News roundup: Activision / Bungie deal

All sorts of interesting new info revealed.

Bits of information continue to trickle following the recent surprise announcement of a ten-year publishing deal between Halo developer Bungie and Call of Duty publisher Activision.

Bungie's Brian Jarrard, who we interviewed just after the announcement, told us he's not worried about following in Infinity Ward's footsteps and didn't rule out doing an MMO. And he seemingly didn't stop talking all day.

Jarrard told VG247 that Bungie's new game "might be" at June's E3. But he also told G4, "We will not be focusing on this at E3," and told Edge, "You won’t be hearing anything about this project this year."

Jarrard told Gamespot that Bungie is "not being shoehorned into an annual release model that Activision might have for some of its other properties", so worries about overexposure can be relaxed a little.

He also clarified to GamesIndustry.biz that Activision's ten-year exclusivity applies solely to this new IP, and that other new Bungie franchises could potentially be published elsewhere.

Very little is known about the actual form the new game (or games) will take at this point. Jarrard told G4 that we should expect "action" and "a commitment to community and social engagement" to "carry forward into future projects." Activision Publishing COO Thomas Tippl told Kotaku that "online should be a big part of [Bungie's] next game", surprising exactly no one.

Analysts were quick to offer their two cents on the deal. Wedbush Morgan's Michael Pachter told Gamasutra that Bungie's Activision project is "well along in its development" and predicted sales of "at least 10 million units" across multiple platforms. Lazard Capital's Colin Sebastian told CNet he thinks Activision should "be able to publish three or four versions of whatever it is" and the the deal will make them less dependent on Call of Duty for continued profitability.

Sony sounded happy about the deal while Microsoft shrugged its shoulders. Nintendo hasn't issued a public comment yet, but Bungie President Howard Ryan did tell Gamepro that the Wii is "something we absolutely consider a potential platform" for the mysterious new IP. In an interview with VentureBeat, Ryan didn't even balk at the idea of iPhone, iPad and Facebook versions of the IP, saying he was looking to get it "worldwide on almost every platform".

If you're still looking for more information, Activision's Dan Amrich put together an excellent FAQ dispelling some of the more widely misreported myths surrounding the deal.

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