Bungie’s Final Transition of Halo

As Bungie hands over the Halo series’s control to Microsoft this August, the acclaimed developer has a few parting words. For many Halo fans, a Halo without the presence of Bungie may seem unreal; the studio has polished and watched over the storied franchise for almost a decade now, and with the lone exception of Halo Wars, a Bungie-less Halo just feels… different.

The developers at Bungie appear to have a similar feeling:

Thank you for making our 20th Anniversary, and this year’s Bungie Day, kick so much ass. As we prepare to become fans of the universe our studio began creating more than ten years ago, it’s nice to know that we’ll be counted among such esteemed company. Some might consider the upcoming transition a bittersweet occasion punctuated by a sense of loss and sadness. We feel otherwise. Halo is in great hands…yours.

These last two weeks have been a celebration for us – a reminder of just why these last two decades have been so uniquely special for Bungie. More than ever we are humbled by your dedication and your loyalty (and now, even by your Halo: Reach skills…ouch).

As a gamer that has had fond memories of overnight LAN parties playing Halo: Combat Evolved, it has been a wonder thinking back and realizing how far console gaming has changed since the release of this game. The killer app, that by itself was most likely responsible for the Xbox’s initial success and kick-started a plethora of beginnings for consoles, such as online gaming, and the rise of first-person-shooters as a dominant genre.

Others were the mass adoption of simple game mechanics, such as a strong melee, one-button grenades, and much to the chagrin of some members of the glorious master race: regenerating health.

Halo practically defined online gaming for consoles (a mantle that has since been taken by Call of Duty); sure the graphics weren’t the best, there were lag imbalances due to peer-to-peer, and the screaming children blew our eardrums out, but regardless of all that, we had fun.

Here’s to the years of fun that was had with Bungie, and may good fortune be on their next project. With Activision.