As Activision continues to lose members from its most high-profile development studio, Infinity Ward, the massive publisher has gone ahead and signed a 10-year deal with what will certainly be their new most high-profile development studio. Bungie, the studio behind the "Halo" franchise, has agreed to the publishing deal which will include exclusive publishing rights of the developer's next game (after "Halo: Reach" releases this fall).
Today's announcement states that Bungie will remain an independent studio and will own all rights to any new franchises they create. Bungie's last major franchise, "Halo," is owned by Microsoft.
Bungie released a statement on their website, discussing the new deal and what people can expect from their post-"Halo" title:
"Our Next Big Thing now has a concrete path, leading from our studio to the platforms of our choosing. The business formalities are behind us. Our Constitution remains unchanged. We are still Bungie, still independent, and now we are free to bring our stories to an ever bigger audience."
After Activision's disastrous relationship with Infinity Ward basically crumbled, the publisher definitely needed to make a big move to ensure that they remain an important player in the gaming space. The deal with Bungie is about as big a move as one could imagine. Now it's just a question as to whether the relationship between Bungie and Activision is able to stand the test of time.