A couple of weeks ago, Bungie announced that they were going to rescind from the contract they signed with Activision in 2010. This contract legally bound Bungie to develop a number of titles based in the Destiny universe in 10 years. Bungie has not only rescinded from the contract but will also maintain ownership of the Destiny franchise.
One thing we have seen in the last weeks is a sort of dramatization of this news, with people committing to a one-sided narrative that sees Activision as the villainous and oppressive corporate-driven entity that does not understand gaming and gamers, and Bungie as the heroic developer that only cares to create good games that was able to free itself from their publisher’s tyrannical yoke. This is not necessarily true: both Activision and Bungie want to make money (as is expected), with Activision, being a publisher, naturally having a higher threshold than Bungie for what is a “success” in monetary terms. Activision is, after all, a publisher and not a developer.
We, personally, are not interested in the narrative that has been developing. We are, however, very interested in how this situation may develop: this is the first time in memory that a big developer has been able to wrestle back control of its own IP from a big publisher. If Bungie pulls this off and is successful, it will create a powerful precedent for a self-published AAA title. This, in turn, may be able to help big platform holders such as Steam and Epic to understand and acknowledge that there is a AA/AAA independent scene, and also help other AA developers to move to a more hybrid publishing process. This, in our opinion, an excellent thing that can only improve the game industry as a whole.