Destiny 2: Beyond Light. (Bungie picture)
Bungie, the Bellevue, Washington-based video game company behind popular online shooter Destiny 2, is preparing to take its business to the next level.
Bungie announced plans on Thursday to open its first international studio in Amsterdam in 2022 and more than double the size of its US headquarters. It will also expand the Destiny 2 universe into other media and plans to develop at least one new intellectual property.
This is another major paradigm shift from Bungie, who made a risky move from a third-party developer to an independent self-publisher in 2019. As part of this step, a lot of time was spent redesigning Destiny 2’s systems and features, which included making it free to play and getting it in new storefronts like Steam.
So far it seems to have paid off. After the release of the latest expansion in November, Beyond Light, independent MMO population trackers estimate that Destiny 2 has a stable and growing population of around 30 million players, with around 83,000 playing the PC version on a typical day.
“The past few years have been a time of tremendous growth and opportunity for Bungie,” said Pete Parsons, CEO of Bungie, in a statement.
The announcement creates the conditions for Bungie to significantly improve the visibility of the industry as a whole over the next few years. What really caught the attention of the gaming enthusiast community is Bungie’s impromptu mention of wanting to do something new in the relatively near future.
The first publication states: “There are plans to bring at least one new IP to market before 2025.” Bungie’s track record as a company suggests it will be a surreal action game in a sci-fi setting like Marathon or Halo, but anything is possible.
Bungie began work on its new headquarters last month, with an estimated completion date in the fall of 2022. The new facility, designed by Seattle-based international architecture firm NBBJ, is slated to be a 208,000-square-foot building – up from the current 84,000-square-foot large area – centered around a system of collaborative “neighborhoods”.
Bungie has nearly 1,000 employees, according to LinkedIn.
Two new outside members, Trace Harris and Pamela Kaufman, have joined Bungie’s board of directors as part of the expansion. Harris is a New York-based finance and strategy manager serving on the Board of Altair Engineering after serving 13 years as an executive with French media conglomerate Vivendi. Kaufman is President of Global Consumer Staples for ViacomCBS and previously served as Executive Vice President of Marketing for the Nickelodeon Network for 10 years.
In addition, Bungie has internally appointed Mark Noseworthy and Luke Smith as vice president and executive creative director of the Destiny Universe, respectively. You will “monitor and prepare for expansion into additional media”. Justin Truman has been named general manager of Destiny 2 game development.