Bungie is pretty much a part of the Xbox DNA. The success of the Halo franchise directly impacted on the success of the Xbox brand. To think otherwise would be madness. Being the “it” game on a console has also helped Bungie out a great deal, and while they had some success in their previous titles (marathon, Myth, etc), those really cannot compare. So, when Bungie cranked up the rumour mill and started dropping hints of a new game announcement at E3, people got excited. I got excited. Alas, that announcement never came. I am sure a lot of you visited the Bungie.net page while it had a splash page with “Keep it Clean” and other slogans along with a timer ticking down at the bottom. However before it got to zero, a message of disappointment was found instead of the anticipated announcement.
A letter from Bungie chief Harold Ryan stated:
"For the last several months, we’ve been building toward a reveal of something exciting that Bungie is working on. We were looking forward to sharing that with our fan community during the week of E3. However, those plans were just changed by our publisher,"
"We realise that many of our fans are disappointed by this turn of events; members of the Bungie team share that disappointment."
Initially the stubborn fans refused to accept that. Instead they chose to believe it was an elaborate prank. Unfortunately that was not the case. Luke Smith assured the fans:
"As much as fans wanted to believe otherwise, this is in fact, the truth and not a cruel hoax or prank. E3 is winding down and there are no plans to make a surprise announcement later this week."
So what is this game? I am sure guys want to know as much as I do. Alas, I guess we shall have to wait for that. However, I can tell you that it is Halo related. On MTV’s Multiplayer Blog Steven Totilo posted some interesting points that came up in an interview with Don Mattrick:
“Not only did Mattrick say not to worry and that announcements would be coming, he also said that Microsoft is working with Bungie on a “Halo” game.”
“I asked for clarification, wondering if Mattrick meant Bungie’s project was “Halo Wars” or the long-announced Peter Jackson “Halo” project. Neither, Mattrick said. The Bungie game is something else.”
So why would Microsoft hold back on such a huge announcement? Perhaps because it is such a huge announcement. In an interview with Xbox360fanboy, Phil Spencer (GM of Microsoft Game Studios) said:
"Our relationship with Bungie was always about a triple-A creative studio building content for our platform, and our working relationship brought about Halo 1, Halo 2, Halo 3 – which I think are great games. If that’s the core of the relationship, creative people building content for our platforms, I don’t think the relationship has changed. We have a relationship with a very talented studio who wants to create games for Xbox.”
“We focused the E3 event on games that are coming this holiday, from a first-party perspective. If you look at the games we talked about in the briefing, the games that you will see – Banjo, Viva Pinata, Fable 2, Gears of War 2, Lips, Scene It – these are all games that you’re going to see this fall. That was the decision we made – we did the same thing last year, if you’ll remember – to try and really introduce people to the games as they come towards completion, we’ll show them what we have and what is coming. The relationship to Bungie and the projects that we’re working on together – we don’t have anything to announce today – but it’s in our plans.”
I guess that Microsoft pulled out of the announcement after they saw the Sony and Nintendo press briefings. Lets be honest, neither of those were particularly spectacular or mind blowing (though each had a handful of cool things). In the mean time I will continue to believe that the new Bungie project will the a tactical squad based shooter. How that ties into the “superintendent” code name.or the “keep it clean” slogans.I have no idea. I guess we’ll have to wait for the announcement whenever that may be? How long till GDC?