Saturday, October 06, 2007

Microsoft parts ways with Bungie, but the Bungie/XBox 360 alliance remains

The rumors were true. Microsoft and game studio Bungie are pruning back their business partnership. This is big news, considering the recent success of Halo 3 (which Bungie designed). The news has sparked all kinds of speculation about Bungie designing games for the Wii and the PS3, and even the Mac.

However, the official word from Bungie indicates no such plans -- at least in the near term. I quote from the Infoworld article:
[Bungie's Frank O'Connor] left open the answer to a burning question from fans of other gaming platforms: Will Bungie write games for non-Xbox consoles? "In theory, yes," he said. But for a while the relatively small staff of 120 will continue to work on Xbox 360 games, he said. Projects for the midterm are already lined up, and they're all based on the Microsoft console, he said.

"Honestly, we're really happy working on the 360," he said. "It's our platform of choice."
The New York Times article suggested the split was the result of independent-minded artists yearning for more freedom:
Harold Ryan, president and studio head of Bungie, said that he had been working for months on a plan to separate the studio from Microsoft, based in nearby Redmond, Wash. Mr. Ryan said that the companies had a good working relationship, but that developers at Bungie yearned to work for themselves, not a corporate owner.

“It’s an emotionally creative point of view,” he said of the decision to take the studio independent. “That’s the state we wanted to be in.”
If you're one of the three people on the planet who has somehow missed the ads, news coverage, and other hype surrounding Halo 3, here's a short video of the gameplay:

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