Considering the whole Infinity Ward thing going on now, this comes as a bit of a shocker. Bungie, creators of the Halo franchise, have signed an exclusive publishing agreement with Activision, publishers of the Call of Duty franchise, for all future properties they create that are not Halo. The press release states this includes "multiple platforms."
The agreement has been nine months in the making. "We chose to partner with Activision on our next IP because of their global reach, multi-platform experience and marketing expertise," said Harold Ryan, President of Bungie, "Activision supports our commitment to giving our fans the best possible gaming experiences."
Activision also weighed in on the deal, no doubt happy to have some positive PR and not someone trying to take them to court. "Bungie has developed some of the most compelling and successful games, multiplayer experiences and thriving fan communities, and this alliance underscores our long-standing commitment to foster the industry's best creative talent. Our unprecedented partnership with Bungie will enable us to broaden our pipeline of exciting new games as we continue to strengthen our industry position and pursue long-term growth opportunities," said Thomas Tippl, Chief Operating Officer of Activision Blizzard.
The most interesting thing about this deal, is it's essentially what Infinity Ward was fighting for. With the deal Bungie retains all rights and ownership of it's property, remains an independent studio, and reaps the benefit of having the biggest publisher in the world distribute and market their game. Activision and Bobby Kotick simply get to continue swimming in money...and trying to stop people from suing them.