Bungie: Activision is "hands-off"
"They are the publishers."
Gamers concerned that Halo creator Bungie's 10-year publishing deal with Activision may affect its hotly anticipated new game need not – and that's because Kotick's crew are "hands-off".
"Not only were we excited about the contract that we were able to get with Activision but they seem really committed to being hands-off," Bungie composer Marty O'Donnell told IndustryGamers.
"They really seem committed to agreeing that they are the publishers and they need to support in all the ways publishers support [titles] and they were looking for developers that were completely self-sufficient essentially - except maybe we need some money once in a while - but self-sufficient in terms of not needing to depend on them for production or development or some of these other things."
But will Activision remain hands-off?
"They want a team that has a proven track record - a team that can go out and get it done," O'Donnell continued. "And so the hands-off nature of it is really appealing to us. Right now, maybe this is the honeymoon period, but it seems like the right thing for us at this time."
O'Donnell's comments echo those of community director Brian Jarrard, who told Eurogamer last year that Activision's current negative reputation is of no concern.
"We have an awesome deal with those guys," he said. "Ultimately, I don't think it's going to matter who helps that game into the hands of gamers, other than we're happy to know Activision's got world-class publishing expertise across multiple platforms and they're going to be a great partner that's given us a great relationship and a great deal.
"So we're not too worried about it."
In April 2010 Activision and Bungie announced a mammoth 10-year publishing deal for the developer's next IP.
Under the terms of the agreement, Bungie retains the rights to whatever it's cooking.
The deal followed the high-profile sacking of Call of Duty creators Vince Zampella and Jason West, which sparked an outpouring of anger from gamers who felt Activision had unfairly treated Infinity Ward.
Explaining the deal, O'Donnell added: "How many publishers are out there that could even do a deal with Bungie for a decade? You could probably list them on one hand. Certainly Microsoft was one of them, EA was one of them, but you could think of the ones that could actually do this thing."
Little is known about Bungie's next game.
Bungie lead network engineer David Aldridge said at the Game Developers Conference that its next project would be a "massively multiplayer action game" – but he was joking, apparently.
Rumour has it Bungie is making a first-person MMO for Activision called Destiny. It was loosely defined as "WOW in space".
Before then, Bungie had teased a new world that "was always there", and also referred to it as "a universe that people want to spend time in". Bungie's partnership with Activision is a 10-year multi-platform publishing deal, which fits well with an MMO.