246w ago - At the Game Developer's Conference in San Francisco, Bungie producer Allen Murray gave a talk about the studio's production process, which has gone through a major evolution of late.
Formerly a one-project shop, Bungie has changed its approach to facilitate the development of multiple projects simultaneously. That's good news for gamers.
We've known for some time that Bungie is working on an entirely new intellectual property, and Murray noted that a development team is hard at work on that project. But that doesn't mean Bungie plans to close the book on Halo 3 after the ODST expansion ships this summer.
According to Murray, the studio just finished a crunch - a short period of intense production to meet a development milestone - on ODST and another project, which he didn't name.
He could have been referring to the Mythic Map Pack, which was bundled with the Halo Wars Limited Edition in early March and will be distributed over Xbox Live on April 9. Or he could have been hinting that there's another expansion, multiplayer pack or surprise on the way.
"Halo 3 took two and a half years to make, and we're still working on it," Murray said. "We'll probably be working on it for two more years."
271w ago - In an unfortunate cross-cultural coincidence, Halo developer Bungie has inadvertently drawn parallels to an infamous child abduction case to promote its new Halo 3 expansion pack.
In a new teaser trailer, which depicts a war-torn city landscape, various messages flash up on the screen, including one that asks "Maddie, where are you?"
For many people, particularly living in Britain, this seemingly innocuous phrase will bring back memories of the disappearance of Madeleine McCann, a three-year old British girl who was allegedly abducted from a Portuguese resort while on holiday with her parents.
At the time of the abduction, the slogan "Find Maddie" and "Where's Maddie?" featured prominently in British newspapers and international publicity campaigns around the world.
Bungie has denied any intent to create publicity by exploiting the McCann disappearance, with a representative claiming "This is both an unfortunate and unintended coincidence" on the official Halo forum.
The case is somewhat similar to an incident several years ago, in which the developers of the PC game Law and Order: Double or Nothing unwittingly included a CCTV still of the murdered British toddler James Bulger in their game.
297w ago - The following Bungie developer interview notes are a summary of everything Halo 4 the company talked about or what was hinted at. We dubbed it "The Secret Files" that puts one and one together. Every Halo fan obviously knows the (original) Halo trilogy is over (Halo 3 was left with an open ending).
But with Ensemble Studios working on the Halo Wars RTS prequel and an episodic Halo: Chronicles cinematic-game trilogy series still in the works by Peter Jackson, would a Halo 4 FPS really be that far fetched? Time to line up the facts...
July 14th 2006: Bungie audio director, Marty O'Donnell, said at the UK Game Developers Conference that "We all want Halo to be the great ending to an epic trilogy. We look at what Peter Jackson did with the Lord of the Rings films - which each film bettering the previous one and that is what we are aiming for."
September 25th 2007: At the launch of Halo 3 the cinematic designer, Lee Wilson, said "There's a lot of people who have been working on Halo much longer than us two have and they're really interested in exploring new games, new stories, and whatever comes out of those conversations is what we're going to pursue. We're still going to make games for us." And Joe Tung, multiplayer producer, said that the team was "figuring out right now...
322w ago - Nearly seven years ago Microsoft snatched up Bungie Studios, lock, stock and barrel. Today Bungie snatched themselves back.
I know the press release doesn't really spell that out, but Brian Jarrard, Community and Franchise Director of Bungie, confirmed it for me today:
Bungie is privately owned by Bungie, not Microsoft. We are Bungie, LLC now.
Jarrard was nice enough to take the time to do an email Q&A with me today about a bunch of things. Questions ranged from how Bungie managed the break-up, to whether we can expect to see PS3 or Wii titles to them to what exactly the deal is with Halo DS. For the full exchange, click here.
323w ago - From the source: A friend of mine who has someone close that works at Bungie has just been dying to tell me a secret about their future. Since the NDA officially expire today the sent me and email with the details. I have full faith in this contact. The email is as follows:
"So heres my big secret. You should google Bungie + Microsoft + separation this week.
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.
Apparently MS just wants Bungie to make Halo for the rest of their natural days, and Bungie doesn't like how MS is constantly trying to "handle" everything they do; the way they market their games, the way they interact with their fans (basically the fact that they do appreciate their fans), and how stingie they are with the profits (comparable to the rest...