Bungie goes independent

The rumors circling the web this week were true – after giving birth to what’s in many ways the most successful video game of all time, Bungie wants to go independent. And so it shall be. Microsoft and Bungie issued a joint press release today saying that Bungie will become a privately held independent company, Bungie, LLC, in which Microsoft will hold a minority equity interest.

The companies have agreed to continue their publishing relationship, meaning Microsoft Game Studios will publish the new intellectual property Bungie owns and is apparently already working on.

A few words from the people at Bungie on the decision to make this rather big change:

Harold Ryan, studio head for Bungie: “This exciting evolution of our relationship with Microsoft will enable us to expand both creatively and organizationally in our mission to create world-class games. We will continue to develop with our primary focus on Microsoft’s platforms; we greatly value our mutually prosperous relationship with our publisher, Microsoft Game Studios, and we look forward to continuing that affiliation through ‘Halo’ and beyond.”

Jason Jones, Bungie founder and partner: “Working with Microsoft was great for us, it allowed us to grow as a team and make the ambitious, blockbuster games we all wanted to work on. And they will continue to be a great partner. But 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.”