Can someone explain Bungie and Microsoft to me?

For the life of me, I cannot fathom how Microsoft let Bungie just walk away. Microsoft owned them 100%, and just let then walk and be independent. Did MS get any money for them? I have heard it said that MS still had a minority share in Bungie? Well if thats the case, How could Bungie be doing timed exclusives for PlayStation for Destiny 2?

I mean, what gives? Someone got paid off or something, because this makes no sense what so ever.

MS had no choice. If they hadn’t let them go, they would’ve faced a massive exodus of talent, and keeping a studio that was Bungie in name only wouldn’t have done anyone any good.

I don’t know about the minority stake, but oftentimes rumours and presumptions appear that people then take for granted. One of the most common ones is the right of first refusal for publishing a studio’s next game. Those things are a matter of legal agreement between both parties, and they are rarely made public, but people often treat them as a sure thing, and then they get confused when those presumptions turn out wrong.

Microsoft still technically owns a minority stake in Bungie. I imagine MS got the better of the deal because not only did they keep Halo but anything Bungie made, MS would get part of the revenue from it and not have to foot the bill for development or marketing

I imagine MS got a ton of free money and still are from Destiny being such a big IP now.

Some people argue that MS should of just let Bungie make Destiny and it could of been an Xbox first party franchise except

-MS would of had to have foot the bill which apparently cost 500 million

-Destiny wouldn’t have been anywhere near as big as it is now because it would of cut off the Playstation player base.

Halo, Gears and Forza would have been bigger as well if they had of sold them on PlayStation as well. I’m not sure that flies. And if MS still had a share in Bungie and allowed Sony to get exclusives with Destiny 2 then everyone there should step down and MS should get out of the console business.

So you let a studio worth hundreds of millions of dollars walk away for free because some talent might walk away?

A minority stake doesn’t allow you to stop this happening especially when Activision are involved.


Again, so you let them walk for nothing and dont even make them sign a publishing deal before they go? Its madness.

I kind of agree with that. Nothing to do with the stake just the exit agreement. I think there was a bit of arrogance in the old leadership.

They should have let them make the game they wanted. Phil loves Destiny and I hope he open if any team comes to him with an idea. It doesn’t mean Bungie stop doing Halo or the Coalition Gears but allow them to have a couple of teams

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That’s irrelevant, the point is you can’t compare Destiny’s success now to what it would have been had been an exclusive. People who argue that Destiny could have been an Xbox exclusive series imply that Destiny would have reached the same levels of popularity. It wouldn’t have. Would it have been a popular series? Sure, but we can’t say for sure if it would of been better for MS to keep Bungie, have Destiny as an exclusive and pay for the marketing and development of the game, vs letting Bungie/Activision handle the development and marketing and simply collect a paycheck for doing absolutely nothing

Sony getting marketing rights and exclusives with Destiny 1/2 had more to do with Activision. As soon as Bungie split from Activision and started self publishing that all went out the window and in fact, seems to be taking the complete opposite turn by hooking up Xbox with the game and all current and future expansions on Game Pass. I’m not seeing Destiny 2 on PSNow or any other subscription service.

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There’s no “might”, they would. It was not MS who proposed “hey, guys, maybe you should leave?”, it was Bungie who came to MS with the resolve to go independent again. The few people who didn’t want to leave stayed with MS, most notably Frank O’Connor. MS had very few options, and no, you can’t legally make someone sign a contract that they don’t want to sign either. People presume that Bungie left because MS was forcing them to only work on Halo, but I’m sure that MS would’ve let them work on anything rather than see them leave. No, Bungie’s appetites grew larger when they saw the money Infinity Ward was raking with Call of Duty. Signing a contract that would force them to be exclusive to one platform would go against their ambitions.

