Today Shane Kim (VP in charge of the MS gaming division) confirmed (via filefront) that MS and Bungie are evolving for the better.
“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.”
Halo 3 which has now officially made 300 million dollars for MS in it’s first week of release, looks to be the biggest hit of the holiday season. This is an unprecedented move on Microsoft’s part. Bungie was bought by Microsoft in 1999. Since then Bungie has made one of the top selling game franchises in history. During the development of Halo 3, Bungie had dropped several hints that they had a couple new IPs in the works. This move will allow them to decide what projects they do over what Microsoft would like them to do.
The interesting points of the new deal:
* Microsoft will own around 45% of Bungie
* Bungie will become a public gaming company like Rockstar and Epic
* Bungie will be allowed to create thier own engine and thier own games for any console/system they want
* If Bungie makes a game for any other console other than MS, MS will still get royalty $ from the profits obtained from that game
* Microsoft will have majority rights in the board room and financial decision making of Bungie
* Bungie is now allowed to make games for Nintendo and Sony but it also needs to be on Xbox 360 as well
* Microsoft made this financial decision as Gamers are more likely to buy 360 games than PS3/WII games per system
* An Independent Bungie will be more valuable than a Microsoft owned Bungie, More games are potentially to be sold on 360 with an independent Bungie
* Microsoft has all rights to Halo, ONI and Myth, Bungie will develop Halo for Microsoft and it will be published by Microsoft.
* Bungie will develop 2 more Halo games in Collaboration with WETA published by Microsoft
* The only games Microsoft will not have exclusive rights for are the ones which are new IPs.
Bungie would effectively increasing its value and possibly size while MS has majority control, Halo and the last word on financial decisions
Microsoft already has two Halo spin-offs in the works. There’s the aforementioned Peter Jackson action sci-fi game(which next to nothing is known about). As well as the recently demoed on Xbox live, “Halo Wars,” a online real-time strategy title featuring the species and technology of the halo franchise. Bungie fans would already know that the Halo series originally was planned as a RTS title.