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New Bungie Property Independent From Microsoft

GamesIndustryBiz has put up the second part of an interview with Bungie's Brian "SketchFactor" Jarrard and Luke Smith. Here is part one.

Sketch remarks therein that Bungie has complete freedom to choose the publisher and platform for their new intellectual property-- property that Microsoft does not own. Microsoft does own Halo, and Bungie has a team working on the Halo 3: Recon expansion, due out next fall.

I'll do some spin right now: just because Bungie can choose a different platform and publisher doesn't necessarily mean that Bungie's next non-Halo game won't be published by Microsoft for the Xbox 360, but it doesn't mean that it won't, either.



Like most people, I'm sure, I'm very curious about what the agreement was. If an independent Bungie isn't going to publish on XBOX, why let them go at all? (Microsoft already owned Halo, as far as I know.) I think Bungie's only bargaining chip is that a bunch of them could quit and create their own studio--which is pretty good leverage, granted--but don't you think that there had to be something more? (Again, this is based on my understanding that Microsoft already owned Halo, so that IP couldn't have been a bargaining chip.) If Bungie isn't locked into Microsoft, why let them go at all? I mean, what did Microsoft get out of it? Right of first refusal or something maybe?

Anyway, just wondering. It's just not like a big corporation (microsoft or any other one) to give up something for nothing...