Activision/Bungie game revealed by court (4 MMO sci-fantasy FPSs, more) [OP Updated]

#1
Short Recap:

-Massively multiplayer style, sci-fantasy action shooter series codenamed Destiny with expansion packs codenamed Comet.
-Four games releasing in 2013, 2015, 2017, and 2019.
-Four expansion packs releasing in 2014, 2016, 2018, and 2020.
-The main games will be retail.
-There will be other DLC, subscriptions, microtransactions, and value added services.
-The first game will be an Xbox 360 and "Xbox 720" timed exclusive.
-Activision and Bungie are considering a PS3 version of the first game in 2014.
-The second game is targeted for 360, 720, PS4, and Windows PC, though the contract notes that some of those SKUs may be dropped if they decide they are not worthwhile or not technically feasible.
-Activision can terminate the contract without penalty if Destiny doesn't sell at least 5 million units in the first six months, or for any reason they please after the second expansion pack releases.
-Bungie is also working on a Marathon game, but currently no more than 5% of their staff (nor more than 5% of their key staff) can work on it, and the amount of employees that can work on it goes up slowly as they hit cumulative profit goals. There are also limits on when Bungie can release Marathon. For specifics on this see the contract images at the bottom since it's pretty lengthy.
-The game is targeting a rating of Teen/PEGI 16, but Bungie is not contractually held to hit this mark.
-The contract implies the game has in-game game masters, like those people who work for Blizzard and handle user requests in World of Warcraft while playing some kind of digital representation in the MMO world (or at least being accessible through in game chat).
-Bungie will receive a $2.5 million bonus if Destiny achieves a GameRankings.com rating of 90 or higher on Xbox 360 as measured 30 days after release.
-Bungie will also get a 20% royalty of the first $100 million in cumulative operating income, 24% on the income between $101-$400 million, and 35% on the income $401 million or above. These royalties are subject to a penalty of 2%, 2.4%, and 3.5% respectively if the games are delayed for reasons caused by Bungie within reason (i.e. if an earthquake destroys their studio they're not at fault, but if they just don't get the game done on time they are). These last two bullet points I'm leaving in the contract itself to cut down on OP length.

More Detail:













http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/envelope/cotown/la-et-ct-bungie-activision-contract-20120521,0,3463781.story

Details of video game publisherActivision Blizzard Inc.'s high-profile deal in 2010 with Bungie Inc. to make an original game series has been made public for the first time as part of a separate lawsuit involving the Call of Duty game franchise.

The deal with Bungie, considered one of the hottest studios in the industry, at the time helped Activision save face in the midst of an ugly legal fight with former Call of Duty developers Jason West and Vincent Zampella, whom Activision had fired a month earlier in March 2010. But at what cost?

Activision's contract with Bungie, recently unsealed as part of Activision's lawsuit against West and Zampella, outlines exactly what those costs are.

The 27-page agreement calls for Bungie to develop four "sci-fantasy, action shooter games," code-named "Destiny," released every other year, beginning in the fall of 2013. Bungie also agreed to put out four downloadable expansion packs code-named "Comet," every other year beginning in the fall of 2014. Activision has never disclosed release plans for Bungie's titles.

The first Destiny game will initially only be available on Microsoft's Xbox 360 consoles, as well as its potential successor, which the contract refers to as the "Xbox 720." Later games would be made for Xbox consoles as well as Sony Corp.'s expected successor to the PlayStation 3, and on personal computers.

Bungie would be entitled to royalties ranging from 20% to 35% of "operating income," the amount left over after Activision deducts its costs, including development, production and marketing expenses.

Under the contract, which may have been amended since it went into effect on April 16, 2010, Activision would also pay Bungie $2.5 million a year in bonuses between 2010 and 2013 if the Bellevue, Wash., studio meets certain quality and budget milestones. Bungie gets another $2.5 million if the first Destiny game achieves a score of 90 or better out of 100 on GameRankings.com, a site that summarizes reviews by game critics.

The contract also reveals for the first time that Bungie is working on a potential successor to its Marathon game, which became a cult hit after it was published in 1994 for the Apple Mac. The document refers to Bungie's right to devote no more than 5% of its staff to develop an action-shooter prototype dubbed Marathon while Bungie remains under contract with Activision.
Well, then. Holy shit. More at the link, of course.

Full contract is right here
 
#6
Incredible insight into something we would normally have never learned about.

I still cannot fathom why, of all the options they could have pursued, they went straight to the diabolic Bobby Kotick. I mean, maybe Activision offered the biggest pile of cash, but when its coming from one of the most horrendous figures in the industry, its a deal with the devil.

And we all know how those deals go...
 
#7
"scifi action shooters"? Ehhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh that's a pretty huge disappointment.

