Destiny Activision Deal Was “Bad From The Start,” Says Ex-Bungie Executive (VIDEO)
With content lined up from now until 2022, Destiny 2 is enjoying a substantial creative renaissance as of late, one that would have seemingly been impossible under the eye of former publisher Activision. Developer Bungie notably split from the partnership back in 2019 and while the studio has denied the publisher’s villainy in the past, the greater gaming community has widely speculated otherwise after years of the game struggling under Activision’s signature mode of monetization. A former executive with Bungie has now detailed what went on behind the scenes of the Destiny Activision deal, confirming the experience was anything but pleasant.
In an interview with YouTuber HiddenXperia (H/T Prima Games), former Bungie executive and composer Marty O’Donnell conversed about his long tenure at the company, including his thoughts regarding the infamous Activision split. O’Donnell, who left the company in 2014, explained the two companies’ relationship was essentially “bad from the start” and that the “risk” of an Activision partnership “turned out to be exactly as bad as we thought it was going to be.” The former executive acknowledged that he might be one of the few ex-Bungie employees to speak freely against Activision, while current devs may tend to be a bit more “diplomatic” with their words.
Speaking candidly about how the Destiny Activision deal was “not a marriage made in heaven,” O’Donnell recalled a dinner Bungie had with Activision personnel which gave him the first inklings of doubt regarding the partnership. During the meeting, O’Donnell explained his affinity for the expression “be nice to the goose,” referring to Bungie as “the goose” and the Destiny IP as a golden egg. The Activision CFO unexpectedly responded to the quote with “sometimes there’s nothing like a good Foie Gras,” referring to a dish that involves force-feeding geese before slaughter. “I get a chill even telling that story,” O’Donnell said. “The red flag went off.”
I’m in the middle of sipping some wine, he says that, and I’m like, ‘oh my god.’ I felt like I was in a Twilight Zone episode.”
While a shocking exchange like this didn’t put a damper on the Destiny Activision deal, Bungie eventually did become an independent entity following the nearly nine-year partnership. Since making the decision to both develop and publish Destiny 2, the title has seen renewed excitement in its community, with a bright future planned to roll out over the next few years. While this leaves Bungie plenty to be preoccupied with for the time being, the studio has also confirmed work on a new golden egg IP, which, by the looks of a job listing, appears to be of a “comedic” and “whimsical” nature.
What do you think? Are you surprised to see the Destiny Activision deal described as so turbulent? Do you think it would have been better if Bungie went independent from the start? Let us know in the comments below and be sure to follow Don’t Feed the Gamers on Twitter and Facebook to be informed of the latest gaming and entertainment news 24 hours a day! For more headlines recently featured on DFTG, check out these next few news stories:
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Phone-browsing Wikipedia in one hand and clutching his trusty controller in the other, the legendary Eric Hall spreads his wealth of knowledge as a writer for Don't Feed the Gamers. Be sure to catch his weekly "Throwback Thursday" segment for a nostalgic look at trivia from the past.