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Activision nets $164 million after parting with Bungie

Activision has shared more details about its split from Destiny developer, Bungie.

The developer/publisher’s SEC filing covered the 12 month period up to and including December 31, 2018. As spotted by Niko Partners’ Daniel Ahmad (thanks, GI.biz), the document intimates the company earned $164 million as a result in the "mutually agreed" separation from Bungie that now means "Activision no longer has any material rights or obligations related to the Destiny franchise".

"As a result of the agreement to terminate the relationship, the Company recognised net bookings, a key operating metric, of $20 million, GAAP [generally accepted accounting principles] revenues of $164 million, and GAAP operating income of $91 mullion for the year ended December 31, 2018," the document said.

Bungie split with Activision Blizzard in January, eight years into a ten-year partnership. The separation saw Bungie assume "full publishing rights and responsibilities for the Destiny franchise", while Activision "will increase its focus on owned IP and other projects".

In an earnings call last November, Activision COO Coddy Johnson explained that Activision’s MAU were "up sequentially from Q2" thanks to the good performance of Destiny 2’s expansion Forsaken, launched on September 4th. However, Forsakenactually performed below the firm’s expectations. Johnson added: "Now while Forsaken is a high-quality expansion with strong engagement and new modes of play, it did not achieve our commercial expectations, and there’s still work to do to fully re-engage the core Destiny fan base."

The then-CFO Spencer Neumann further revealed that Activision’s Q3 revenue reached $397m (£305m), with the "key contributors [being] Call of Duty digital in-game revenue and Destiny 2: Forsaken, although the latter underperformed [their] expectations".

Destiny 2 director, Luke Smith then responded to reports that its latest expansion, Forsaken, "did not achieve [Activision’s] commercial expectations", stating that the development team at Bungie is "not disappointed" in the latest instalment. "We are not disappointed with Forsaken," Smith asserted via a tweet. "We set out to build a game that Destiny players would love, and at Bungie, we love it too. Building Destiny for players who love it is and will remain our focus going forward."

About Vikki Blake

It took 15 years of civil service monotony for Vikki to crack and switch to writing about games. She has since become an experienced reporter and critic working with a number of specialist and mainstream outlets in both the UK and beyond.

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