Microsoft and Bungie To Part Ways?

Halo 3 is a massive commercial success (despite scratched disks, dodgy ‘not-really-HD’ resolutions of just 640p, flaky framerates and a short single player campaign) but nasty rumours started here are starting to pick up, with IGN making something of them this morning.

We thought we’d leave this be, but it’s becoming too much fun to ignore. The whole thing started from a Chinese-whispers style announcement (think ‘friend of a friend’) at the above Seattle blog link.

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“You know that big ol BILLION dollar franchise Bungie has created for Microsoft, to show their appreciate Microsoft is letting Bungie leave. Of course Microsoft gets to keep all rights to the Halo franchise, but as today Bungie no longer part of Microsoft. Ask anyone who works there to search the global address book, they’re no longer in there. Microsoft was supposed to release the press release today but if they wait till the 10/6 the impact wont effect the quarterly results. However today is the actual official date and the day the NDAs expire, however you still didn’t hear this from me.” says the site.

Spelling and grammar aside, we’ve no clue as to how true all this is, and this being the internet it’s quite easy to just make up shit. “There’s been no such announcement,” a Microsoft spokesperson told IGN. “We continue to celebrate the tremendous success of the global phenomenon that is Halo 3.”

However, strange things have been happening over at Microsoft recently: First, big chief Peter Moore leaves, FASA is closed, Bizarre (PGR4) is bought by Activision and goes multi-platform. All this, coupled with the complete absence of X07, very few announcements for 2008 and total non-interest on a Crackdown sequel suggests that maybe Microsoft are thinking elsewhere at the moment, with the 360 not exactly at the forefront of their thoughts.

We’ll see what happens…

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