Activision may bung Bungie $2.5m ratings-based bonus
Destined to make big bucks?
Halo developer Bungie's lucrative ten-year deal with games publisher Activision has been made public, revealing the coder is set to receive an unprecedented bonus should its next title win critical acclaim.
The studio will pocket a tasty $2.5m (£1.6m) bonus if the game in development, dubbed Destiny, though that's probably just a working title, achieves a rating of 90 per cent or higher on GameRankings.com. That's the largest bonus of its kind - on public record, at least.
The initial 27-page Bungie-Activision deal was thrashed out in 2010 and has only come to light through the publisher's legal battle with two former Infinity Ward heads, Vince Zampella and Jason West.
The pair, who were famously dismissed around the same time as this Bungie deal was brokered, claim Activision has been unfair in paying lower bonuses to them than it offered Bungie.
More sci-fi shooters on the way from Bungie
Bungie is under obligation to produce Destiny, the first in a series of four sci-fi shooters, for an Xbox 360 exclusive release in autumn 2013. The series would then continue with three sequels on next-gen platforms, in 2015, 2017 and 2019, respectively.
Based on the overall sales of the first game, Bungie could receive up to 35 per cent of the operating income, the contract states. The bonus would be paid between 2010 and 2013 if the studio meets certain quality and budget milestones.
West and Zampella are suing for total damages of up to $1bn for a breach of contract, wrongful termination and other claims. The case will be heard next month. ®
Great, their bonus is based on a score site: cue astroturfing on a massive scale then.
Bungie: "We're finished with Halo and we want to move on and do new things!"
Gaming community: "Wow, cool, so what great new things can we expect from you guys?"
Bungie: "We're working on an FPS with a sci-fi theme to it!"
Gaming community: .......
>the first in a series of four sci-fi shooters, for an Xbox 360 exclusive release in autumn 2013
Based on the overall sales of the first game... ...The bonus would be paid between 2010 and 2013 if the studio meets certain quality and budget milestones.
Err.... my assumption is that there are different bonuses here, and that the article was written in a state of excitement leading to some ambiguity. Either that or Activision have a time machine.
Re: metacritic bonuses
It's pretty common but not common to talk about it.
There's the ratings bonus, plus other on-time/on-budget and quality bonuses of a similar magnitude available throughout the development cycle. It might sound like a hefty chunk of cash, but split 200+ ways it's really not *that* big a bonus (plus, you know, lol@game dev salaries); the Studio as a company stands to make the best part of half a billion dollars off this contract. Considering they left MS with nothing, to all intents just a new startup, it's really quite a good deal.