Bungie 'probably' exiting Halo franchise, new IP deal 'close'

Developer says Halo: Reach will likely be its sci-fi series swan song; senior designer Lars Bakken thinks new publishing agreement will be closed "sometime soon."

When Halo: Reach's mysterious trailer debuted at last month's Electronic Entertainment Expo, it generated a lot of interest. The rabid fan base of the sci-fi series was intrigued by its apocalyptic imagery, which recalled Eric Nylund's novel Halo: The Fall of Reach. A prequel to Halo: Combat Evolved, the book depicted the cataclysmic battle on the fortress world of Reach, where series hero Master Chief and other heavily armored Spartan troopers fight off a Covenant invasion.

Now, a new revelation will increase interest in Halo: Reach even more. Speaking with British-based game site CVG over the weekend, Bungie senior designer Lars Bakken was asked if Halo: Reach was the studio's final Xbox 360 Halo game. "In terms of a platform for Halo games made by Bungie, yes," he responded.

However, Bakken quickly cautioned that that doesn't mean the Halo franchise is going away. "I can't answer that question for Microsoft, though," continued the designer. "Whether they have something in the works or not, I don't know if they're actually ready to talk about it yet. But in terms of Bungie-produced Halo games, ODST and then Reach is probably all you're going to get."

When asked for further clarification, Microsoft deferred to Bungie, which had not responded to requests for comment as of press time. However, if confirmed, the move would sever one of the links between the studio that created Halo and Microsoft, from which it broke away in summer 2007. Microsoft still retains a minority ownership stake in Bungie, and the shop is working on several unannounced projects.

[UPDATE] As for Bungie's mystery projects, one of which is reportedly an all-new IP, Bakken said the Suburban Seattle shop is on the verge of signing a deal with an unnamed publisher. "I think internally, we'll know sometime soon," he told Eurogamer. "I don't handle these things, but I'd imagine we're going to know way before we make the public announcement of who's handling that! But sure, I think those talks are, I guess, close."

As for Halo, Microsoft has announced that not only will the franchise not be going away, but it is also expanding into other media. One of the big stories out of last week's Comic-Con in San Diego was the unveiling of 343 Industries, an entire Microsoft division devoted to Halo games, products, and licensing. The previously rumored label's first project will be Halo: Legends, an Animatrix-style anime compilation from such studios as Production I.G. (the original Blood: The Last Vampire) and Studio4˚C (Tekkonkinkreet). Notable anime directors Shinji Aramaki (Appleseed) and Mamoru Oshii (Ghost in the Shell) will also be working on the project.

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205 comments
pjrulez312
pjrulez312

why cant halo be like mario? just keep moving forward D:

ZombieHunter000
ZombieHunter000

Halo Reach is gonna be the last Halo game that is good. Too bad everything has to end at some point.

2x4b96123
2x4b96123

I thought Halo 1 was good.. I liked the feeling of fighting with and against intelligent squads of units. Halo 2 and 3.. i really don't like how they tried to go all 'epic'.. and less scripted AI.. but the enemy was less interesting to fight as a result.. when everything is so big then you really don't care about the size of things anymore, Halo 1 mixed up the big and the small enough so that the environment felt varied and captured your attention.. And the vehicles felt like they had weight to them.. and i don't like how they moved the crosshair to the lower part of the screen, i can see plenty of sky with it in the middle, and if i'm shooting enemies up on a cliff i don't want to have enemies right infront of me at ground level be out of sight just so i can see more of the skybox which i'm not looking at anyway! (and stars don't twinkle in the Halo skyboxes anymore... why the hell?) Halo Reach seems a return to what i like.. a more serious less gratuitous squad shooter with a health system that actually makes sense (is the plate armour under the energy shield actually a hologram over a swimsuit?) If only they'd move the crosshair *sigh*

OtokoNoKo
OtokoNoKo

I have mixed feelings on the Halo series. I played and enjoyed 1-3. I passed on ODST because I felt the formula was going stale. And after two, it lost a lot of its seriousness. Crying grunts do not make for an intense shooter. That said, I'm happy to see Reach return to a more serious atmosphere. If it shakes up the formula enough, I might just buy it. But it will be the last Halo purchase I ever make. Microsoft seems ready to merchandise the hell of out the series once Bungie pulls out.

