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Xbox Boss Wishes Microsoft Had Kept Bungie

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Xbox Boss Wishes Microsoft Had Kept Bungie

Xbox chief Phil Spencer reckons that Microsoft could have convinced Destiny developer Bungie to remain under its umbrella of studios had the split been on the cards in 2021, not 2007.

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In 2000, Microsoft snapped up Bungie and asked that Halo: Combat Evolved to be transformed into an exclusive launch title for the Xbox. I'm sure there's no need to fill you in on the rest of that story, but, Bungie was over the moon that it had been brought into the fold. "The chance to work on Xbox - the chance to work with a company that took the games seriously," said co-founder Jason Jones on the history of the developer. "Before that we worried that we'd get bought by someone who just wanted Mac ports or didn't have a clue."

Here's our collection of awesome wins and jaw-dropping fails from Halo Infinite!

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It was a match made in heaven, given the stratospheric success of Halo: Combat Evolved, and we got two more Halo games from Bungie which maintained the series' status. Yet, in 2007, it was announced that the developer would be parting ways with Microsoft. Halo as an IP stayed with Microsoft, of course, but the publisher kept a minority stake in Bungie, which then developed Destiny and Destiny 2. "Bungie is like a shark. We have to keep moving to survive. We have to continually test ourselves, or we might as well be dolphins. Or manatees,” said Jones of the split.

Seemingly, that suggests that Bungie wasn't able to stretch its creativity to its proper potential. However, speaking to Axios, Phil Spencer revealed that the divergence wasn't something that was always looming on the horizon. “We’ve learned a lot,” he said. “At the time they had big ambitions. They had sold their business for a certain amount of money. They saw what Halo turned into. And it's like, ‘OK, Microsoft benefited more than Bungie did from the success of Halo.’ There's no other story that can be written there.”

“If you're saying, ‘Hey, I think I've got another one of those in me. I want to really take another chance,’ I can understand the allure of doing that as an independent company,” continued Spencer. When questioned whether or not Microsoft could change the stars, he was optimistic that Bungie might have remained among its other studios had the publisher been in a stronger position. “Could we do it today? I think we could," he answered.

Featured Image Credit: Bungie, Microsoft

Topics: Microsoft, Xbox, Halo

Imogen Donovan
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