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Rumor: Bungie Shareholders Could Buy the Studio Back From Microsoft

After so many rumors floating abound that the masterminds behind the record breaking Halo franchise would leave Microsoft, an explanation about how exactly this could've happened has surfaced on the net:

Gameinformer Reports:

"Our source stated that Bungie is "tired of Making Halo, and didn't want to do future Halo games." For an unstated, but significant amount of money, Bungie shareholders bought the studio name back from Microsoft. Our source also revealed that even though Microsoft will retain the rights to Halo, Microsoft also has "the right of first refusal on future games." This means that Microsoft has the first shot at publishing Bungie's future titles. How this will come into play if Bungie decides they want future game X to appear on the PlayStation 3 and Wii alongside an Xbox 360 release will make things quite interesting."

More after the jump.

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mandrake3494d ago (Edited 3494d ago )

I can see several reasons why this may actually be a smart move:

1. Allowing the shareholders to buy back Bungie allows MS to maintain goodwill with the developers and ensures that they will continue to favor the 360 platform.

2. By allowing Bungie to buy itself back, but retaining right of first refusal to publish all future games, MS has a better chance of keeping the core developer talent together in a unit that is friendly to the 360 instead of having talented people break away to form other studios. The name Bungie isn't worth much without the talent that made it great.

3. Having Bungie function as an independent studio is more consistent with MS current approach to developing and nurturing new IPs. Instead of buying developers like Sony, MS just provides development funding in exchange for exclusive publishing rights to specific franchises. This worked so well with Gears of War and Ninja Gaiden. This way MS does not get saddled with extra salaries and other overhead when the development teams are idle or not producing hits. Moreover, MS can move a franchise to another development team to infuse fresh talent and ideas into it (i.e., PGR4).

4. Bungie has had a long enough string of hits for MS and it's uncertain how long the streak will continue, but it's unreasonable to assume that it will go on forever. It's like a sports team trading an aging franchise player early enough while they can still get some decent value in return. MS probably figured that keeping Bungie is not worth fighting and pissing off its developers.

I can think of several other reasons but my point is, such a move, if true, is not as stupid as it first seems.

Edit:
Marinelife, Bungie is worth a lot more now than when MS bought it. MS could have given Bungie a break on the buyback price in exchange for first refusal rights. I'm not saying that's what happened, just that this story is not an obvious load of crock.

marinelife93494d ago

I call BS. The shareholders buying back Bungie with MS retaining the stipulation of first refusal still in writing makes absolutely no sense for the shareholders.

Why pay MS money to still be contracted to them to make games for them with no future guarantees of a higher percentage of revenue sharing.

Great business move for Microsoft but a stupid one for Bungie shareholders. No one is that dumb.

JsonHenry3494d ago

It would be a waste of money to buy back Bungie from MS. If they wanted to make new games they could simply quit and start their own company.

That way they don't have to answer to MS at all.

sanderFVCKINcohen3494d ago

Well it seems like Bungie just got filthy rich through Halo 3 and now are buying themselves back, and just like anycompany like Lionhead Studios or Rare. I THINK!!!

bootsielon3494d ago (Edited 3494d ago )

"Instead of buying developers like Sony,"

Lionhead Studios, Bungie, Ensemble Studios, RARE among others... seriously, STFU

Gamespot-equals-EGM3493d ago (Edited 3493d ago )

Wow, Bungie's really smart to be doing this. Damn MS slavedrivers, forcing Bungie to develop only one game for the last 7 years. Fvcking ridiculous.

You can flush Halo 4 down the toilet b/c Bungie probably won't work on it thus it will probably do some major suckage.

+ Show (2) more repliesLast reply 3493d ago
Jack Bauer3494d ago

who really heard of bungie before halo?

Odion3494d ago

a ton of freaking people, maybe if you weren't 12 you would have been old enough to know that

the worst3494d ago

good job Bungie Shareholders

Vojkan3494d ago

What ton ODion? Please tell us who? Few people to be precise. Myth and ONI were mediocre at best games. But lets put that aside, this move is stunning for me. How could Microsoft let this happened? Their biggest studio from First party (alongside RARE) is now gone? Sure they keep Halo IP but still this was mistake from MS

XxZxX3494d ago

no one played Oni before?? it's a good game just lack mutliplayer.

Jack Bauer3494d ago (Edited 3494d ago )

your talking about the cult gamers a few thousadn maybe a few ten thousand... I'm talking mainstream gamers... 8 million...and I'm 21.... prolly was 12 when it first released

crck3494d ago

Thats why MS bought Bungie and forced them to can the pc version in the first place. But after playing Halo 3 it doesn't really matter where Bungie goes IMO. I thought the game was average at best. Those jaggie graphics and low poly count characters were nasty...

Megaton3494d ago

Am I the only person who played Marathon on the Mac?

Mr Bubbles3493d ago

We've come a long way since Castle Wolfenstein! haha

+ Show (6) more repliesLast reply 3493d ago
chester3494d ago (Edited 3494d ago )

some developers will jump ship to work on other things.
other developers who love halo will be chomping at the bit to work on a halo game and will come on board.
microsoft will promote the hell out of halo 4 and make a ton of money for it.
no smart shareholder in bungie would even consider splitting from MS right now.

Meus Renaissance3494d ago

Nowdays usually turn out to be true. I believe this.

Welcome Bungie, to the PlayStation 3?

chester3494d ago

oh c'mon. you can't possibly believe, even if bungie did split from MS, that microsoft would allow it to happen in such a way that bungie could become a sony entity in any way, right? i mean, if bungie does this, it's to become independent and MS will have something in place that makes sure this is the case.

Meus Renaissance3494d ago

No, I didn't mean that. I meant them releasing games on all platforms, not becoming a Sony entity.

chester3494d ago

ah gotcha. makes sense now, sorry.

sticky doja3494d ago

"Microsoft also has “the right of first refusal on future games.” This means that Microsoft has the first shot at publishing Bungie’s future titles. How this will come into play if Bungie decides they want future game X to appear on the PlayStation 3 and Wii alongside an Xbox 360 release will make things quite interesting."

With that quote in context, I doubt you will see a Bungie game on PS3, unless MS thinks the game sucks and doesn't want to publish it.

Gizmo_Logix3494d ago (Edited 3494d ago )

sticky doja,

This is precisely why Bungie Team is trying to get way from Microcrap. They are tired of them bossing them around. Typical dictator that MICROSOFT is.

Oh, well. This is what Bungie Team gets for signing a deal with the devil.

+ Show (2) more repliesLast reply 3494d ago
TheUltimatePS3Fanboy3494d ago (Edited 3494d ago )

And now all you haters out there I really don't care about Bungie developing for the PS3 it's just finally good to see them develop something other than Halo.

Oh btw thats a lot of bubbles meus lol!