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Bungie: Another Halo Game “Doesn’t Fit With Our Plans”

by Bryan Vore on Apr 29, 2010 at 11:00 AM

The Activision deal doesn’t eliminate the option, but Bungie says it’s interested in moving on. Bungie is obviously best known for its Halo series, which Microsoft retained control over when the companies split in October 2007. Brian Jarrard, community director at Bungie, said the new deal technically doesn’t preclude Bungie and Microsoft from working together again in the future, but fans shouldn’t get their hopes up.

“I guess theoretically we could entertain that notion, but I can tell you that we have such crazy ambitious plans for what this universe is going to entail for a decade that it’s only going to be possible for the full might of our team and all of our best and brightest people aligned with this one singular vision,” he said. “I think Bungie has come to learn that we all do our best work when we’re focused together. I don’t think you’re going to see us spinning off a variety of side projects or doing a Halo game on the side. It just doesn’t fit within our plans.”

The question then becomes how well is Bungie, a company known for stellar post-release support, going to service the Halo: Reach community once the majority of its staff transitions to the new project? Bungie obviously wouldn’t cop to abandoning the game after its release if that was its intention, but the developers stressed that they want to leave the Halo series on a high note. “We definitely have a plan in place to have a portion of our team that will still be focused on supporting Reach and our community and keeping the Xbox Live experience going,” Jarrard said. “Eventually there will be some discussions about what the end of that period looks like and when and how does that all fit together, but that’s not something that we’re prepared to talk about yet.”

To keep the Halo series moving forward as a console defining experience, the responsibility now shifts to Microsoft. Will the publisher build an internal team to handle the next game in the series, or will it pony up the cash to woo a developer with a stellar track record to take over as the tenants of its chief breadwinner? Time will tell. As for Bungie, the future is now.

A Microsoft spokesman has this appropriately on-message response to the Activision/Bungie deal: "Our partnership with Bungie as a first-party developer for Xbox 360 remains unchanged, and right now we're deeply engaged with them on the development of 'Halo: Reach,' which is poised to be the biggest game of 2010."