Bungie, Halo, Halo3, microsoft, xbox360, XBOXLIVE

The Rumors were TRUE Bungie Offficially Leaves Microsoft!

Bungie Officially Leaves Microsoft

It’s actually 100% true. Bungie Studios is now independent again, but the developer has also formed a long-term partnership with Microsoft, and Bungie said it plans to extend that to include new IP beyond Halo. More within…

Sometimes really big rumors actually prove true. Today Microsoft and Bungie Studios confirmed that the Halo developer has once again become a privately held independent company. Microsoft will hold a minority equity interest, however, and the two parties “have forged a deep and long-term development and publishing relationship focused on the continued success of the Halo franchise.”

In addition, Microsoft and Bungie said that they intend to “expand their partnership to include new IP created and owned 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’s 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.”

“Working with Microsoft was great for us, it allowed us to grow as a team and make the ambitious, blockbuster games we all wanted to work on. And they will continue to be a great partner. But Bungie is like a shark. We have to keep moving to survive. We have to continually test ourselves, or we might as well be dolphins. Or manatees,” said Jason Jones, Bungie founder and partner.

More information on Bungie’s official website reveals that the deal became effective on October 1.

Bungie added, “…rather than stifle our imagination, [Microsoft] decided it was in both our best interests to unleash it. We’ll continue to make Xbox 360 games, and we’ll continue to make amazing games for MGS. In that regard, nothing has changed. All that has changed is that now Bungie Studios is once again, the property of the folks of Bungie Studios. Microsoft is and will continue to be, a brilliant, inventive and creatively collaborative publishing partner. Practically speaking, nothing has changed and you guys won’t see much, if any difference, for a while…”

Microsoft acquired Bungie back in 2000, and since that time the studio has played an enormous role in driving the Xbox business thanks to its Halo franchise. Most recently, Halo 3 totaled over $300 million in worldwide sales during its first week.”

This seems strange considering that small independent studies have been doing pretty badly in the last couple of years. Hopefully this isn’t the Halo curse, first the movie and now the studio that makes it. It seems this franchise is just rife with turmoil.

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