It has been confirmed that the first game in Bungie's multi-game partnership with Activision will release in 2013, codenamed "Destiny", and with a timed exclusivity that would see the game release initially just on Xbox 360 and Microsoft's next-gen console. The contract between Bungie and Activision surfaced as part of the ongoing legal proceedings between the latter and Respawn's West and Zampella.
As the LA Times reports, the 27-page document from 2010 outlines that Bungie is expected to develop four "sci-fantasy, action shooter games," code-named "Destiny," released every other year, beginning in autumn 2013. The agreement also stipulates that Bungie is to release four downloadable expansion packs code-named "Comet," every other year from autumn 2014 onwards.
The contract was signed on 16th April 2010, and describes the remuneration terms for Bungie. According to the document, the company will receive royalties of 20-35% of "operating income" - the amount left after Activision have deducted their own costs, including development, production and marketing expenses.
Activision also agreed to pay Bungie $2.5 million a year in bonuses between 2010 and 2013 if the studio hits the quality and budget milestones set for it. There's an unsavoury part of the bargain too: Bungie will get another $2.5 million should the first Destiny game reach a 90+ score on GameRankings 30 days after release.
However, with the contract being over two years old, these details may well have changed in the meantime.
There's an exclusivity arrangement in place too, with the contract stating that the first Destiny game will initially only be available on Xbox 360, as well as its potential successor, referred to in the contract as the "Xbox 720." The contract also suggested that subsequent games would be released on Sony consoles as well as Microsoft's, and also PCs.
Once the cat was out of the bag, Bungie confirmed that they'd be delivering a game in 2013
"So, yeah. While we're not ready to show you what we've been working on, we can reconfirm that we are hard at work on our new universe. We can't wait for you to see it.
"See you starside in 2013."