Activision to fund costs of Bungie project, which will occupy nearly 200 staff

Reporting today on first quarter 2010 earnings, Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick devoted some airtime to the publisher's ten-year "alliance" with Bungie. Speaking to investors during a conference call, Kotick described Bungie's new IP for Activision, which is in pre-production, as "unlike anything audiences have ever seen before." He added, "Bungie will have almost 200 people working on the project, and they're excited to have their products available on multiple platforms in many countries around the world."

Later in the call, COO Thomas Tippl declined to give specific financial details about the parternship, but said, "there was no upfront payment provided." Tippl confirmed that "Activision will be funding the development expenses," and later concluded: "We expect that, as of the first release, the deal will be accretive to Activision's operating margin every year of the alliance."

To put that in Kotick terms: "So, reaching these new larger audiences will be both creatively satisfying and financially rewarding for Bungie and Acivision Blizzard shareholders."