SAN FRANCISCO -- Microsoft ( MSFT) confirmed Friday that it was allowing its successful Halo game developer unit to go it alone.But the software company still gets rights to its new games. Redmond, Wash.-based Microsoft said it agreed to let Bungie Studios, the creator of the Halo franchise, "to embark on a path to become an independent company."
"Working with Microsoft ... allowed us to grow as a team and make the ambitious blockbuster games we all wanted to work on," Bungie founder Jason Jones said in a press release. "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," he added. The contractual change in Bungie's status "will enable us to expand both creatively and organizationally in our mission to create world-class games," said Harold Ryan, studio head for Bungie. "We will continue to develop with our primary focus on Microsoft platforms. Bungie Studios will remain in its current location in Kirkland, Wash.