Xbox head Phil Spencer has revealed that he believes today’s Microsoft could have kept Bungie around.
This news comes by way of Axios, which reports that Spencer understands why Bungie left Microsoft to become independent in a new interview. He also said that in today’s Xbox ecosystem, Bungie might have stayed with Microsoft.
“Could we [keep Bungie around] today? I think we could,” Spencer told Axios when asked if Bungie’s departure was inevitable.
Spencer said that since Bungie’s departure, Xbox has learned a lot but understands why the studio left.
“At the time, they had big ambitions,” Spencer said. “They had sold their business for a certain amount of money. They saw what Halo turned into. And it’s like, ‘Okay, Microsoft benefited more than Bungie did from the success of Halo.’ There’s no other story that can be written there.”
Spencer continued and said he understands the appeal of becoming independent, citing that Bungie probably felt like it had another Halo-like franchise in them.
“If you’re saying, ‘Hey, I think I’ve got another one of those in me. I want to really take another chance,’ I can understand the allure of doing that as an independent company,” the Xbox head said.
Bungie formally split from Microsoft, with whom it had made multiple Halo games, in 2007. On October 5 of that year, Bungie announced the split and said it had become an independent company. In the division, though, Microsoft retained all rights to Halo, a franchise now developed primarily by 343 Industries.
Nearly three years later, Bungie signed onto a ten-year publishing deal with Activision, with which its popular Destiny franchise would begin. In January of 2019, the studio announced that it had ended this publishing deal early, meaning Bungie was independent once more. It seems that Bungie intends to retain its independence for now.
Do you think Bungie would be a good fit for Microsoft today? Let us know in the comments below!