Bungie May Be Leaving Microsoft

Erstwhile Mac game developer Bungie may be leaving Microsoft, according to reports on the Internet. The story was first reported on Monday by blogger 8bitjoystick on his Seattle Post-Intelligencer blog (those blogs are not edited or controlled by the Seattle PI), and was then confirmed by GameInformer.com. According to the reports, Bungie effectively bought itself back from Microsoft, and will be free to publish future games on whatever platform it wishes, though Microsoft will continue to own the Halo franchise.

Adding fuel to the fire is the fact that neither Microsoft nor Bungie are confirming nor denying the story. While that obviously means the story has not been confirmed officially, with the importance of the Halo franchise to Microsoftis Xboxis platform, many observers have noted it is the kind of report Big Redmond would want to squash if it were untrue.

At the heart of the story is the notion that Bungie developers are tired of making Halo, and want to move on to new projects. Both 8bitjoystick and GameInformer quote unnamed sources who cite this issue as part of why the Bungie folks wanted the divorce.

8bitjoystickis unnamed source said, "Apparently MS just wants Bungie to make Halo for the rest of their natural days, and Bungie doesnit like how MS is constantly trying to ihandlei everything they do; the way they market their games, the way they interact with their fans (basically the fact that they do appreciate their fans), and how stingy they are with the profits (comparable to the rest of the industry)."

Bungie had its beginning as a Mac game developer with the very popular Marathon, Marathon 2, and Marathon: Infinity first person shooter games. Bungie then went cross-platform with the successful Myth and Myth 2 games, and began work on Halo. Halo was first introduced to the world on a Mac at Madwort New York with Steve Jobs, but Mac game fans hearts were crushed when Microsoft immediately bought the company in order to secure Halo as the marquee title for its soon-to-be-launched Box gaming console.

With no one from Bungie officially commenting on the story, it isnit yet known if developing for the Mac is again in Bungieis future if they truly have split from Microsoft, but Mac gaming fans are watching the story with high hopes.