Posted on October 5, 2007,

Microsoft and Bungie Parting Ways, “Evolving” Relationship

bungie-logo.pngEvolving 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.

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19 Comments on Microsoft and Bungie Parting Ways, “Evolving” Relationship

Lucas

On October 5, 2007 at 10:46 am

I called that.

Ron Whitaker

On October 5, 2007 at 10:48 am

This is great news. Bungie is, and always has been, a quality game developer. Hopefully they can move out from under the Halo mess and start making some quality titles of their own.

Chris

On October 5, 2007 at 11:08 am

Gimme Halo DS.

ryan

On October 5, 2007 at 11:35 am

ron whitaker, you sound like a douche.

psdeuce

On October 5, 2007 at 11:45 am

Ok, I’ll say it… PS3 HALO!!!

9vapors

On October 5, 2007 at 11:46 am

Makes me excited. Bungie has hinted that they were unhappy working under Microsoft and their deadline goals. That was the reason for Halo 2′s premature release. I can’t wait to see what Bungie does next…

Zach

On October 5, 2007 at 11:54 am

Doesnt “Future IPs (intellectual properties; basically new game series) will also fall under the umbrella of games to be published by Microsoft.” and “This would allow for Bungie to create games for platforms other than the Xbox 360 and not have to report to Microsoft.” contradict each other? How can Microsoft still own Bungie’s games without having a say in where the games go?

Randy

On October 5, 2007 at 12:13 pm

@Zach

It would seem to contradict each other, but it’s perfectly possible. I doubt Microsoft will willingly let them put out games for the PS3, but I could see them happily publishing games for the Wii since they probably don’t see the Wii as real competition, even though it sells extremely well. It’s just a way for them to keep a hold on the company that’s been a major cash cow for them and still make money off of their talent.

praxis22

On October 5, 2007 at 12:50 pm

Make money from Halo3, make money from spinning Off Bungie, and from the rights to the Halo universe. Sounds like a good plan to me.

I doubt that halo3 would work on the PS3, simply because it relies so heavily on Xbox live. I’m also not so sure that Sony would be all that happy to see killzone turned into an also ran, but if it spurred sales of the hardware, I’m sure they’d welcome it.

However, I suspect what this really means is that Bungie will go back to doing PC games, as well as developing for the 360.

Wayne T. Edwards

On October 5, 2007 at 12:52 pm

I actually still have the video demo disc of halo in it’s oringal concept stages from 1998. Back when it was a PC exclusive game that was supposed to change the FPS genre, the QUAKE 2 killer app lol.

Then news of the XBOX surfaced in the next issue of the magazine which no longer exists… forget it’s name, insider or something like that. Came with demo discs and blah.

DemonWasp

On October 5, 2007 at 1:25 pm

Wii Halo? PS3 Halo? Psh.

How about PC Halo, without just making crappy ports of it. If the 360 can run at 640P, then a gaming PC could run Halo 3 at 1080p no problem, so I don’t see any reason not to port it (well!) as soon as possible.

Or make something new. I’m sure Bungie has other projects they’d like to work on. Halo is great and everything, but they’ve been working on that project for ages and probably want something new.

Malfrex

On October 5, 2007 at 1:51 pm

I’m surprised no one has made mention of another great Bungie game that was released pre-maturely for the PC, although I suspect that was solely to leave it out of the grimy hands of M$ – Oni. It was supposed to have online multi-play and would have been amazing if they didn’t rush it out the door before joining the evil empire. A true sequel along with multiplayer action would be amazing… in my opinion, be it for PC, Mac (as it was also released), or some other console.

Mike

On October 5, 2007 at 1:57 pm

You know what this means? A new version of Myth!

Zac LaCombe

On October 5, 2007 at 2:18 pm

Honestly now. They basically said that Microsoft is still pretty much their boss, and their games will still be published by Microsoft. They’ll just be more of an independent company. All future IPs will belong to Microsoft, and I doubt they’ll just give their “favorite child” to other consoles.

Norbit

On October 5, 2007 at 4:18 pm

Here is what they said on an interview with Reuters:

“The Xbox has given us lot of success so, for now, our eyes are set on the Xbox 360,” Bungie spokspeson Brian Jarrard told Reuters. “We’re not in a situation where we’re running out the door and grabbing Wii and PS3 development kits.”

“There’s not a real intention to do that [work on other platforms] unless something changes down the road.”

So they are obviously allowed to now dev for the Wii & PS3 or they would have so.

http://ca.today.reuters.com/news/newsArticle.aspx?type=technologyNews&storyID=2007-10-05T174728Z_01_WNAS5665_RTRIDST_0_TECH-MICROSOFT-BUNGIE-COL.XML&archived=False

Boulderdash

On October 5, 2007 at 9:04 pm

Id’s say they hope that all future IPs will belong to Microsoft, and I doubt they’ll just give their “favorite child” to other consoles.

Jake of 8bitjoystick.com

On October 5, 2007 at 9:05 pm

Hi there. I am the guy that first broke this story on monday from an internal source at Bungie.
You can read all about it at http://www.8bitjoystick.com and the Seattle PI

Mouseclone

On October 5, 2007 at 11:24 pm

Ok about this IP. Microsoft owns all titles that Bungie as been working on and the rights to and future development of those titles, like Halo Wars. Bungie can create a title called, Kill the n00bs, and it would be a Bungie Title and owned by Bungie, not Microsoft.

Microsoft is also all about the IP. If you have IP with MS then you can distribute MS code without a license violation or other cost to your users. This will allow Bungie to continue developing for the 360 and for PCs with Windows on them. This doesn’t hold Bungie to just that, and doesn’t allow Microsoft the rights to anything NEW Bungie titles. Maybe Bungie will come out with a FPS that just smokes Halo away, they should have the right to do that without MS saying it is theirs, unless MS says that FPS was their idea, that would mean that all of the other FPS out there belong to MS as well, but they don’t.

Go Bungie for doing this. I don’t like MS having their hand in everything. Keep your games clean and FYI, I love the new Forge system. I hope that was a Bungie idea.

Heru-Ur

On October 6, 2007 at 2:42 am

Now maybe Bungie will make something other than the over hyped suckage that is Halo. :mrgreen: