Activision Explains Why It Broke Up with Bungie

Discussion in 'HardForum Tech News' started by Megalith, Feb 17, 2019.

  1. Megalith

    Megalith 24-bit/48kHz Staff Member

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    Activision Blizzard revealed why it was severing ties with Bungie during this week’s conference call: Destiny simply wasn’t making enough money. "Destiny is highly critically acclaimed, high quality content, but it was not meeting our financial expectations,” said President and Chief Operating Officer Coddy Johnson. He also said the game was tying up talent, as other developers (e.g., High Moon and Vicarious Visions) were tasked to assist Bungie in pumping out content faster.

    When Activision Blizzard management conducted a financial review for 2019, the company saw signs that indicated Destiny would not be a "material contributor" to the company's profit. Not only that, but Activision Blizzard assigned some of its own studios, including High Moon Studios and Vicarious Visions, to assist Bungie in developing Destiny content faster. "[Bungie was] tying up one of our scarcest resources--developer talent," Johnson said.
     
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  2. DukenukemX

    DukenukemX [H]ardness Supreme

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    I don't believe them. If it made money then it made more money than what Activision was spending on Destiny.
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  3. Nafensoriel

    Nafensoriel Limp Gawd

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    Activision seems to now live in a world where millions of dollars is somehow not money.

    This is what? The third such statement where an already absurd profit-making enterprise "isn't enough" for them. They are going to "isn't enough" themselves out of all money at the rate they are going.
     
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  4. Staples

    Staples [H]ardness Supreme

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    Seeing the personalities behind Bungie (at least in the MS days), I get a feeling they may not be so easy to work with.
     
  5. Burticus

    Burticus 2[H]4U

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    Coming from the COD people, I believe them. They want yearly releases with lots of paid DLC / other money generating revenue.

    Bungie tried this with the Eververse and it's been a big flop.

    I also believe that when Bungie was with MS, they were more concerned with putting out hits rather than sticking to anything resembling a schedule.
     
  6. viscountalpha

    viscountalpha 2[H]4U

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    Good I hope bungie goes on to be successful now.
     
  7. RogueKitsune

    RogueKitsune [H]Lite

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    So what I got out of this is the following...

    Destiny made money, but not all the money, so its not worth anything to Activision Blizzard
    Activision Blizzard needs developers so they are laying off around 8-10% of their work force

    Speaking from experience nothing motivates developers more than a company posting record profits/revenue and still laying off people, while the C levels get huge bonuses.
     
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  8. Brian_B

    Brian_B 2[H]4U

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    I can believe it.

    Just because something is making money doesn’t mean it’s worth it.

    An investment that earns 1% isn’t nearly as good as one that earns 10%

    They cut the cord and moved their capital (money, manpower, and resources) to what they hope will yield higher returns.
     
  9. Nolan7689

    Nolan7689 [H]ard|Gawd

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    One of their scarcest resources is dev talent? Maybe if they didn’t suck the life out of everything they have.
     
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  10. Burticus

    Burticus 2[H]4U

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    I've worked at places where there was an annual "culling" of 5-10% of the workforce. Basically whomever hit the bottom ring on reviews or were on "double secret probation" from management. Strangely though, half of them would reappear in 3 months during the next hiring phase. I worked with one guy who was decent at his job but management hated him, the 5 years I worked there, he got laid off then rehired 4 times. That's 80% rehire rate, not bad :) And he told me he didn't care and even planned for it money wise. If he got rehired within 6 months he kept his tenure and vacation time.
     
  11. ManofGod

    ManofGod [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Because the could, that is why. Or more specifically: because
     
  12. KazeoHin

    KazeoHin [H]ardness Supreme

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    "below expectations"

    Can anyone remember the last AAA publisher who announced that a title met or exceeded expectations? No? That's because it never happens.
     
  13. viscountalpha

    viscountalpha 2[H]4U

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    It's reminiscent of the 1983 videogame crash where they spent way too much on development. Too many big titles busting bankrupting companies. Development cycle too long and too expensive. Saturated market.
     
  14. Skull_Angel

    Skull_Angel [H]ard|Gawd

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    Well, technically, if you're a millionaire in america, you're still considered poor :D
     
  15. alxlwson

    alxlwson You Know Where I Live

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    Interesting. Creating quality content for Destiny 2 is probably not cheap- the voice acting alone probably costs a ton.
    I wonder if it comes down to release schedules?
    Im also curious how successful they were in getting new customers by offering the base game for free last year. I know it brought me in, as well as buddy from work. We both loved it(I also played the first on Xbox), and both bought Forsaken and season pass.
     
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  16. Wiffle

    Wiffle Limp Gawd

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    If only the people addicted to your crap games could quit so easily when you don't "meet their expectations"...

    Imagine if your parents decide to get rid of you because you don't "meet their expectations"... "Sorry son, but you don't make enough money, so we are going to have to disown you"

    Man life would be so easy if I could just get rid of everything that doesn't meet my expectations.

    Not everything you do is guaranteed to be a multi-million dollar blockbuster, but apparently it is when you throw millions of dollars at it and "expect"
     
  17. alxlwson

    alxlwson You Know Where I Live

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    It's sad, really. I am hopeful for Diablo 4 to either be a wonderful MMO like WoW has mostly been, or perhaps even similar to Destiny 2.
     
  18. sirmonkey1985

    sirmonkey1985 [H]ard|DCer of the Month - July 2010

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    this is code for bungie wanted out of their contract and they gave them a plain and simple ultimatum that they were going to get the destiny franchise or else and so activision/blizzard gave it to them.. hell i wouldn't even be suprised if something comes out later from bungie saying that the problems with the original release of destiny 2 was completely decided by activision to push the dlc profits. because quite frankly destiny 2 wasn't a destiny game until Forsaken was released.
     
  19. Exavior

    Exavior [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Some states allow you to abandon your kids up to age 17, no questions asked at a designated location. So you can do #2 already.
     
  20. Sycraft

    Sycraft [H]ardness Supreme

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    We can hope... but I have my doubts. The whole reason Bungie ended up with Activision is because they got mad at MS. In particular, MS wanted them to just keep pumping out Halo games which isn't a surprise, MS is known for being pretty bad about just wanting more of the same from their studios. So Bungie said "We have a new direction we want to go, and we can't do that under your management, can we leave?" To MS's credit, they let that happen. Rather than be jerks and hang on to the name and have all the talent quit and have a shell, they let them take the company and go. MS kept Halo, of course, but the studio go to go independent. Cool so now, unshackled by their short sighted owner they went on to produce the amazingly new and different... Destiny. A game that is just a Halo clone with a new coat of paint.

    I mean seriously guys? This is the amazing idea you had that you could't make with MS? An MMO-lite Halo-type shooter? Ya... To me it seems like they just don't have a lot of creative ideas going around.

    Oh and NetEase invested a bunch of money in them and has a minority stake, which is also not a good sign.
     
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  21. ShadowXT

    ShadowXT n00b

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    I can't blame Activision. If they don't own the IP, they are really just being a publisher for Bungie. If Bungie was slipping schedule and Activision had to give up their own development team to bring the game back into schedule, they are giving up valuable assets to develop someone else's IP. Sure Activision made money, but if the same assets were re-allocated to other games, they could have made more. They are just weighting the opportunity costs of helping another company develop their game and IP. Their 10 year agreement was coming close to ending by next year, so any additional resources spent on Bungie's games would be wasted. Bungie is now on their own so it's good for both sides. As they say in Thailand, a happy ending is better than no ending.
     
  22. Shadowed

    Shadowed Limp Gawd

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    Destiny 2 DLC prices drove away far too many players. I would have been happy for them to not spend any money on those expensive looking cutscenes and focus on cheaper content or something.

    Destiny 1 had the same problem, but I strongly feel it was a significantly better game.

    There's a lot of other problems with Destiny 2, but the total cost to own the game + all DLC is insane.
     
  23. Tiburon1186

    Tiburon1186 Gawd

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    I for one, learned from Destiny 1. I'm excited to play D2 but I won't until the final "all inclusive" pack comes out. This nickle and diming (in the range of $30 to $40) every few months is ridiculous and I refuse to buy into it again. I wonder how many others learned from their mistake with D1 and are donig the same?
     
  24. M76

    M76 [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Of course it wasn't making enough, when your definition of enough is: more.
     
  25. alxlwson

    alxlwson You Know Where I Live

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    By every few months, you mean once a year?
     
  26. Shadowed

    Shadowed Limp Gawd

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    Smart move. Maybe Activision isn't patient enough! I spent $100 on the game and feel burned.

    I really hope Bungie will change this situation.
     
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  27. Shadowed

    Shadowed Limp Gawd

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    How far apart was Forsaken and Black Armory? September 4th and December 4th. Both very overpriced.
     
  28. alxlwson

    alxlwson You Know Where I Live

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    Wasn't BA part of the Season Pass? Didn't the Season Pass launch with the game? I haven't had a chance to read on that
     
  29. exlink

    exlink [H]ardness Supreme

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    In other words Bungie didn't make enough money through its microtransactions to satisfy Activision's thirst and most likely didn't want to ruin their game any further by doing so.
     
  30. Shadowed

    Shadowed Limp Gawd

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    The first season pass was not eligible for Forsaken and BA unfortunately. I think Forsaken and BA should have been 1 DLC.

    I really felt like most of the money I spent on Forsaken went to the cutscene budget.
     
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  31. harbingerofdoom

    harbingerofdoom Gawd

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    and some profit is better than NO profit
     
  32. HeadRusch

    HeadRusch [H]ard|Gawd

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    You're desperate to play another version of Halo Multiplayer? Why do we raise these devs up, they've made....Halo and like...Marathon 100 years ago,....what am I missing here....
     
  33. Woody1150

    Woody1150 [H]Lite

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    They revamped the passes when Forsaken was released. There is now the "Annual Pass" that gets you the upcoming seasons. This was an additional cost on top of the cost for the Forsaken DLC.
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2019
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  34. britjh22

    britjh22 Limp Gawd

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    I think LRR did a great job of digging into the Actiblizzard/Bungie split, really good summary for those who didn't play the games: