Activision/Bungie contract details revealed

Details of the contract between Bungie and Activision have been laid out at Develop and, while some of it is predictably boring, some of what’s been laid out naked on the interweb is actually pretty interesting. The money involved also reminds you that the toilet roll holders at Activision HQ probably have hundred dollar bills wrapped around them.

As you probably know, the contract centres around a series currently known as ‘Destiny’, as well as a standalone expansion referred to as ‘Comet’. There are to be four games in each series, with the first Destiny game due next year. Interestingly, the first Destiny and Comet games are both due to be developed for the 360 and Microsoft’s next console. Though Develop speculates this could have changed since, it wouldn’t be without precedent; games such as King Kong and Hitman Contracts were released for both the Xbox and Xbox 360.

The money involved is little short of staggering. While you may not be surprised to learn that one of the bonuses is worth a cool two and a half million dollars, you may be surprised to learn that Activision will pay this out for – wait for it – a score above 90. Just goes to show the obscene importance publishers place on Metacritic et al. One of the other bonuses is worth $7.5m for delivering the first game on time and on budget, and Bungie will be entitled to 20%-35% royalties. The maximum budget for the first Destiny game on 360 is an eye-watering $140,000,000.

There are a few predictable clauses in the contract designed to prevent a repeat of the messy West-Zampella situation, but they’re not really necessary; why would you leave a publisher that, as revealed in the contract, gives you two free games every year?!?

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Written by Luke K

Luke plays lots of videogames, now and again stopping to write about them. He's the editor in chief at Critical Gamer, which fools him into thinking his life has some kind of value. Chances are, if you pick up a copy of the latest Official PlayStation Magazine or GamesMaster, you'll find something he's written in there. Luke doesn't have a short temper. If you suggest otherwise, he will punch you in the face.

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