Gooshnads
Gooshnads

Halo was great as a 3 part series Died at 3... but just to finish the story i liked it THEN the spinoffs... sigh... lol 1 was Brilliant 2 was great 3 was just to finish it [as stated earlier] I really did wish there werent as many spinoffs that didn't change much of a game.... I sure hope this doesn't happen with Mass Effect =] can't wait for 3 already And well MGS at least they changed SOME stuff... which was kinda nice =]

BrickTamland314
BrickTamland314

Bungie said theyre not making any more Halo games for the Xbox 360 after Reach, but in another article they hinted a return of Master Chief and Cortana, IMO this can only mean one thing: theyre holding out until the next Xbox comes out, Epic is probably holding out for the next Xbox on Gears 3 too

shakensparco
shakensparco

It doesn't feel right having a Halo game not made by Bungie, but I suppose they have to move on sometime.... It's just really makes me sad. I have so many of my fondest videogame memories with those games...

jeffv541
jeffv541

Halo has a new line of gumballs coming out soon, all you fanboys better preorder...

spartanwrath
spartanwrath

bungie no longer making halo? it almost makes me want to cry.

Ultramarinus
Ultramarinus

IMO they need to re-acquire the rights to Myth series from Take Two and resurrect that franchise. It's still a strategy legend and the setting has immense potential for off-shoots into several other genres.

Sin-Thesis
Sin-Thesis

i dont like the direction halo is going in, it will be interesting to see how much repetitive drivel they can churn out with the halo name attached before the rabid fanboys grow out of their blind loyalty to the franchise

habstown
habstown

This franchise is just too popular and successful for bungie to walk away from imo. It was said that Halo 3 was their last game. Well have to wait and see after 2010 what is on the way.

ShadowXStorm
ShadowXStorm

Unleash plan Mega Super Spartan Kicks Covenant A$$!!

usedaw
usedaw

i doubt this will be the last halo game Bungie makes Microsoft will probably find some other company to make the next Halo or Bungie will eventually come back in 5 or ten years and do another one i seriously doubt they will walk away from this series forever.

TrojanLB48
TrojanLB48

So we might never know what happens to the Chief after Halo 3?

Rummy500
Rummy500

It has been fun. But, Its time for the series to be put to rest. Before it is completlybeaten to death.

McGregor
McGregor

I hope that microsoft doesn't squeeze the life out of the halo series. As of right now halo is a successful franchise. If it ended now it would go down in history books as a great franchise, although it appears that microsoft has other plans...

dreamofwakeing
dreamofwakeing

i think halo is great as a series and i'm excited to see what they bring to the table with reach. the book fall of reach was outstanding and as long as there's no flood this time around, the game should be too.

Commisar123
Commisar123

Hey Halo is a good shooter franchise I'm excited to see what they will come up with next

Chrysus
Chrysus

Microsoft owning a stake in Bungie doesn't guarantee a 360 exclusive in the future. Remember that Sony owns 20-30% of Square Enix and they have been giving the 360 exclusive games and a port of Final Fantasy XIII

Alter_Echo
Alter_Echo

This is actually good news. All of the followups could very well have been expansion packs to the first game and nobody would have been able to tell the difference.

starduke
starduke

Well, I hope whatever Bungie makes that's new is good.

aaronfilmltd
aaronfilmltd

Halo was a fantastic game in its time, and while the sequels really expanded the story, weapons and characters, they had essentially the exact same feel and gameplay as their predecessors. I'm actually far more interested in seeing a new IP from Bungie than another Halo. It seems like after Halo 3, the whole thing was starting to get a bit stale.

x-2tha-z
x-2tha-z

ODST was a real chance for Bungie to shake-up the Halo games and make something new and fresh and exciting. Instead it looks like they've just re-packaged Halo 3 and added some pointless silenced weapons. ODST doesn't even have its own competitive multi-player. I'm glad Bungie is finished with Halo. Maybe someone will take over who has the ability to give the franchise the face-lift it desperately needs.

Rex100
Rex100

I think it's a good thing Bungie is doing other things. Halo was good, but they really milked everything out of that franchise. I hope they make something far greater than halo.

XanderZane
XanderZane

Letmekilluplz I hope Halo dies out, too much of a good thing. I always feel bad for the people who are so obsessed with Halo that they miss games like Mass Effect of Saints Row series. People need to branch out more than just playing Call of Duty and Halo. ********************************************************************* I wonder the same thing about people obsessed over Mario, Final Fantasy, MSG, Gran Turismo, Zelda etc.... All those franchises have been around a lot longer then Halo.

