To be fair, as cynical as I am about Activision, the company does some things right. It was a brilliant business move to get the 10-year exclusive deal with Bungie, as Bungie is an amazing studio and their next project is highly-anticipated. A decade is a long time, and it's obvious that both companies are setting up something big - the Halo franchise under Bungie went nine years strong - but what could it be? Could it be from an already-established franchise like Marathon or Myst, or even (and this is a stretch) but a sequel to Oni? Speculation, however, has said the studio plans on doing something far more ambitious - something fantasy or an MMO. Imagine a first-person shooter MMO set in space? I'd have to quit WoW temporarily and give that a try.
It would be cliche for the studio to do something set in space where something is dying by bullets, and I can't blame them for continuing a formula that has been hugely successful. Halo was their baby - and in many gamers' eyes still is - and the next big project by 343 Industries may be a huge success, or it may disappoint (a sequel or prequel to the Halo storyline, not the remake of Combat Evolved using the Reach engine). Back in October, a Bungie developer was asked about the new IP and he responded cryptically, as many would expect. He said: "Wouldn't it be great if we could make a world that was always there for you?" Many of the gaming sites assumed this was attributed this to an MMO, and it makes sense, but developers often throw red herrings at the very information-hungry industry we are a part of.
It's funny because last night, as I was first starting to write this blog post, I didn't expect any new information to come out for a while. This morning, however, I was pleasantly met with some ripe and pretty useful information - that Bungie's next IP will be on mobile devices as well as PC and consoles. This further proves that both companies are planning something massive, and whether it is Activision's prerogative or not, they are still planning to take over the gaming world. Also, a trademark sleuth website found some interesting trademarks secretly done by Bungie back in July - these are Osiris, Seven Seraphs, New Monarchy and Dead Orbit. It hasn't been confirmed what these will be used for, but one of these is the likely name of Bungie's next project. An MMO shooter called Dead Orbit? I'm game.
Whatever it is, both companies are putting a lot of faith in such an endeavour, and whether or not it's successful we'll have to see. But I know one thing is for certain - I'm intrigued.