Three pretty significant things have happened in the past week and I'm here to tell you about them. To be fair, much more than three significant things have happened but here's the three I'm telling you about: Destiny developer Bungie and publisher Activision have separated, Slightly Mad Studios' CEO Ian Bell announced a new console which will supposedly compete with PlayStation and Xbox, and Rocket League has officially announced cross-platform play-- finally.
Destiny will no longer be brought to us by Activision and BUNGiE as they’ve parted ways and BUNGiE will now self-publish their FPS space-adventure. They express appreciation of the past with Activision and excitement toward their future in the announcement on their website: “We have enjoyed a successful eight-year run and would like to thank Activision for their partnership on Destiny. Looking ahead, we’re excited to announce plans for Activision to transfer publishing rights for Destiny to Bungie. With our remarkable Destiny community, we are ready to publish on our own, while Activision will increase their focus on owned IP projects”.
Personally, I think it’s almost always great when creators can maintain creative freedom with their products, so I’m excited by this. And I don’t think it’s a bad thing for Activision (or more specifically their parent company Activision Blizzard) to have their hands in one less project as over-saturation and monopoly can often lead to stagnation— which is the last thing I want to see in the industry.
Also this week, Ian Bell, CEO and Founder of Slightly Mad Studios, took to Twitter to enlighten the world of a new console coming to the market in an estimated three years. His first ever tweet kicked off the excitement with a concise, “The Mad Box is coming.” Which was followed by some big claims, “What is the Mad Box? It's the most powerful console ever built... It's literally 'Mad'... You want 4k, you want VR at 60FPS? You want a full engine for free to develop your games on it? You have it.” And he has since stoked the hype fire, pretty wonderfully for a Twitter neophyte I might add, with concept designs and extensive community correspondence. Full-disclosure, I definitely submitted my idea for a Mad Box slogan via twitter when Bell announced the best slogan would receive $10,000 and free games for life.
Competition is an inherently positive force in that it galvanizes opposing parties and creates more pressure for progress. This could be an incredible thing for the gaming world as we’ve had Microsoft vs. Sony for years now and Nintendo consistently fulfilling its niche.
Lastly, Psyonix announced yesterday that cross-platform play is live for Rocket League. This is something the community has been tantalized by for months now (and indirectly for years) and it’s finally here. As long as the option is turned on, anyone on any platform can randomly matchmake into a game with gamers across all playable devices. They’ve also promised that in their first update of the year, a cross-platform party system with be implemented with new information in that regard coming soon.
This week’s update inadvertently carried a common theme of increased industry diversity and stiffer competition. BUNGiE stepping away from Activision creates opposition between them; literally, regardless of how well the split went. Introducing a new console could set fire to a market that has essentially seen two forces comfortably going back and forth for years. And another massive game contributing to the normalization of cross-platform play is possibly the best thing for the industry as a whole of these three announcements. If cross-platform play becomes the norm, console creators will be forced to sell themselves solely on quality rather than console exclusives and social trends.
Thanks for choosing Dat Convo for your news update! Let us know how you feel about BUNGiE, the Mad Box, and cross-platform play in the comments below.