Will Bungie jump from Microsoft?
Halo and goodbye?
Could one of the games industry's most effective partnerships be about to do a Disney/Pixar and split?
Rumours are blazing online that Microsoft and Bungie Studios are about to call it a day after the final game in the Halo trilogy has finally hit the shelves. The games developer was bought by Microsoft before the first Halo game was released, ensuring that the popular title stayed exclusive to the Xbox console.
With the final instalment in the trilogy speeding its way up the games charts, it seems all is not well inside the partnership - if the rumours are to be believed, that is.
The "story" was broken in a US-based blog 8BitJoystick.com, when the writer claimed that an inside source at Bungie had revealed the information in an email. The alleged split is reported to have come about because of creative differences - Microsoft allegedly wanted Bungie to devote itself solely to making Halo games, while Bungie had some issues over the tech giant's interference in its business.
If the rumours pan out, it seems Microsoft will retain all rights to the Halo franchise.
Although Microsoft is reported to have said no such split has been announced, it seems that it has stopped short of actually denying it will take place.
And according to 8BitJoystick, the official announcement will be made on 6 October.
Industry watchers will be keeping their eyes peeled.
© 2007 ENN
So now the BBC have it as 'Breaking News' that this has just been announced. I guess the rumour wasn't too far from the truth then :)
To those who said 'Microsoft owns Bungie so it can't happen' you could probably use a lesson in the world of business. Companies can be owned by other companies without becoming a part of that company. If management of the smaller company decide that visions no longer concur then the larger company takes the decision either to boot out the dissenters (usually a bad idea) or to let the company fly freely with some kind of 'future collaboration' brief which makes everybody happy. Kinda.
Bungie saved MS
Actually, though I liked Bungie's earlier creations, I don't exactly like them now because they are responsible for the Xbox survival. The damned box was a joke even before the thing was released; I remember people joking on "duuuuuude, I dont want a BSOD right when I'm about to kill the final boss duuuuuude!!". That, coupled with gigantic controllers, and the dominance of PSX and PS2 made it a sure failure; even the PSX was getting more sales.
Then came Halo, which blew away the minds of many PC gamers (FPS were not really a console seller) who ran and bought Xboxen to play the game. Thus the dying console had a revival.
Without Halo, the Xbox would have gone the way of the Apple Pippin, 3d0 and such brethren.
Who's to say it wasn't negotiated at the outset???
It was Halo MS needed, not Bungie. Despite being part of MS, Bungie seem to have continued to operate as a separate organisation after the sell-out. Perhaps they demanded a 7-year sentence instead of life.
Rumours are the break has already happened; announcement held back.