As part of a wide-ranging set of Gamasutra interviews
with creators at Bungie, community lead Brian Jarrard has been discussing the Halo
creators' independence from Microsoft, noting: "Whether we make or break, we own it, and we control it."
Artist Mike Zak, also part of the three-person set of interviews that also includes key programming lead Chris Butcher, noted of the split from Microsoft, originally announced in October 2007:
"Microsoft is an engineering company, first and foremost, and games are entertainment and content-driven. So that was a new business that they're ramping up.
But that doesn't necessarily mean that Microsoft is not capable of having an incredibly successful entertainment segment to their business."
PR and community director Jarrard added to those sentiments, praising Microsoft's handling of the developer along the way, noting:
"To their credit, they did a really good job of getting Bungie our own building. Essentially, we were in a bubble. We were mostly independent the entire time, with all of the perks of having a partner. They respected what Bungie had culturally.
When they bought Bungie, they didn't try to assimilate us and break our will and make us all drink the punch. They let the team maintain what made Bungie, Bungie. I think that's one of the smartest things that they did."
Later in the interview, Jarrard was asked why the company left Microsoft, still a surprising event to many in the industry, and he noted:
"We really wanted to empower ourselves and control our own destiny and really feel like whatever next big thing we made, that we were all in it together.
Whether we make or break, we own it, and we control it, which I think is important for Bungie to get back to where the company started, culturally, and I think its reinvigorated the team and given us new perspectives.
On the Microsoft side, they still have a great partner in Bungie, and a great relationship. We have a team now that's reinvigorated and also made great games for their platforms. It really was a win-win.
It doesn't seem like it really adds up to people, but both groups got what they wanted out of the deal. We're happy that Microsoft allowed this arrangement to happen. It really is a mutually beneficial arrangement."
You can now read the full set of Bungie interviews
on Gamasutra, including lots more detail from all three developers on the creation of Halo 3
, Bungie's internal structure, and the future for this key game developer.