This truly is one of the biggest WTF moments in Xboxs history.
How could their biggest internal studio and most valuable asset just walk away?
It would be like if Naughty Dog and Sony announced that ND was now independent.
Not only that but even with MS apparently having a minority interest, Bungie releases Destiny with certain exclusivity on the PS4 and not Xbox.
Has the full story ever come out about what happened.
Ana not only did MS lose its most valuable studio responsible for their biggest gaming franchise, but they then had to set up a whole new studio in 343 to develop Halo
Bizarre is the only way to describe what happened.
And then rumours about MS potentially rebuying Bungie back for billions comes out.
I am not aware of the details of this event but I am wondering if what happened with Bungie can happen with any other studio? If Bethesda, Playground or Inxile wanted to go independent, could they do it?
The difference is current Xbox would probably allow them to do whatever the fuck they wanted, maybe as an alongside thing, a second studio, so on.
What if this was exactly what happened with Playground? Some of them wanted to stop working on Forza for something else, and they got a chance to expand into another studio and work on one of Xbox’s most revered IP. Maybe they chose that themselves, maybe Xbox asked them to, but they allowed Playground to grow and make other things rather than saying no, just keep making Forza Horizon or go away.
Back to Bungie I mean, I can understand it from MS perspective as well, imagine funding and publishing a literal genre defining game series that is selling millions and millions of your consoles and services, is the literal face of your console, is getting 97 metacritic, literally impacted gaming culture forever and then the studio just wants to stop all that cuz they don’t feel like working on that IP anymore?
Lol imagine Santa Monica saying we’re done with God of War after 2018 reboot selling 20+ copies, “we don’t want to work on it anymore”, yall think Sony wouldn’t be mad about that either? Lol its the same thing here. The goal for Xbox or playstation is to have these studios be allowed to make what they want, but in a way that what they want is also what you want as a platform.
Playground is probably not as good a comparison, since they weren’t owned by Microsoft when they decided to form an additional arm of the studio. They may have been in talks, but had that fallen through, they would have still had two groups. Presumably one would have continued to make Forza Horizon unless they wanted to do something different and weren’t contracted to make another one, but the second would probably have made something fantasy that wasn’t Fable.
Weren’t the rumors that they had a concept for a game that they were shopping around to publishers? Who knows how accurate that was, but it’s what I remember hearing at least. If true, it would imply that they did intend to grow no matter what.
I’m honestly glad they joined up and are working on Fable though, of all the new studios, they’re probably my favorite.
We arnt just talking about game choice here. If MS was willing to let Bungie leave and then set up a whole new studio from scratch to keep making Halo, you think MS wouldn’t have let Bungie work on a new IP as well?
We are talking about MS letting a studio worth hundreds of millions just walk away.
This is in early 2017, they definitely were working on Horizon 4 at the time, and the second team probably was starting to build some concepts to see what they could get a publisher to greenlight.
They weren’t officially acquired until mid 2018, and while I’m sure the purchase agreement required guarantees that Microsoft would support their growth goals, it was that they had committed to even if they weren’t purchased by Xbox.
I do agree though that it would have been interesting if Bungie had been offered the chance to split and do something new. Maybe it was an option they declined. Dunno
We are talking about two different leaderships, i’m sure there is a disaster clause with theses new acquisitions… if MS wants to close the studio they could buy themselves back, but they make the games they want to make, there’s no creative interference.