Activision Denies Stock Punishment for Bungie

Publisher Activision denies claims that it will be rewarded Bungie stock if the developer does not deliver Destiny 2 in time for its 2017 release date.

Earlier this week, Activision gave fans their first hints towards Destiny 2 as part of an annual earnings call. During the call, publishing CEO Eric Hirshberg talked about Bungie’s vision for the game – including a cinematic story filled with new characters – while also confirming that the title would release in 2017. However, shortly thereafter a report surfaced suggesting Bungie had almost no choice but to release Destiny 2 in 2017, because if the studio didn’t Activision would earn stock in the developer.

Not long after, though, Activision was quick to squash the report by saying, “There is no scenario where Activision, or any other partner we work with, is awarded Bungie stock.” Clearly some misinformation about Destiny 2 was given, or perhaps the business relationship between Activision and Bungie has changed.

Even if the stock forfeit is not still in place, Bungie still has an incentive to finish Destiny 2 and release it in 2017. According to Kotaku, Bungie employees’ stock vesting schedules are based on game releases, meaning that the closer they hit targets, the better stock options they are rewarded. But this too comes from a report that is fueled by unsubstantiated claims, so take it with a grain of salt.

The main takeaway from the recent reports is that Bungie likely wasn’t under any major threat to release Destiny 2 in 2017. No doubt there is plenty of pressure to get the game out in time, both from the development/publishing side and from gamers, but there doesn’t appear to be any major punishment for not doing so.

On the flip side, it does sound like Bungie is incentivized to release Destiny 2 in 2017, but with rewards not punishments. And by all accounts it appears that Bungie employees are poised to collect those rewards.


While the past week has been full of Destiny 2 talk, fans are still no closer to better understanding Bungie’s vision for the sequel in key ways. For starters, Activision and Bungie have yet to reveal whether Destiny 2 will be available for PC, despite numerous rumors that it will. PC seems like the next logical step for the franchise, and has the potential of opening Destiny up to a whole new population of gamers.

More pressing for current fans, however, is how Destiny 2 will address the carryover from the first game, or if there will even be any at all. There are competing opinions about whether or not current Destiny characters should continue in Destiny 2, and some compelling arguments to be made in favor of both sides. But without Bungie’s input it’s harder to fully flesh out those arguments.

Thankfully, that should change soon, as the months left between now and the end of 2017 start to fade away, and Activision ramps up its promotional cycle for the biggest games of 2017.

Destiny 2 is slated to release in 2017.

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