The future of the Destiny franchise has been totally changed as of today, as Bungie has announced that they are officially splitting from Activision, who acted as the publisher of all of the Destiny games and their expansions.
A news post on the Bungie website gave a diplomatic statement about their relationship with Activision that began in 2010, stating that the transition of the Destiny license to Bungie's control is already underway and they are moving into self-publishing their own games.
The picture from behind the scenes is a little less gracious, as Jason Schreier of Kotaku is reporting on Twitter that Bungie employees are ecstatic over the split and that problems have existed between the two companies since before the original Destiny was released.
At today's meeting announcing the news, Bungie staff cheered loudly. Can't over-emphasize how happy they are not just to get away from Activision, but to have a game that they now own completely. Imagine a Destiny free from Activision's restrictive annualized schedule!— Jason Schreier (@jasonschreier) January 10, 2019
It's tempting to see the split of the Bungie/Activision partnership as the mutual ending of a romantic relationship, yet all the news coming out about Activision in recent months is painting a very different picture..
It was only a few days ago that Spencer Neumann, the CFO of Activision Blizzard, was fired from his role (before being snapped up by Netflix) for unspecified reasons - most likely due to the dive in the value of the company's stock.
Activision Blizzard took a lot of hits at the end of 2018 for the Diablo Immortal fiasco, which saw the gaming world at large rebel against a company for turning a beloved PC/console gaming franchise into a cheaply made smartphone game in an effort to bleed the fans dry with microtransactions.
Destiny 2 has also been harshly criticized since launch due to the abundance of microtransactions that drew criticism from fans and pundits alike. Activision was seemingly blind to these complaints, as they said outright that they wanted to put even more microtransactions in the game as they weren't happy with the money the game was bringing in.
So, what does this mean for the future of the Destiny franchise?
It's telling that Bungie is separating themselves from Activision at a time when Microsoft is buying up studios in preparation for the next console generation. Bungie was previously owned by Microsoft from the year 2000 to 2007 but would split off to become an independent company before signing a ten-year long deal with Activision.
Will we see a closer partnership with Microsoft in the future? Will Microsoft purchase Bungie in an effort to make Destiny 3 and other titles exclusive for the next Xbox? Only time will tell.