Bungie is best-known for creating the developing the original Halo games and now the Destiny series, and now they'll be working on another project outside of Activision, seeing as a large investment from a Chinese firm is setting them on a new path.
Chinese internet giant NetEase is behind the investment of $100 million as Bungie hopes to move beyond the confines of its Activision deal. So far, NetEase has only made a couple of mobile and PC games, but it is key to remember that the company also releases most of Blizzard Entertainment's games in China. For those that don't know, Blizzard is behind some major franchises like World of Warcraft, StarCarft, and Overwatch - all of which are handled by NetEase in mainland China.
Bungie shared the news of its new investor and hyped up the possibility of a prosperous partnership in a blog post on their website. Here's their statement:
"Today, we’re excited to announce that we’ve entered into a new partnership with NetEase to help us explore new directions. With their industry expertise, they’ll empower us to build new worlds and invite players, new and old, to join us there. They’ll help us support separate teams inside Bungie to bring our newest ambitions to life."
While gamers should be over the moon about a deal that could see Bungie develop a new IP, there are obvious concerns that Activision's shooter series will fall by the wayside when this mysterious new project comes to life. Considering a highly-anticipated Destiny 2 expansion is due in September, now is a time when things should be on the up for Destiny. Thankfully, Bungie addressed the issue in their announcement, trying to put everyone's fears to rest:
"If you’re a player of Destiny, this news won’t impact the hobby you’ve come to know. Destiny is an experience that will grow for many years to come. We’ll continue to work with our partners at Activision to foster this global community and turn new players from all over the world into Guardians. Our commitment to that world is not diminished by this announcement. We have exciting plans for the future of the Destiny franchise, and you’ll learn more about the next steps we’ll take together in the weeks to come."
While this news is certainly about Bungie embarking on a new project, it wouldn't be far-fetched to think that NetEase could release Destiny 2 in China as well. Elsewhere, Bungie is only four years into its decade-long contract to produce Destiny content for Activision, so there is still plenty more to come from their partnership and possibly even a third title in the series.
Considering that Bungie now has Halo and Destiny under its belt, the developers clearly have a knack for crafting expansive sci-fi worlds with mass appeal. With this huge investment from NetEase, fans can only imagine what addictive gaming series will come next from the minds at Bungie. The company has reportedly been quietly tinkering with on a non-Destiny game for a while now, though this announcement marks the first time they've public acknowledged that things are moving forward. Now, it's just a matter of waiting to find out what that is.