A former Bungie executive believes that the relationship between Bungie (who formerly worked on Halo before creating Destiny) and Activision Blizzard was far from clean.
This bomb was dropped on us by Martin O’Donnell, who was Bungie’s music composer from the first Myth game (this real-time strategy game launched in ’97 with two sequels) until the first Destiny, meaning he worked on music for 17 years. In 2014, he was inexplicably and unexpectedly fired. There was no reason given, and he successfully sued Bungie for unpaid wages. Now, he talked about his past on HiddenXperia‘s YouTube account.
„Because I was in leadership and on the Bungie board of directors when we went with Activision, if there is any blame for going to Activision, I am part of it. There were seven of us total I think… and made that deal with Activision. We knew it was a risk right from the get-go, and it turned out to be exactly as bad as we thought it to be. I am the only one who is gonna say that, except anyone who no longer works for Bungie, and anyone who no longer works for Bungie is gonna say, ‘yeah, it was bad from the start’. [that sounds illogical, doesn’t it? – the ed.]
So yeah, basically, that’s about time. That was not a marriage made in heaven at all. I remember this to this day, the reason we went with Activision was not just the money, but it was because as part of the contract they didn’t own the IP. Now, remember, Microsoft owns the Halo IP and we wanted to make sure whomever we were going to work next would let us own the IP. That was non-negotiable for me, I kept saying that we needed to be able to control the IP and Activision agreed to that. All the other big players during that period would not agree to do that, including Microsoft who was very close to making a serious offer. We almost went back to Microsoft, if you can believe it,” O’Donnell said. He also revealed that the reason why he got fired is because everyone on Bungie’s board of directors had to say that Activision can’t touch the Destiny IP. It didn’t happen, so he got fired…
In early 2019, Bungie left Activision Blizzard, keeping Destiny’s IP in the process. They are independent, except for a 100 million-dollar investment from a Chinese tech company, NetEase, to help establish a second dev team to work on another IP…
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