According to Activision:
“Under the terms of the agreement, Activision will have exclusive, worldwide rights to publish and distribute all future Bungie games based on the new intellectual property on multiple platforms and devices… [Bungie] remains an independent company and will continue to make their own intellectual property.”
Bungie has promised an “exciting new IP” they refer to as “Step 7″:
“It’s no secret that while the full might of our studio has focused on making Halo: Reach, another core team, led by our co-founder and studio creative director, Jason Jones, has already begun laying the groundwork to bring our newest universe, stories, and characters to life,” the developer wrote.
“Our Next Big Thing now has a concrete path, leading from our studio to the platforms of our choosing. The business formalities are behind us. Our Constitution remains unchanged. We are still Bungie, still independent, and now we are free to bring our stories to an ever bigger audience.”
“Once the smoke clears, all the pieces will finally be in place for Step 7. Don’t worry, though. We won’t let World Domination go to our heads. We’re gonna keep making kick ass games on our own terms, and since you’ve been so supportive throughout the years, we’d love to bring you along for the ride.”
Microsoft still owns the rights to the Halo franchise, and 343 Industries will continue to shepherd that franchise. This is an extremely important deal for Activision, which is smarting over not only the lawsuit but from the PR nightmare that has ensued. Bungie gets to work on a non-Halo franchise.