Bungie is branching out into new worlds beyond Destiny. The studio announced a partnership with Chinese online gaming company NetEase on Friday to the tune of $100 million to self-publish a new gaming franchise.
“For over twenty-five years, through Marathon, Myth, Oni, Halo, and Destiny, we’ve created fantastic places where players have gathered to become heroes. Now, our long-term goal is to become an entertainment company that sustains many worlds simultaneously – Destiny and new worlds to come,” Bungie explained.
The $100 investment and Bungie’s commitment to self-publish was confirmed by the Wall Street Journal‘s Sarah Needleman in a Twitter post. Destiny 2 fans are understandably concerned about what this means for the future of the franchise, as Bungie infamously dropped out of the Halo franchise to gain its independence from Microsoft and launch Destiny. However, the studio assures Guardians that work on a second franchise will not impact the current game.
“If you’re a player of Destiny, this news won’t impact the hobby you’ve come to know. Destiny is an experience that will grow for many years to come. We’ll continue to work with our partners at Activision to foster this global community and turn new players from all over the world into Guardians. Our commitment to that world is not diminished by this announcement. We have exciting plans for the future of the Destiny franchise, and you’ll learn more about the next steps we’ll take together in the weeks to come.”
Between this reveal and the upcoming e3, I think you’ll see Bungie has never been more committed to Destiny. https://t.co/ybcugkxU1S
— Mark Noseworthy (@knowsworthy) June 1, 2018
As previously covered by Inquisitr, the Destiny 2 Year Two reveal is currently set for Tuesday, June 5, at 12 p.m. ET/9 a.m. PT via Bungie’s official Twitch channel. This is when the studio plans to reveal the content plans for the September major expansion, which currently hints at a visit to the Reef.
New Bungie Franchise
As for the new game, Bungie CEO Pete Parson explained to the Wall Street Journal that the ability to self-publish in the future is a big part of the studio’s focus.
“We’ll decide the business model and how the worlds we create go into the market,” he said.
Bungie and the Destiny franchise have frequently come under fire for decisions relating to microtransactions and an onerous PlayStation exclusivity arrangement that locks content away from Xbox and PC players for a year or more. How much these decisions are influenced by Activision and how much they are made by Bungie is unknown, but the statement by Parson is interesting in that light.
Additionally, a separate statement from NetEase reveals the new game franchise will be “under the stewardship” of Bungie Chief Creative Officer and Bungie Founder Jason Jones.
For those unfamiliar with NetEase, it is a major player in the Chinese market with publishing arrangements for Minecraft, plus Blizzard titles like Overwatch, Hearthstone, and World of Warcraft, as well as several mobile titles specifically made for the country. The partnership with Bungie represents a significant shift to invest in western game development.
The launch of a new franchise is likely two years or more away given how much time it takes to create new worlds as Bungie likes to do. Meanwhile, the studio still has to finish out its Destiny contract with Activision, with a third game and its expansions.