Microsoft and Bungie Parting Ways, “Evolving” Relationship
Evolving a relationship sure does sound like a really nice way of saying you’re not going to be together anymore, doesn’t it? Microsoft announced today a plan for Bungie to become an independent company. Microsoft will keep an equity interest in Bungie, while continuing to be the publisher on Bungie games – including Halo titles, which Microsoft owns the rights to. Future IPs (intellectual properties; basically new game series) will also fall under the umbrella of games to be published by Microsoft.
“Our collaboration with Bungie has resulted in ‘Halo’ becoming an enduring mainstream hit,” said Shane Kim, corporate vice president of Microsoft Game Studios. “While we are supporting Bungie’s desire to return to its independent roots, we will continue to invest in our ‘Halo’ entertainment property with Bungie and other partners, such as Peter Jackson, on a new interactive series set in the ‘Halo’ universe. We look forward to great success with Bungie as our long-term relationship continues to evolve through ‘Halo’-related titles and new IP created by Bungie.”
“This exciting evolution of our relationship with Microsoft will enable us to expand both creatively and organizationally in our mission to create world-class games,” said Harold Ryan, studio head for Bungie. “We will continue to develop with our primary focus on Microsoft® platforms; we greatly value our mutually prosperous relationship with our publisher, Microsoft Game Studios; and we look forward to continuing that affiliation through ‘Halo’ and beyond.”
This confirms the rumors that have been circulating all week that Bungie was going to once again become an independent company. It’s not clear what Microsoft’s plan is, but this would allow for Bungie to create games for platforms other than the Xbox 360 and not have to report to Microsoft. It’ll be interesting to see what Microsoft does regarding publishing rights for Bungie games on platforms other than the Xbox 360.