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Bungie-Activision deal wasn't as bad as it looked - it was worse

Published: 05:59, 07 July 2020
Bungie and Activision logos
Bungie leaving Activision

Even though Bungie went on record on several occasions insisting that Activision were simply great, industry veteran Martin O'Donnell now said what most of us believed anyway.

O'Donnell was on Bungie's board of directors and he said they all knew joining Activision was a risk, but one worth taking at the time. "It turned out to be exactly as bad as we thought it would be", he said in his interview with HiddenXperia.

Interestingly enough, Bungie's chief criteria for the next partner was that the studio gets to keep the IP, which Activision were apparently fine with at the time.

We're talking about Destiny, of course, but their reasoning could be traced back to Microsoft's purchase of the studio in a package deal with Halo. "It turned out we had to give them Halo, ODST and Reach [in exchange for studio independence], but that was okay with us", he said. 

O'Donnell stressed that Activision had no legal right to mess with Destiny and if the rest of Bungie's elders held their ground, things would've likely been different. 

What he said next, however, sounds like something taken straight out of Sopranos. O'Donnell was asked by an "Austrian guy" to explain the meaning of the phrase be nice to the goose, which he did, to which the Austrian replied, "Yeah, but sometimes there's nothing like a good foie gras ."

AltChar Activision Blizzard's CEO, Bobby Kotick Activision Blizzard CEO, Bobby Kotick

 Knowing that this was the period when Activision were eating Vince Zampella and Jason West's foie gras makes it bona fide scary, albeit not at all surprising.  

Mind you, we're not glad things didn't work out the way Activision and Bungie envisioned. Going from the top of the world with Halo to - sorry but there's no other way of saying it - the joke they became under Activision, was not a pretty sight. 

Seeing the company explode with enthusiasm, creativity and sheer adoration by the community since the split with Activision is just lovely, and while we appreciate Bungie's professionalism, it's really great to finally know why.

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