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Bungie Transitioning away from Halo, Discounts Bungie Pro Service

Halo: Reach Screenshot - 868428

Among the usual silliness and mounds of fan art in Bungie's Weekly Update, they've announced a discount to their Bungie Pro service. Bungie Pro offers Halo fans extra slots for file sharing in Halo games and on Bungie's website and the ability to render their favorite Halo moments on Youtube. The discount lowers the price from 750 Microsoft Points for one year to 320 for six months, but it's the logic behind the change that's truly interesting.

“While I’d love to chalk the change up to the kindness of our tiny, coal black hearts, the reality is that we’re nearing the phase where the technical stuff we need to support Bungie Pro will be outside of our control, and since Bungie Pro isn’t a Halo-specific feature, but rather a Bungie.net offering, we want to make sure that you aren’t sold a product we can’t properly maintain and manage,” wrote Eric Osborne, community content writer for Bungie.

What this seems to indicate is that the file sharing and video rendering features of Bungie.net will soon be passed over to Microsoft and, presumably, 343 Industries. Whether the features will be stripped from Bungie.net entirely and integrated elsewhere (like 343's Halo Waypoint) is still unclear. “We’ll let you know all the gory details as soon as we can,” continued Osborne.

Last week saw the release of the Defiant Map Pack for Halo Reach, developed by Certain Affinity rather than Bungie themselves. The developmental shift, paired with the news of Bungie leaving their amazing web features behind, shows that Bungie is prepping to leave the Halo franchise behind. The big question now is, how will all those features that defined the Halo online experience be used in the future?

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Joe Donato Video games became an amazing, artful, interactive story-driven medium for me right around when I played Panzer Dragoon Saga on Sega Saturn. Ever since then, I've wanted to be a part of this industry. Somewhere along the line I, possibly foolishly, decided I'd rather write about them than actually make them. So here I am.
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