On Friday, Halo and Destiny studio Bungie announced a major partnership with Chinese tech and gaming company NetEase, “to help us explore new directions.” The deal is to the tune of $100 million, giving the NetEase a minority stake in Bungie, as well as a seat on its board of directors, according to GamesIndustry.
The partnership will help Bungie grow into a “global, multi-franchise entertainment studio,” according to NetEase CEO William Ding. Bungie CEO Pete Parsons told The Wall Street Journal that “a big part of our focus is to self-publish in the future,” rather than replying on other companies such as Microsoft or Activision. Bungie signed a 10-year agreement with Activision to publish Destiny, which ends in 2020.
In its announcement, Bungie says its partnership with Activision for Destiny is unaffected by this new partnership, and that it expects to continue to grow that franchise for “many years to come,” but that its “long-term goal is to become an entertainment company that sustains many worlds simultaneously.”
Founded in 1997 in China, NetEase has developed some of the country’s internet infrastructure, and produces email services, advertising, and online PC and mobile games. It also licenses games from Activision Blizzard, such as World of Warcraft, Overwatch, and others for the Chinese marketplace.