Bungie has reeled in a $100 million investment from Chinese gaming publisher NetEase, a key partnership that gives the company an opportunity to develop new franchises beyond Destiny.
The Bellevue, Wash.-based game developer best known for its Halo and Destiny titles said the deal will “help us explore new directions.”
“With their industry expertise, they’ll empower us to build new worlds and invite players, new and old, to join us there,” Bungie said in an announcement. “They’ll help us support separate teams inside Bungie to bring our newest ambitions to life.”
The Wall Street Journal reported that the partnership signals how Bungie won’t rely solely on Destiny publisher Activision Blizzard for new games it makes and hopes to self-publish in the future. However, Bungie said that “if you’re a player of Destiny, this news won’t impact the hobby you’ve come to know.”
“Destiny is an experience that will grow for many years to come,” Bungie said in a statement. “We’ll continue to work with our partners at Activision to foster this global community and turn new players from all over the world into Guardians. Our commitment to that world is not diminished by this announcement. We have exciting plans for the future of the Destiny franchise, and you’ll learn more about the next steps we’ll take together in the weeks to come.”
Beijing-based NetEase is known for publishing games like Minecraft in China. It also licenses games from Activision Blizzard for Chinese gamers.
“We have been big fans of the worlds Bungie has created, and are drawn to Bungie’s passion and creativity in online games development,” NetEase CEO William Ding said in a statement. “Bungie and NetEase share the same vision and ambition to deliver incredible experiences to millions of players all around the globe. We are excited to partner with Bungie as they transform from a single franchise development team into a global, multi-franchise entertainment studio.”
Bungie, which created Halo, spun off from Microsoft in 2007, seven years after Microsoft acquired the gaming studio. It will release an expansion for Destiny 2 later this year.