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You're both wrong, but it's okay to have a positive attitude (Destiny)

by narcogen ⌂ @, Andover, Massachusetts, Monday, January 14, 2019, 05:18 (95 days ago) @ Korny

Agreed, everything points towards Bungie initiating the move.


I mean, with disappointing sales and a poor reception to alternate monetization to boost poor mtx sales, of course Bungie had the upper hand.

Publishers routinely announce disappointment regardless of how well a title performs. It looks to me like Bungie called their bluff on this point.

Bungie had the upper hand because they wrote it into the contract. The terms under which Activision could walk away with IP ownership were limited.

I think a variation of the scenario with Microsoft occurred, something along these lines:

Bungie is unhappy with Activision's involvement. Either they wanted certain process changes that ATVI was unwilling to make, or Bungie just wants them gone. So the options become: ATVI says no, you can't get out without a material breach and we haven't committed one.

Fine, says Bungie. Destiny 3 is cancelled. That puts Bungie in breach at the very end of the contract and likely puts the entire mess into litigation. Royalties from past titles will be held in escrow. ATVI can walk out of this with full ownership and control of a series primarily known because of its association with the developer they just took to court, and now they have to find another studio to finish the series, or else give up and cancel it themselves.

The other option is just to let Bungie bow out. ATVI stops whatever ongoing milestone payments are due, probably agrees to stop backend maintenance payments as well, which would otherwise be owed to Bungie for another 2 years-- presumably Bungie has enough of a war chest built up, or else can use some of the NetEase money for this.

Heck, for all we know, what NetEase actually wanted wasn't "Matter" but a new "Destiny-like for China" but perhaps that was was impermissible due to the licensing to ATVI. Now all those licenses revert back to Bungie. Destiny is already more MTX-heavy in other markets.

There is no way to spin this as either a positive for ATVI or a good strategic move by them. No matter how disappointing, the savings they are getting by not supporting Bungie or marketing Destiny are not going to make up for the lost revenue, and the market knows this, which is why ATVI dropped 10% rather than going up. The market did not see this as ATVI shedding useless weight, it is instead wondering why ATVI doesn't have a solid stable of intellectual properties to develop.

What I find amazing about the entire series of moves, from the TTWO deal until now, is that as far as I can tell there has been no one consistent individual involved on Bungie's behalf on the business side. Seropian was supposedly doing that stuff way back in the beginning, but he left after the MSFT purchase. The closest candidate I can think of is Pete Parsons.


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