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Bungie Becomes Independent, Partly Owned By Microsoft

by Rainier on Oct. 5, 2007 @ 9:48 a.m. PDT

Microsoft announced a plan for Halo development studio Bungie Studios to embark on a path to become an independent company, although Microsoft will retain an equity interest and own the Halo franchise, in addition to other future properties that Bungie may develop.

“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. We look forward to great success with Bungie as our long-term relationship continues to evolve through ‘Halo’-related titles and new IP created by Bungie.”

“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’s 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.”

“Working with Microsoft was great for us, it allowed us to grow as a team and make the ambitious, blockbuster games we all wanted to work on. And they will continue to be a great partner. But Bungie is like a shark. We have to keep moving to survive. We have to continually test ourselves, or we might as well be dolphins. Or manatees,” said Jason Jones, Bungie founder and partner.

Bungie’s management retained the services of Don Leeds, senior managing director of B-Hive Global, LLC, to assist in the structuring of the deal and negotiating on their behalf. Bungie will remain in Kirkland, Washington, and is always looking to hire excellent talent.

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