Bungie, the studio behind the Halo and Destiny franchises, announced that it’s received investment from NetEase, a massive Chinese online gaming company. The partnership opens up China to Bungie’s games, including Destiny 2, for the first time.
Additionally, the investment will “accelerate Bungie’s vision of becoming a global, multi-franchise entertainment company,” according to an announcement from NetEase.
“This new partnership will enable us to accelerate our global vision, while building new teams dedicated to delivering brand-new experiences,” said Bungie CEO, Pete Parsons, in a statement. “NetEase creates and operates some of the most popular games on the planet. We’re excited for them to bring their experience as we enter this new chapter in Bungie’s history. With NetEase’s industry expertise and international reach, our partnership will help us realize our shared goal of reaching players around the globe.”
Bungie will continue to work on Destiny as part of its partnership with publisher Activision, according to the companies. Bungie will also “begin the creation of new worlds,” the companies said.
Parsons told the Wall Street Journal that Bungie plans to focus on self-publishing games in the future.
“If you’re a player of Destiny, this news won’t impact the hobby you’ve come to know,” Bungie said on its website. “Destiny is an experience that will grow for many years to come. 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.
“Bungie is a phenomenal, independent developer and we have a strong relationship with them, rooted in our long-term partnership on the Destiny franchise,” an Activision spokesperson told Polygon. “This deal does not impact Activision’s partnership with Bungie or our plans for the future of the Destiny franchise.”
NetEase’s investment in Bungie gets the Chinese company a minority stake in the Destiny studio. According to a report from GamesIndustry, NetEase invested more than $100 million in the developer.
NetEase also maintains a regional partnership in China with Activision Blizzard, where it operates World of Warcraft, Hearthstone, StarCraft 2 and Overwatch.
Polygon has reached out to both Bungie and NetEase for additional comment.