The Rumors Are True: Bungie Is Splitting from Microsoft

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Nothing too surprising about this — it’s an open secret that Bungie and Microsoft were never able to merge their corporate cultures successfully, to put it ridiculously mildly. One wonders if Bungie was under pressure to puke out more Halo sequels,but wanted to work on new IP…who knows. What is clear: Bungie got a much-needed infusion of cash out of the acquisition, and Microsoft got a hilariously good deal — I’ve often heard it said that Bungie was Microsoft’s most profitable acquisition ever.

Amusingly euphemistic press release after the jump. Or oh, wait, we don’t do jumps around here:

Microsoft and Bungie Studios to Evolve Relationship

Companies to forge new long-term relationship.

REDMOND, Wash. — Oct. 5, 2007 — Microsoft Corp. today announced a plan for Bungie Studios, the developers of the “Halo®” franchise, to embark on a path to become an independent company. Microsoft will retain an equity interest in Bungie, at the same time continuing its long-standing publishing agreement between Microsoft Game Studios and Bungie for the Microsoft-owned “Halo” intellectual property as well as other future properties developed by Bungie.

The critically acclaimed Xbox 360®-exclusive “Halo 3” achieved $300 million in global sales in its first week. Released on Tuesday, Sept. 25, “Halo 3” is the fastest-selling video game ever and already one of the most successful entertainment properties in history.

“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® 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 Studios will remain in its current location in Kirkland, Wash.