XanderZane
XanderZane

Halo Legends is going to be sick. They actually got some of the best Japanese anime creators working on it. I hope they include a copy in the Halo: Reach collectors edition. lol!! That would be awesome. *************************************************************************** sj_nehama i mean, i will never get why M$ kicked out bungie. Am sure other studio will work on Halo, but it wont be the same thing. It was bungie who made Halo what is today, not Microsoft. _________________________________________________ Microsoft didn't kick Bungie. The studio's contract was up and they decided not to resign. Bungie wants to work on new IP's, so that's why they left. Don't be surprised if Naughty Dog does the same thing to Sony in the near future. No different they Rare leaving Nintendo or SquareEnix leaving Nintendo and Sony. Chances are good that some of the Bungie's developers will go and work on the 343 Industries studio with Microsoft. I'm sure Microsoft as already thought through everything in advance.

rob_42
rob_42

Its good to see bungie moving on, one-trick-ponies get old. Its gonna be interesting to see if microsoft just tries to milk the universe from now on, making halo esque fps' with a different designer or if they give to someone who will try and make different games out of it, a heavily squad based fps or something i dunno...

sj_nehama
sj_nehama

i mean, i will never get why M$ kicked out bungie. Am sure other studio will work on Halo, but it wont be the same thing. It was bungie who made Halo what is today, not Microsoft.

sun_rider95
sun_rider95

without bungie halo series are dead and if they aren't microsoft will kill them for sure

Letmekilluplz
Letmekilluplz

I hope Halo dies out, too much of a good thing. I always feel bad for the people who are so obsessed with Halo that they miss games like Mass Effect of Saints Row series. People need to branch out more than just playing Call of Duty and Halo.

WolfGrey
WolfGrey

Im glad bungie will stop making halo games finally.I was kinda hoping halo would die shortly afterwords but it looks like microsoft has their hands on it.Which means not only will not go away but it will now suck entirely.Come on, we all know how microsoft likes to handle things.

Spikedjester
Spikedjester

Im all for Halo living on forever! Just please Microsoft, dont soil the legacy which has become, and is to this day, HALO!

scarface_dm
scarface_dm

Hopefully this new game in the works is xbox exclusive :p

S_Pac_316
S_Pac_316

Well, I'm sure MS would let another development studio work on a new Halo game. I wouldn't care either way.

S3XYT1M3
S3XYT1M3

woo! back to the good ol' days of killing elites!

G-Figure
G-Figure

TurboGuru: I have no doubt that a game modeled after The Fall of Reach would be a great game with a sweet story. But that doesn't take away my burning curiosity of why bungie felt it necessary to put that little clip of MC floating towards a planet and the end of Halo 3. I was just hoping bungie would explain this through a game.

Ashmasaki
Ashmasaki

Myth I and II are awesome games. Back in the day Myth II had amazing user created content and the multiplayer was second to none. Even with all these Halo titles under their belt, for me Myth remains their best work to date by far. Good to hear they are finally working on something new.

BarkLikeADog
BarkLikeADog

The last game they put out besides halo was myth 2. Bungie has no idea how to make games. They only know how to do one thing. Make halo. Once Halo gets old (and it already has) the whole franchise will go ass-end into the big pile of games-that-failed-to-grasp-ingenuity stack. Bungie got damned lucky with Halo. They are gone.

TheHappyCamper
TheHappyCamper

Microsoft has announced that Halo wont be going away anytime soon? Wow, thats a shocker!

aura_enchanted
aura_enchanted

hey marathon wasnt that bad and yeah myth was great id even settle for oni to get a sequel.

AdventFFVII
AdventFFVII

If they revive Marathon on the PS3, I'd LMFAO.....HARD XD

mcspaddin
mcspaddin

@wahyudil, halo will never be put on any nintendo or sony console, bungie no longer owns halo microsoft does... the entire point of this article is to say that bungie is working on something new that is not halo, which they will not work on again

plm3d_basic
plm3d_basic

Halo is a franchise and won't ever go away just like Final Fantasy or Mario. It'll probably be produced by someone else if Bungie refuses. I wouldn't be surprised if Bungie's next project is either an RPG or RTS to get away from the FPS genre.

SeargantGoat
SeargantGoat

@ Intrakitt: Agree with you 100%. The Myth series are absolutely classic games, and were an earlier showcase of the great way that Bungie is able to tell their stories and create compelling action. .. I'm going to go home and play Myth II: Soulblighter tonight..

wahyudil
wahyudil

it means we will see Halo in wii and PS3 later ...