And MS did get something out of it - a lot, actually. Bungie agreed to make two more Halo games for them, ODST and Reach, and MS got to keep the IP. Also, as much as folks tend to see corporations as cold faceless entities, they’re run by people, and the Xbox management were friends and colleagues with Bungie. Do you honestly think that they should’ve kept Bungie at any cost, against their wishes? Because I certainly don’t, they absolutely made the right choice, one that also enables them to still have a good business relationship with each other.


A studio isnt worth much without its talent and ip. If the majority of Bungie walked right then Microsoft would have to have built a new studio to run Halo anyways and as we all can see it is hard to recreate the magic brought by the original staff.

Sometimes it is just better to remain on good terms with the creatives that actually make the hits in the industry instead of just treating them as nameless assets. I bet Activision shareholders at least would have much rather profited from games like Apex and JFO instead of watchinig their company try to sue West and Zampella and chase them out of the company for no good reason.

This is why I always say that buying a studio with no real big IP is cheaper then we think. You can’t own the talent. Theres nothing really to own outside of the studio name. Hows that working for infinity ward who are now the worst of the cod developers.This is kind of how indie development started because devs didn’t want publishers to control there vision for a game. Also at the time don Mattrick was in charge and xbox wanted to own ip. Had phil been in charge maybe we would of had a sunset overdrive situation on our hands

That’s what 343i ended up being anyways lol.

I don’t follow. 343i is not Bungie nor was it ever supposed to be Bungie. They did a good job replicating the basic feel of Halo with Halo 4, which at the time many doubted would be possible, especially for a brand new studio. Then with Halo 5 they improved on some things that Halo 4 was criticized for (mainly the multiplayer and the Prometheans), but they unfortunately made a number of other missteps. However, it’s obvious that they have greater ambitions than being just a Bungie replacement, and I like that. Despite its issues, I enjoyed Halo 5’s campaign a lot.

The alternative is a drama like what happened between Respawn and Invinity Ward. At least Microsoft got another 2 Halo games and a minority stake out of Bungie.

It is pretty simple, you can’t own people/talent. If there are disputes on the direction a studio is taking you can’t force them to stay and work. It could be a simple creative difference, it doesn’t have to be malicious. MS did the best thing and let whomever wanted to leave or stay do what they wanted.

The game development community is a small world really and your reputation as a fair employer is important. As a result Bungie and MS still have a good relationship. If they had forced to keep Bungie as a studio, everyone who wanted to leave would have left anyway and just formed a new studio called something else. You see it all the time “Blah blah studio formed from ex-whatever developers who created some famous game, now making a similar game or spiritual successor”.

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I think it’s simple, Bungie no longer wanted to work on Halo and the old MS wouldn’t let them make what they wanted to make. These days I can see a collaboration between the 2 going well and yes MS letting Bungie go is one pf their biggest failures ever in gaming, keep Bungie and Destiny exclusive and I bet the Xbox one outsells the PS4 in Xbox’s strong markets, Destiny is a huge game, it is the type of game people go out and buy a console for.

Just bad decisions all around by MS.

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I’m not sure that is entirely the case. Bungie wanted to OWN what they worked on and that wasn’t going to happen while under the helm of Microsoft. This is why keeping the Bungie name was important as opposed to people just leaving the studio and making a new one. They needed the clout so they could get a publisher to fund Destiny and let them keep the IP. Keep in mind people couldn’t be “forced” to work on Halo. They were MS employees and could transfer to other game studios or software jobs within Microsoft. It still applies today to 343.

Lets not act like Bungie left to create a game that is a far departure from Halo with an upstanding and friendly publisher.


Oh I know they wanted to own the IP but I don’t see why that would’ve been a problem, they could’ve have it as a exclusive while still letting Bungie own it, it still would’ve been a huge game for Xbox. Yes going to Activision wasn’t the smartest move lol.

Bungie wanted to own their creation, which is the biggest reason to go Independent. However, Halo sure has suffered since they left though maybe it had really already run its course. Still, MS could have kept most of the staff if they hadn’t let them go