It's one thing to sign a publishing agreement for a new game, it's quite another to propose one that lasts an entire decade. Yet, Bungie and Activision announced a 10-year partnership yesterday morning. It didn't take long for people to start wondering about the 10-year marker.
In an interview conducted just hours after the news began making the rounds, I asked Bungie's community and franchise director Brian Jarrard to explain why the studio chose 10 years.
Basically, Bungie wanted a plan of attack. They didn't want to make it up as they go along, which happened with Halo. The original's success forced them to messily ask themselves the sequel question. Here, Bungie's just assuming their new franchise will be a success and planning accordingly.
"We basically spent about a decade on Halo thus far," said Jarrard, "in terms of that universe and the types of experiences and stories that we've told, and we're looking at the next decade in a similar way, in terms of building a universe and a framework that we think is gonna live for a long time and is gonna spawn a lot of interesting stories and experiences for our fans."
"Halo didn't start that way," he continued, "and we learned an awful, awful lot about all of this stuff. Our studio today has learned so much through the last decade working on Halo, just in terms of not owning that IP, what that's meant for our creative people and the relationship with Microsoft and how that's worked out for us. Not having that plan and having to retroactively kind of squeeze stuff in, we've learned a lot of, and we think that we can do even better if we have a really good vision going into it of how these things fit together. "
Even Bungie admits their plan sounds a bit...insane. But to get a publisher like Activision to sign up for their ambitious vision, it required Bungie to map out what's happening in the future.
"We kind of have a 10-year plan," he said. "It's not arbitrary. We already have things that are scheduled out, as crazy as it is to think about, and, like, how old my kids will be in 10 years, but we have that stuff all scheduled out, and we have a pretty good plan that we believe in, and where we're going to take fans over the course of a decade, and how they're going to experience this new universe."
Now, we just need to find out what makes up that 10-year plan.