While Infinity Ward continues to disintegrate, it seems that Activision has signed a deal with another studio with a pedigree for first-person shooter titles – and the studio in question just might surprise you.
Activision has locked in a 10-year exclusivity deal with Bungie Studios, the team behind the overwhelmingly popular Xbox exclusive franchise Halo. This effectively means that future Bungie titles – including an unannounced new IP – will most likely see release on other platforms, PlayStation 3 in particular.
Game Console understands that the Halo franchise will remain exclusive to the Xbox platform, although past Bungie titles such as Marathon could well eventually end up on other consoles previously denied the opportunity.
Sony Computer Entertainment America’s corporate communications chief Patrick Seybold is clearly delighted with the deal, writing in a Twitter post that "Marrying [Bungie's] creative minds and incredible talent to the power of PS3 will be like giving PS3 fans Halo on steroids."
Formerly owned by Microsoft, Bungie has developed exclusively for the Xbox platform since 2001, with ports of Halo and Halo 2 appearing on PC. The studio was effectively released into the wild once again in 2007, breaking away from the computer giant following the release of Halo 3. However, today's news effectively puts an end to the two companies' longstanding exclusivity relationship.
Activision is currently engaged in a legal battle with former members of Infinity Ward, the studio behind Modern Warfare 2 - a game that went on to become the highest-grossing entertainment release in history. The former Infinity Ward staffers are currently filing a lawsuit against Activision to the tune of potentially US$625 million. The lawsuit, claiming unpaid royalties, follows their ejection from the studio at Activision's demand based on claims of insubordination.