their future products?
This is just a guess, but probably not at all. Slap a "from the makers of Halo" label on the boxart of "Step 7" (as they're calling it at Bungie), and the thing will sell like gangbusters. Even better: "From the people that brought you Call of Duty and the minds behind Halo comes..."
Joey's probably right. These things always come down to money in the end, and both Bungie and Activision stand to earn a lot of it by teaming up. Besides, now that Infinity Ward is a shell of its former self, Activision needs a new major name with a massive monetary track record behind it. There's a lot of apprehension out there in the gaming community right now about this deal, and rightfully so. However, keep in mind that while the situation with Infinity Ward went horribly wrong, Activision has successfully published plenty of games without alienating and litigating creative talent in the process. Hopefully Bungie will end up on the list of successes rather than failures.