When Bungie and Activision signed their 10-year exclusive publishing deal in April 2010, Halo fans knew Bungie involvement in the sci-fi shooter franchise was coming to an end. Now, the developer has set a date--August 2--for when it will officially hand the series off to Microsoft.
In an update on its website titled "See You Starside," Bungie spoke about leaving the series it birthed and had been involved with for some 20 years.
"Some might consider the upcoming transition a bittersweet occasion punctuated by a sense of loss and sadness. We feel otherwise. Halo is in great hands…yours.
Bungie said it will soon be undergoing a "metamorphosis," with Bungie.net changing, punctuated by the announcement of the studio's new game at an "unknown time in the future." Bungie said Halo playlist management will officially shift to Microsoft on August 2. On this day, the studio will also release a new video documentary titled "O Brave New Worlds."
Bungie did not say what it plans to show or reveal in the new documentary. However, its name suggests that the video may possibly talk about the new game. Additionally, Bungie said following the release of the video documentary and the handover to Microsoft, it will be "going dark" on all things related to its new, unannounced game with Activision.
Microsoft purchased Bungie in June 2000, and the studio provided the publisher the well-reviewed Halo: Combat Evolved, one of the original Xbox's launch titles. The developer created sequels Halo 2 and Halo 3 for Microsoft before splitting with the publisher in October 2007. Bungie then built Halo 3: ODST and Halo: Reach under the publishing banner of Microsoft, which owns a minority stake in the company.
As for the Halo franchise, Microsoft is continuing the sci-fi shooter franchise in many ways via its new Halo team, 343 Industries. Due out on November 15 is Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary, a $40 Kinect-compatible high-definition remake of the original Halo entry. Also, at E3 2011, Microsoft announced Halo 4, the first game in a new trilogy.
Outside of video games, there is Halo: Legends, the anime series based on the Halo universe, as well as the Marvel-handled Halo comic book series. For more on the forthcoming Halo remake, check out GameSpot's latest preview of Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary.