Bungie has long been something of a single-franchise developer, you have to go back seventeen years to find a point where the company was developing and releasing games set in more than one universe at a time. But after a lengthy serial monogamy (monogamey?) to Halo and Destiny, the developer ‘will begin the creation of new worlds’ as part of its new deal with Netease.
“We are excited to partner with Bungie as they transform from a single franchise development team into a global, multi-franchise entertainment studio,” said NetEase CEO and director, William Ding.
Everyone in the industry needs a Chinese partner these days, and so the only things vaguely surprising about NetEase acquiring a minority stake in Bungie, is that it hadn’t happened earlier and it wasn’t Tencent instead.
The interesting part is that Bungie isn’t simply looking to expand its audience for Destiny, but instead is creating new worlds, which means a new franchise, possibly one that may be more to the tastes of Chinese consumers. Or as Netease put it: ‘NetEase will help fuel the creativity of the Bungie team as they explore new directions, create new worlds and bring their newest ambitions to life.’
The press release notes that Bungie will continue to Develop the Destiny franchise with Activision. While chief creative officer and Bungie founder Jason Jones, will overlook the new franchise.
It’ll be exciting to see what Bungie comes up with next. And how it will split, or expand, its massive 750+ head count across multiple projects in the future.
"We have been big fans of the worlds Bungie has created, and are drawn to Bungie’s passion and creativity in online games development," added NetEase CEO and director, William Ding. "Bungie and NetEase share the same vision and ambition to deliver incredible experiences to millions of players all around the globe.”