Details of Bungie’s contract with Activision revealed in court, Marathon sequel in the works

Mega-giant publisher Activision is currently embroiled in a lawsuit against the founders and ex-heads of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare developer Infinity Ward, Jason West and Vince Zampella, for alleged insubordination stemming from meeting with rival publisher EA, with the founders claiming that they are owed a significant amount of royalties from the series. As part of this ongoing lawsuit, documents detailing Activision’s contract with former Halo developer Bungie have been made available to the public and picked up by the LA Times.

Based on these documents, it would appear that Activision’s plans for releasing Bungie-developed titles are to be similar to those of the Call of Duty franchise, that is, releasing games every other year, possibly with another developer releasing  their own entry in the series in the off years, as is the case with Call of Duty: Black Ops developer Treyarch. As the LA Times reports:

Bungie [is] to develop four “sci-fantasy, action shooter games,” code-named “Destiny,” [to be] released every other year, beginning in the fall of 2013. Bungie also agreed to put out four downloadable expansion packs code-named “Comet,” every other year beginning in the fall of 2014.

The documents further disclose that the first entry in the “Destiny” series will be an Xbox exclusive, appearing on the Xbox 360 and potentially its successor, referred to by the contract as the “Xbox 720”.

Also of note is the mention of a follow-up to Bungie’s hit sci-fi shooter Marathon, which saw three releases on Mac and PC beginning in 1994. If you’ve never played Marathon, the game revolves around a security officer fighting off attacks by aliens on the UESC Marathon, a massive space station. Also, you should definitely rectify that, as the Marathon trilogy can be downloaded for PC/Mac for free at Bungie’s website, while Marathon 1 and Marathon 2: Durandal are available for your iDevice.

The information disclosed regarding the Marathon sequel might be deflating for long-time fans of the series (such as yours truly), as according to the contract Activision is allowing only 5% of Bungie’s staff to work on the game. With such a small fraction of the workforce being devoted to the title, I am unsure how soon we will be seeing a new release in the series. Kind of like being served a perfectly-grilled, juicy steak only to be told it’s made of tofu.

[LA Times via Joystiq]

[Image Source: Bungie]

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