Bungie wants to expand past Destiny. Its goal is to become a “global, multi-franchise entertainment studio,” and now it’s found a partner to help it on that path.
That would be NetEase, the Chinese internet tech giant which has reportedly invested $100 million into Bungie for a minority stake in the publisher. NetEase has made a number of Chinese PC and mobile games, but also acts as an operator for almost all Blizzard’s titles in China as well.
While no specifics about this deal have been announced other than the fact that it exists, this likely means that Destiny will come to China at some point, but the more pressing news is that Bungie is trying to add additional franchises to its roster other than Destiny, though they claim the game won’t be affected by this, and its current deal with Activision remains in place.
“Between [Tuesday’s] reveal and the upcoming E3, I think you’ll see Bungie has never been more committed to Destiny,” said Bungie’s Mark Noseworthy on Twitter.
It’s not a huge surprise that Bungie wants to start working on something other than just Destiny at this point. In its lifespan, Bungie has made the Halo franchise, Marathon, Myth and Oni, and clearly they have ideas for other properties. What exactly those properties will be is anyone’s guess, but mobile might be in the cards as part of this deal:
“They also have a significant amount of experience in mobile we don’t have,” Bungie CEO Pete Parsons told GamesIndustry. “And one of the things we were really excited about when we met with them is their team has a considerable amount of development expertise and practices and processes that I think we can also learn from as a company who’s trying to make games.”
I suppose I will say what everyone’s thinking.
Even though Bungie has immediately moved to reassure fans that Destiny isn’t falling by the wayside, and they’re continuing to press forward with the series, it’s a little jarring to see Bungie want to expand and move onto other projects when it seems like they can barely keep it together to produce enough content for Destiny as it is.
Bungie’s deal with Activision means they have to build expansions and sequels at a breakneck pace, and that’s already resulted two years of Destiny 1 without minor DLCs like originally planned, a year-long delay for Destiny 2, and a sequel that arrived with all sorts of problems, including the fact that it barely felt like a sequel at launch, with all the same classes and enemies, and a host of new problems that didn’t seem like they’d been playtested. While Destiny is moving in a positive direction these days, if Bungie was going to expand, I think many fans were hoping that they’d grow in a way that would better support Destiny rather than trying to branch out into a bunch of new IPs at the same time.
Again, Bungie is claiming they can do both. It doesn’t seem like they’re pulling people off Destiny to work on new projects, but rather just expanding with new teams and partners to build other titles. But I also understand why this news would be perplexing to fans who for years have felt that Destiny has always felt too big in scope for Bungie to fully get their hands around.
With that said, I am certainly excited to see what other ideas Bungie has in mind. For nearly twenty years they’ve been focused on essentially space-marine FPS games between Halo and Destiny, and I wonder if they’re going to move past that concept and into something truly new. Or old, if they go back to their roots.
We will likely hear more about this partnership at E3, and we’re set to hear more about Destiny 2’s year two plans this coming Tuesday. It’s an exciting and strange time to be a fan.