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Phil Spencer thinks today’s Microsoft could have kept Bungie

Microsoft’s head of gaming understands why Bungie, arguably the most acclaimed game studio in Xbox history, left the tech giant to go independent many years ago, but he thinks his company might have been able to retain them today.

What they’re saying: “We’ve learned a lot,” Xbox’s Phil Spencer told Axios when we discussed Bungie’s history with Xbox in late October.

  • Asked if the split was inevitable or if Microsoft could have held on to them, he added: “Could we do it today? I think we could.”
  • But he said he understands why they left. “At the time they had big ambitions. They had sold their business for a certain amount of money. They saw what Halo turned into. And it's like, ‘OK, Microsoft benefited more than Bungie did from the success of Halo.’ There's no other story that can be written there.”
  • He mused, “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.”

He thinks they could have held onto Bungie against their wishes to go indie?

That would have been a pretty shitty outcome.

Bungie wanted to do and own their own thing and I think they were done with making only Halo games. At that point I don't think they cared about MGS culture or management approach, they just wanted independence and the ability to own their own IP and therefore reap the rewards of their own success as a studio.
I guess if anyone would know its him. Obviously MS has changed since then. It's just a "what if," and it's kind of cool that he even bothered to answer it really.

But yeah, I personally don't care about Bungie unless they make Oni 2. MS has enough first person games.


I could see MS buying Bungie again and either alternating Halo games between them and 343i, or even have Bungie doing campaign and story universe whilst 343i cover multiplayer/GAAS.
Give Halo back to Bangi & let's see what can 343i make with new IP.
I have feeling that they struggle with Halo fame.
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I think they should, Bungie wanted more creative freedom. MS should've given them just that. Like Guerrilla who created something else than Killzone, or Sucker Punch who left Infamous for GoT. As it turns out, Bungie is making Destiny for the last decade or so. And personally I dislike Destiny.

It was a weird time. MS not only let go of Bungie but also ditched the PGR team. Those were pillars of the original Xbox success. And both studios didn't exactly fare better since. Though Destiny might be a financial success for them.


thinks Halo Infinite is a new graphical benchmark
343 has been dominate keeping Halo alive, there’s a small crowd of Bungie die hards behind Destiny.
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