Bungie have announced a new partnership on their website, this time with NetEase - a Chinese internet technology giant. Bungie are not ditching Activision but it still seems like they bit off more than they can chew, time will tell.
This announcement came in what is probably the most generic PR statement this side of Christ's birth. Bungie started it off by saying that their purpse is "to build worlds that inspire friendship", which is a rather odd thing to say considering all the hostility they incited with Destiny 2 and arguably even the original Destiny.
Bungie continued by stating that their current goal is becoming an entertainment company that "sustains many worlds simultaneously - Destiny and new worlds to come" which is presumably just another one in a long line of unfulfilled promises. They can barely sustain Destiny 2 and it's hard to imagine adding more obligations will help them in any way.
When they finally got to saying that they have entered into a partnership with NetEase, Bungie noted that this will help them with exploring new directions since NetEase's industry expertise will empower them to build new worlds and invite players to join them. This is basically a fancy way of saying NetEase invested $100 million in Bungie to develop a new franchise. No, the stupidly lucrative Chinese gaming market doesn't factor into any of this at all.
Bungie reassured existing Destiny players that this news won't impact their game, and that they have "exciting plans" for the future of Destiny, some of which may be revealed in the weeks to come.
Partnering up with NetEase may look like Bungie is ditching Activision, but this may not be the case. NetEase have a history of working with Blizzard, which is now under the same roof as Activision, so the publishing rights may have just been somewhat extended.
Other sources say that Bungie will use the money to develop and self-publish the new games but it remains to be seen what they can do with 20 per cent of the budget Destiny franchise had.