EA has been chasing the success of Rare's 1997 N64 classic, Goldeneye; having secured the rights to the Bond franchise until 2009, EA has made five Bond titles, none of which achieved Goldeneye's level of success. When Sony bought MGM in 2004, things apparently went south (shades of the messy Never Say Never Again situation). EA has since decided to give up the franchise to "refocus on all-new games" allowing Activision to obtain the exclusive license to the franchise until 2014.
Will Activision reinvigorate the Bond franchise while EA creates attractive, original titles? Never say never.
[Thanks to everyone that sent this one in]
(Update: cleared up some confusing language. It's much better now.)