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Bungie and Activision team up for 10-year partnership (This isn't a joke)

In what could end up being the biggest surprise of the year, Activision has announced they’ve signed Bungie to a ten-year publishing deal. Yes, the makers of Halo have signed a deal with the devil, oops I mean Activision.  Details concerning the deal are still coming in but a few details have surfaced.  According to the deal, Activision will have the exclusive worldwide publishing and distribution rights to Bungie’s new IP.

Despite the long term nature of the deal, Bungie will remain an independent studio and will be able to pursue other ventures. Having a rough knowledge of Bungie’s nature and general vibe I’m probably not the only one thinking “Why the f&ck did they do this?” Bungie is an absolute powerhouse of a studio and I’m sure publishers like Electronic Arts would’ve dropped bucket loads of money to finance their next game. So why did they go with Activision?  Well this is the PR centric answer as to why:

[quote Bungie President Harold Ryan] “We chose to partner with Activision on our next IP because of their global reach, multi-platform experience and marketing expertise.  From working together over the past nine months on this agreement, it is clear that Activision supports our commitment to giving our fans the best possible gaming experiences.[/quote]

There’s no doubt that Activision knows how to market their games but the company also has a reputation for being a bit dare I say it, prickish in their thoughts about properties and how to deal with them.  So I guess it was a case of Activision’s wallet being bigger than EA’s as this choice is simply befuddling.  I wonder what the general vibe at Bungie was after the Infinity Ward debacle. Obviously we won’t see another Infinity Ward style incident involving Bungie but I’m sure a few folks at Bungie may fear the initial backlash from teaming with what could be the most hated publisher/developer this generation.

And yes, this news means that we’ll finally see a Bungie game on a PlayStation platform. MEGATON indeed. But if this is pre-E3 news I shudder to think what will be announced then.  Get aboard the hype train for E3 2010.