MS nearly destroyed FASA and Bungie

Written by Joe Martin

August 26, 2009 // 1:03 p.m.

Tags: #bungie #fasa #halo #mechwarrior #microsoft #ms-nearly-destroyed-us-and-bungie

Jordan Weisman, the founder of MechWarrior-creator FASA Interactive, has spoken out about how Microsoft destroyed the studio when it bought them up - and how the same nearly happened to Bungie.

"When Microsoft bought FASA Interactive and incorporated it into Microsoft... the two reasons they bought us was, one, they wanted the catalogue of intellectual properties and, two, they felt that we had developed a really good development culture. And the reality is that, pretty much from the day we moved to Redmond, that development culture was destroyed," Weisman said in an interview with GI.biz.

"I don't think the studio ever really had a chance...It was destroyed right in the beginning.," said Weisman, who eventually saw FASA closed down by Microsoft in 2007 as part of a series of closures. By that time Weisman had already left Microsoft to form his own new venture, WizKids.

Weisman comments that he was also bought in to help with Microsoft's acquisition of Halo developer Bungie Studios - and that the same thing nearly happened there too.

"They wanted me to sit down with the owners of Bungie and tell them how well the transition went," he explained. "And it was like - 'what planet are you guys on?' This transition did not go well. And actually I became the lead vocal pain in the ass to get things done very different for Bungie."

"I tried to convince them to leave Bungie in Chicago, but not winning that I did succeed in getting them to put them in a walled off room, which didn't follow any of the other Microsoft stuff. We were much better able to defend Bungie's culture than we were FASA's culture."

Weisman says he is currently involved with the new MechWarrior game, but adds that getting a publishing deal for the title may be difficult.

"We're operating under some pretty tight restrictions of the licence that make publishing the games kind of challenging."

Have you ever seen your company ruined by a ham-handed buy-out, or are you solely interested in how this affects the next MechWarrior? Let us know your thoughts in the forums.
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