Tech Anatomy of a Blog Rumor
posted by October 2 at 15:16 PMon
Yesterday, Jacob Metcalf of the website 8bitjoystick (and occasional Stranger contributor) posted that Bungie, creators of the insanely popular Halo series, is parting ways with its parent company Microsoft. Citing a friend of a friend who was in the know, Metcalf posted an email he received about the supposed split:
“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 of the industry). So as of today they are their own independent entity. They’ll probably make Halo 4 for Microsoft, however hey are also free to create new intellectual properties for whatever system they want. (Even though they prefer the xbox platform)”
“What a way to say thank you.”
Equip your Spartan salt shield, because this rumor sounds simply too soap operatic to instantly believe. On the other hand, it might just be crazy enough to work and stranger things have happened, so we’re looking into it as if it were the real deal. The word from the tubes this morning is that Halo developer Bungie may be parting ways with its owner, Microsoft.
Then a little while later, another post went up on Kotaku:
Those rumors surrounding a Bungie departure from Microsoft sure sound fishy, so we got in touch with some folks who might know a thing or two about it. We were hoping for either a “Yes, it’s true. You’ll find the details of the settlement in the attached PDF” or “Of course it’s not true. Don’t be ridiculous.” Instead we got a double barrel blast of non-confirmation.
The response from a Bungie source? “Talk to your Edelman rep.”
The response from Edelman, Microsoft’s PR firm? “There’s been no such announcement. We continue to celebrate the tremendous success of the global phenomenon that is Halo 3.”
Meanwhile, the forums on Bungie’s website exploded.
And now today, the website Game Informer did some investigating of its own, and posted this:
Our source stated that Bungie is “tired of Making Halo, and didn’t want to do future Halo games.” For an unstated, but significant amount of money, Bungie shareholders bought the studio name back from Microsoft. Our source also revealed that even though Microsoft will retain the rights to Halo, Microsoft also has “the right of first refusal on future games.” This means that Microsoft has the first shot at publishing Bungie’s future titles. How this will come into play if Bungie decides they want future game X to appear on the PlayStation 3 and Wii alongside an Xbox 360 release will make things quite interesting.
From Metcalf’s little blog to major industry news, all in 24 hours.