Bungie on Split: We All Knew Ahead of Time

A recent set of interviews between Develop and Bungie Studios gives readers an in-depth scoop on how the whole MS/Bungie breakup went down.

According to Bungie audio director Marty O’Donnell, the development company has always been independently structured, something Microsoft freely encouraged. He further added, “We want to stay independent, we want to own the stuff we make, and Microsoft I think sees that this is the best way to get the best product from Bungie – to let the team own their stuff.”

Studio manager Harold Ryan continued by stating that the newfound level of independence makes for better opportunities in-house: “[Microsoft Game Studios have] definitely lost something [following the divestment], but their goal has always been to have the right relationship with their partners.”

“So to that end, having the right relationship with Bungie means there are more opportunities for us to both evolve the Halo universe and create new ones. Not that we couldn’t do that with Microsoft – they’re certainly happy to fund us to do anything – it’s just a matter of how creatively motivated the artists and designers are. Their level of happiness has a direct impact on the quality and engagement of work they do.”

He went on: “In addition, while Microsoft has been a great partner for us – and currently we’re planning on them being a great partner in the future too – should anything happen in that relationship down the road, we do have the flexibility to pick the best partner for the company.”

“As I’ve said in other interviews, though, the relationship with Microsoft and the Xbox team is really good, and obviously we’ve spent the last seven years developing for the Xbox so we know it really well and I don’t expect us to change any time soon.”

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