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Marty O’Donnell on Activision/Bungie split

Romier S

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Here’s an interview discussing the split and some interesting info on a reunion with Microsoft prior to Destiny that didn’t happen because Microsoft wanted the Destiny IP as well.


Notes from Reddit:


From 1:38:25 onward

- Marty thought siding with Activision was a horrible idea

- They contemplated getting back with Microsoft but MS demanded that they have ownership of Destiny as a whole (like Halo)

- It was far worse then Bungie had feared it would be. He said that Bungie went into business with Activision for the sole reason that they would allow Bungie to keep ownership of Destiny as a franchise

- Despite what Bungie employees say, Activision messed with a lot of what Bungie was trying to do. Marty also brought up the point that the safeguard in place to prevent Activision from messing with Bungie was 7 studio heads (himself included) who would deliberate on ideas

- Not all the studio heads felt that Bungie should remain completely autonomous and sided with Activision on some of their decisions. Many of those people still work at Bungie

- The first red flag that Bungie notices was that at a dinner before the contract was signed, Activision higher ups mocked Marty’s statement that you should “respect the goose”

- If you treat the goose with respect, it’ll make golden eggs.

- One of their financial advisers made a joke about how there’s nothing better than Foie Gras.

Foie gras is a french specialty, it’s liver from ducks or geese. The way they make it is pretty horrible though, they basically overfeed the animals by stuffing food down their throat with a stick so their liver gets really fatty

- It's essentially saying "who gives a shit about being nice to the goose for its golden eggs when you can force-feed it, bloat it, and have many feast on its fattened-up liver".
- The guy was essentially admitting to how they treat their development studios, around the same time they were "eviscerating Infinity Ward". Red flags galore.
- This threw Marty off and he says that he wishes they scrapped the idea then and there

- He dryly jokes that the massive legal battle he and Bungie had was partly due to Activision

- He jokes that hindsight is 20/20 and that they never should have partnered with Activision


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