Destiny Review Scores Possibly Hurting Bungie Bonuses


If the deal between Activision and Bungie over the development of Destiny today is anything like how it was in 2010, Bungie and its employees are likely going to miss out on a great deal of bonus money. According to Kotaku, an original deal between the developer and the publisher stated that Bungie would receive $2.5 million in a “Quality Bonus” if the first game retained a Game Rankings rating of 90 after the first month of review scores.

The agreement, made public in 2013 as part of a court case between Activision and the creators of Call of Duty, stated the following clause:

"Activision shall pay to Licensor a quality bonus (the “Quality Bonus”) in the amount of Two Million Five Hundred Thousand Dollars ($2,500,000) should Destiny Game #1 achieve a rating of at least 90 as determined by (or equivalent reputable services if is no longer in sen/ice) as of thirty (30) days following the commercial release of Destiny Game #1 on Xbox 360."

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For the sake of clarity, the agreement over Destiny has been altered in the four years since the original conception, but it still remains unclear if some form of the bonus clause remains.

If so, it’s not likely that Destiny will reach that 90 Metacritic score. Right now, it’s hovering in the 76% range, meaning that Bungie and its staffers are likely out of that money if the deal is still intact.

If you ever wonder why most review sites still have a rating system, this is why. When developers’ livelihoods are affected by the response made by people who play their games for critique, it puts everyone involved in an awkward situation. Scorn for review scores, if absolutely necessary (hint: it likely isn’t), should be reserved by the audience, not by people who make the games angry that your work affected their income.

Hopefully, the clause has been removed from the contract regarding the creation of Destiny. Even though it is a good game, the policy surrounding its creation is less than optimal.

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