Bungie's Former Exec on Activision Deal: "It Was Bad From the Start"

Bungie's Former Exec on Activision Deal: "It Was Bad From the Start"

Marty O'Donnell reflects on the 10-year publishing deal.

Last year, Bungie and Activision announced they were parting ways, ducking out of a ten-year publishing deal between the developer and publisher. Recently, Bungie co-founder and former executive Marty O'Donnell shed some light on the deal between Bungie and Activision.

"We knew it was a risk right from the get go, and it turned out to be exactly as bad as we thought it to be," said O'Donnell of the deal, speaking to the HiddenXperia YouTube channel this week. "I am the only one who is gonna say that, except anyone who no longer works for Bungie, and anyone who no longer works for Bungie is gonna say, 'yeah, it was bad from the start,'" O'Donnell continued.

O'Donnell was one of the seven total people at Bungie who signed the deal with Activision back in 2010. "If there is any blame for going to Activision, I am part of it," he said in the recent interview, as O'Donnell was on the board of executives at Bungie back in 2010.

The deal between Bungie and Activision, struck in 2010, was right after the studio parted ways with Microsoft, leaving behind the Halo IP after development of Halo: Reach had been completed. The new deal with Activision was primarily covering Destiny, which at that point was four years away from releasing in 2014.

But when Bungie parted ways with Activision last year in 2019, the studio retained the rights to Destiny. Speaking last year at Gamescom, Bungie's community manager David Dague said that "I think we need to dispel the notion that Activision was some prohibitive overlord that wasn't letting us do awesome things." Speaking of the split, Dague said "It was amicable."

There's a lot more content to come for Destiny 2, post-Activision split. Last month, Bungie outlined three expansions for the shooter, the first of which is called Beyond Light and arriving in September 2020, with a major expansion releasing once every year until 2022.

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Hirun Cryer

Staff Writer

Hirun Cryer is by far the most juvenile member of USgamer. He's so juvenile, that this is his first full-time job in the industry, unlike literally every other person featured on this page. He's written for The Guardian, Paste Magazine, and Kotaku, and he likes waking up when the sun rises and roaming the nearby woods with the bears and the wolves.

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