Bungie, the Bellevue, Wash.-based video game company behind the popular online shooter Destiny 2, is preparing to take its business to the next level.
Bungie announced plans Thursday to open its first international studio in Amsterdam in 2022 and more than double the size of its U.S. headquarters. It will also grow the Destiny 2 universe into other media and plans to develop at least one new intellectual property.
This marks another big paradigm shift from Bungie, which made a risky switch from a third-party developer to an independent self-publisher back in 2019. As part of that move, it spent a lot of time reworking Destiny 2‘s systems and features, which included making it free to play and bringing it to new storefronts such as Steam.
So far, that seems to have paid off. Following the November release of its latest expansion, 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 several years have been a time of tremendous growth and opportunity for Bungie,” Bungie CEO Pete Parsons said in a statement.
The announcement sets the stage for Bungie to take a big step up in overall industry visibility in the next few years. What’s really gotten the gaming enthusiast community’s attention is Bungie’s offhand mention of wanting to make something new in the relatively near future.
The initial release phrases it as “plans to bring at least one new IP to market before 2025.” Bungie’s track record as a company suggests it’ll be a surreal action game in a science fiction setting such as 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 planned to be a 208,000 square-foot building — up from its current 84,000 square-foot location — centered around a system of collaborative “neighborhoods.”
Bungie employs nearly 1,000 people, according to LinkedIn.
Two new external members, Trace Harris and Pamela Kaufman, have joined Bungie’s board as part of the expansion. Harris is a New York-based finance and strategy executive with a board seat at Altair Engineering, following a 13-year stint as a senior executive at the French media conglomerate Vivendi. Kaufman is the president of global consumer products for ViacomCBS, and previously spent 10 years as an executive vice president of marketing for the Nickelodeon network.
In addition, Bungie has internally appointed Mark Noseworthy and Luke Smith as vice president and executive creative director of the Destiny Universe, respectively. They will “oversee and prepare for the expansion into additional media.” Justin Truman has been appointed as the general manager of Destiny 2 game development.