I've never played Marathon so I don't have anything on that, but I'm sure that's a hype reveal for some people. All in all I'm sure Activision and Bungie are just thrilled that this is out there in this manner, especially right before E3.

Incredible insight into something we would normally have never learned about.

I still cannot fathom why, of all the options they could have pursued, they went straight to the diabolic Bobby Kotick.
Unless this has changed, as far as we know Microsoft had/has first right of refusal on whatever Bungie was doing next, and they turned it down. So after that presumably Activision was offering the best deal; the actual numbers in that article don't really mean much to me since I don't have any point of reference. My guess based on the tone of the article is that those agreements are very preferable to a studio (Bungie) though.
 
#8
The 27-page agreement calls for Bungie to develop four "sci-fantasy, action shooter games," code-named "Destiny," released every other year, beginning in the fall of 2013. Bungie also agreed to put out four downloadable expansion packs code-named "Comet," every other year beginning in the fall of 2014. Activision has never disclosed release plans for Bungie's titles.
Wow that's a lot of games and content. No wonder they were hiring so much recently.
 
#22
I like how they wrote Xbox 720 lol wtf? Why not next generation consoles. 720 just seems like a ridiculous name to put in an official document.
 
#24
Holy shit, I guess we can expect Bungie to be hooking up reviewers with a ton of swag.
Bungie gets another $2.5 million if the first Destiny game achieves a score of 90 or better out of 100 on GameRankings.com, a site that summarizes reviews by game critics.
 
#27
Incredible insight into something we would normally have never learned about.

I still cannot fathom why, of all the options they could have pursued, they went straight to the diabolic Bobby Kotick. I mean, maybe Activision offered the biggest pile of cash, but when its coming from one of the most horrendous figures in the industry, its a deal with the devil.

And we all know how those deals go...
Maybe they don't have such a black and white view of the world as you.

Activision have a very successful FPS series. Why wouldn't you go to them to have a successful FPS series.
 
#28
i'm more surprised that the review bonus uses gamerankings instead of metacritic than that such a thing exists. we've heard about those kind of things before.
 
#29
This is all I can think of reading the thread title:



At least Activision is giving them the courtesy of releasing the games every other year as opposed to every year.
 
#30
Another Marathon game? Interesting. I always thought they were going to tie that into the Halo franchise, and this makes me think maybe they were before they decided they were done with Microsoft.
 
#31
Cmon dude, its a little late to start ps3 development at this point.
I know, but it sucks, coz I don't have an xbox. Thing is, this is like not being able to watch Alien and going straight to Aliens and the crappy sequels after it because the first one was exclusive to betamax. :p
 

BY2K

Membero Americo
#32
Bungie gets another $2.5 million if the first Destiny game achieves a score of 90 or better out of 100 on GameRankings.com, a site that summarizes reviews by game critics.
Are you fucking serious?
 
#39
I didn't know contracts were so detailed.

And I mean.. we'd have to see Bungie's game before the end of the year if due out next fall, no?
Well Fall 2013, I would assume it's an E3 2013 reveal.

Mostly to keep it short an sweet. They're usually good about having good cycles between showing it off and release.
 
#41
Oh son of a biscuit. So basically Bungie is the new Infinity Ward pre sell to Activision. :(
We already knew from Activision calls that they were saying that Bungie's new IP was basically being set up to "replace" CoD (at least if needed), so that part's nothing new. Just wish Bungie was doing anything but...what it sounds like this is. That's also a pretty crazy release schedule, I'd have to guess/hope that means they have a primary team working on the every other year release, a secondary team working on the expansions, and a third team working on Marathon I guess?
 
#47
No playstation version of the first acti-bungie game?


Microsoft you sly devils.
No PC version, either.

Something seems odd, though. Why would Activision pick this up if it is going to be exclusive? Why not just have MS publish it then? Late ports always sell like shiiiiiiiiiiiiit.
 
#48
Then why were they specifically hiring for PS3 programmers?
Well I dont know, I'm just saying if they decided not to make a ps3 game it would be understandable since this would probably be their one and only release on the system vs the large amount of experience they have on the 360.

If they do actually release a ps3 version then good on them.
 
#49
First info of Microsoft locking up 3rd Party Exclusive Launch games for next Gen? which will later be multiplat games like early in the 360's life time?

The first Destiny game will initially only be available on Microsoft's Xbox 360 consoles, as well as its potential successor, which the contract refers to as the "Xbox 720." Later games would be made for Xbox consoles as well as Sony Corp.'s expected successor to the PlayStation 3, and on personal computers.
reads that way. I wonder what other franchises they will be locking up for early Next Gen. And I wonder if Sony is only going to rely on their 1st Party titles (which is fine) or will they lock up one or more 3rd Party Exclusive as well for early in the Gen.