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Bungie getting divorced from Microsoft?

Bungie getting divorced from Microsoft?

Are Bungie and Master Chief parting ways? If so, what's the future for the best-selling Halo series?

This rumour first started circulating yesterday but at the time there was no real weight to attach to it and we were quite sceptical of the whole thing. Bungie ending its partnership with Microsoft and going solo once more? Never happen and I personally told Tim that it would almost definitely not happen. I thought it would be more likely that every developer would just leave independently and would form a new company.

Well, I might have been wrong. It's rare, but it happens.

The rumour originally started off a bit dubiously on the Seattle Post Intelligencer Blogs when Jake Metcalf said he had "a friend who has someone close that works at Bungie" and who had mentioned that Bungie wanted to split from Microsoft Game Studio.

"Apparently MS just wants Bungie to make Halo for the rest of their natural days, and Bungie doesn't like how MS is constantly trying to 'handle' everything they do," said Jake. Supposedly a deal was being fleshed out which would let Microsoft keep the rights to Halo but would let Bungie go solo.

When contacted by a number of different gaming journalists, Microsoft said only that it could not confirm or deny the rumour.

Now GameInformer has stepped into the fray however and has said it has also had contact with a Bungie staffer who tells a similar story. The new source remains anonymous but has confirmed that Bungie has now bought back its own company from Microsoft for an "unspecified but significant amount of money".

Knowing how much money Halo has made for Microsoft, we're betting that the actual figure is going to be mind-blowingly huge.

So, it's still a rumour right now but it's looking to be more and more like fact with every passing moment. We're busy chasing up our own sources right now, but if you want to drop us a tip or share some thoughts then let us know in the forums.

16 Comments

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Paradigm Shifter 3rd October 2007, 10:54 Quote
If this is true, maybe they can go back to some of their old IP and make new games. Oni was pretty original and very fun. :D
Mister_X 3rd October 2007, 10:58 Quote
Yeah I'm sure bungie are fed up making millions.
Veles 3rd October 2007, 11:18 Quote
I remember Bungie says MS were great because they let them do their own thing, at the time I was thinking MS probably told them to say that and it appears that is true XD
Darkedge 3rd October 2007, 11:33 Quote
I'm still very doubtful that this is true - they have the staff and lots of money now to do other projects and I'm sure they are doing just that with MS support
yakyb 3rd October 2007, 11:42 Quote
but with the income generated from this deal they could invest into other great projects to create some new games sounds good to me
cjoyce1980 3rd October 2007, 11:56 Quote
if this is remotely true....(most likely started be a sony fanboy/employee......as he just could take a the beating), I doing thing that the Halo FPS trilogy is done and its fine to build on the universer with halo wars and stuff, but its time for some more orignial IP.
whisperwolf 3rd October 2007, 11:56 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by yakyb
but with the income generated from this deal they could invest into other great projects to create some new games sounds good to me

erm if its Bungie having to raise the large amountsof cash to buy itself back from Microsoft, what income will be generated by Bungie from this deal to invest in new games?
MiT 3rd October 2007, 12:57 Quote
mmmm.... as long as they make some good games, i dont see this as a problem.
Anakha 3rd October 2007, 13:34 Quote
Perhaps this means we'll finally see the release of "Pimps at Sea!", or maybe an ONI sequel... Or even something to do with the Marathon series...
themax 3rd October 2007, 14:47 Quote
I think it's untrue. Halo is too big, MS funnelled too much money into Bungie to make Halo, and Bungie is crazy to not want the big bucks coming from Microsoft's cophers. They are in, and they are in deep. Microsoft won't let them out, Bungie is too valuable of a developer for Microsoft to cash in. If Bungie does leave, Microsoft won't let them take Halo that is for sure.
sandys 3rd October 2007, 14:59 Quote
MS did just let Activision pick up Bizarre rather than bring them in house, is this any less odd?
Joeymac 3rd October 2007, 15:31 Quote
It doesn't make sense them buying themselves back... Microsoft wouldn't let that happen. It would make more sense in this situation to expand Bungie so that Halo (or whatever Microsoft wanted them to do) could be worked on in one department and then another half of the company could do whatever else they want. The Halo 3 cheque would surely make this an easy expansion. I can't see Microsoft minding them doing something like that either.
johnnyboy700 3rd October 2007, 15:38 Quote
If this is true I can't see Microsoft letting them go willingly. Okay they might have more money than anyone else in the whole world put together but the still can't buy the kind of publicity that the launch of Halo 3 brought them last week. Plus, companies with lots of money will always want more money, even if its just to keep score and pummel the opposition into the dirt.
I suppose Bungie might feel they are in a gilded cage, they can do what they like as long as its within the boundries set by their keeper but they are never really free. Good luck to them if they do manage it but it will be an interesting journey.
completemadness 3rd October 2007, 23:24 Quote
What can MS do ?

If most of the bungie staff quit and reform a new company, MS can do naff all, and they will be left with a team of idiots who don't know what their doing ... (hmm left with?)
Plus its a lot cheaper that way, but technically MS could deny them access to the 360 ... in which case PS3, wii and PC owners benefit, w00t
GuitarBizarre 3rd October 2007, 23:33 Quote
I don't think this is looking very reliable myself. Maybe Bungie do want to move on from halo, and are having trouble negotiating with Microsoft to Create a new IP. I know if I were microsoft I'd want to make sure the Halo profits arc had peaked. Halo 3 is the biggest yet, and it shows no signs of getting smaller, so I'd say the tension is that MS want more Halo, while Bungie want to move on since to them its finished and they don't want to dilute the series.
ChiperSoft 4th October 2007, 16:48 Quote
As much as I'd love to see a new Oni game, it wouldn't happen. Bungie sold the Oni IP when Microsoft bought them up. I'm not even sure they still own Myth. Marathon is now public domain, but I doubt Bungie wants to do another FPS right now.

They do have a new project in the works, but they've been very tight lipped about it.

Of course, even if MS did hold the keys to Halo, that wont stop Bungie from continuing development in that universe. There's still a need for a connective story between Halo and Marathon.
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