Microsoft severs chord from Bungie


5 Oct 2007

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UPDATE: As reported earlier by siliconrepublic.com, Microsoft and games manufacturer Bungie, the team behind the hugely lucrative Halo franchise, are on the verge of an amicable split.

It has just emerged that the split is in fact happening, and has been unveiled officially by Microsoft.

“Our collaboration with Bungie has resulted in Halo becoming an enduring mainstream hit,” said Shane Kim, corporate vice-president of Microsoft Game Studios.

“While we are supporting Bungie’s desire to return to its independent roots, we will continue to invest in our Halo entertainment property with Bungie and other partners, such as Peter Jackson, on a new interactive series set in the Halo universe.”

“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 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.”

Bungie are responsible for a number of successful gaming franchises beyond Halo. Their first global success was Oni (pictured) for the Playstation 2.

Siliconrepublic.com earlier today reported a recent blog post on the Seattle Post Intelligencer website which apparently revealed big changes on the way for Bungie and Microsoft.

According to the blog entry, the two companies will be parting ways, albeit under agreeable terms that will not keep Bungie from working on future Halo titles for Microsoft.

The unedited email allegedly sent by the Bungie insider said: “So here’s my big secret. You know that billion-dollar franchise Bungie has created for Microsoft? To show their appreciation, Microsoft is letting Bungie leave.

“Of course Microsoft gets to keep all rights to the Halo franchise, but as of today Bungie is no longer part of Microsoft. Ask anyone who works there to search the global address book, they’re no longer in there. Microsoft was supposed to release the press release today [3 October] but if they wait till the 6 October the impact won’t effect the quarterly results. However today is the actual official date,” the blog read.

By Joe Griffin