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Bungie, Inc is an American video game developer
Video game developer
A video game developer is a software developer that creates video games. A developer may specialize in a certain video game console, such as Nintendo's Wii, Microsoft's Xbox 360, Sony's PlayStation 3, or may develop for a variety of systems, including personal computers.Most developers also...

 currently located in Bellevue
Bellevue, Washington
Bellevue is a city in the Eastside region of King County, Washington, United States, across Lake Washington from Seattle. Long known as a suburb or satellite city of Seattle, it is now categorized as an edge city or a boomburb. The population was 122,363 at the 2010 census.Downtown Bellevue is...

, Washington, USA
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

. The company was established in May 1991 by University of Chicago
University of Chicago
The University of Chicago is a private research university in Chicago, Illinois, USA. It was founded by the American Baptist Education Society with a donation from oil magnate and philanthropist John D. Rockefeller and incorporated in 1890...

 undergraduate student Alex Seropian
Alex Seropian
Alexander Seropian is an American video game developer, one of the initial founders and later president of Bungie Software Products Corporation, the developer of the Marathon, Myth, and Halo video game series. Seropian became interested in computer programming in college and teamed up with fellow...

, who later brought in programmer Jason Jones
Jason Jones (programmer)
Jason Jones is a game developer and programmer who co-founded video game studio Bungie with Alex Seropian in 1991. Jones began programming on Apple computers in high school, assembling a multiplayer game called Minotaur: The Labyrinths of Crete...

 after publishing Jones' game Minotaur: The Labyrinths of Crete
Minotaur: The Labyrinths of Crete
Minotaur: The Labyrinths of Crete is a 1992 Macintosh computer game produced by the founders of Bungie Studios, Jason Jones and Alex Seropian. It is a sharply detailed dungeon crawler similar to many other computer role-playing games and adventure games...

. Originally based in Chicago, Illinois, the company concentrated primarily on Macintosh games during its early years, creating the successful games Pathways Into Darkness
Pathways Into Darkness
Pathways into Darkness is a first-person adventure video game developed and published by Bungie Software Products Corporation in 1993, exclusively for Apple Macintosh personal computers. Players assume the role of a Special Forces soldier who must stop a powerful, godlike being from awakening and...

and the Marathon
Marathon Trilogy
The Marathon Trilogy is a science fiction series of first-person shooter computer games from Bungie, originally released for the Macintosh. The name Marathon is derived from the giant interstellar colony ship that provides the setting for the first game; the ship is constructed out of what used to...

and Myth series. A West Coast offshoot produced the game console title Oni.

Microsoft
Microsoft
Microsoft Corporation is an American public multinational corporation headquartered in Redmond, Washington, USA that develops, manufactures, licenses, and supports a wide range of products and services predominantly related to computing through its various product divisions...

 acquired Bungie in 2000; their then-current project was repurposed into a launch title for Microsoft's new Xbox
Xbox
The Xbox is a sixth-generation video game console manufactured by Microsoft. It was released on November 15, 2001 in North America, February 22, 2002 in Japan, and March 14, 2002 in Australia and Europe and is the predecessor to the Xbox 360. It was Microsoft's first foray into the gaming console...

 console, called Halo: Combat Evolved
Halo: Combat Evolved
Halo: Combat Evolved, frequently referred to as Halo: CE, or Halo 1, is a first-person shooter video game developed by Bungie and published by Microsoft Game Studios. The first game of the Halo franchise, it was released on November 15, 2001 as a launch title for the Xbox gaming system, and is...

. Halo went on to become the Xbox's "killer application
Killer application
A killer application , in the jargon of marketing teams, has been used to refer to any computer program that is so necessary or desirable that it proves the core value of some larger technology, such as computer hardware, gaming console, software, or an operating system...

", selling millions of copies and spawning a billion dollar franchise
Halo (series)
Halo is a multi-million dollar science fiction video game franchise created by Bungie and now managed by 343 Industries and owned by Microsoft Studios. The series centers on an interstellar war between humanity and a theocratic alliance of aliens known as the Covenant...

.

On October 5, 2007, Bungie announced that it had split with Microsoft
Microsoft
Microsoft Corporation is an American public multinational corporation headquartered in Redmond, Washington, USA that develops, manufactures, licenses, and supports a wide range of products and services predominantly related to computing through its various product divisions...

 and become a privately held independent company, Bungie LLC
Limited liability company
A limited liability company is a flexible form of enterprise that blends elements of partnership and corporate structures. It is a legal form of company that provides limited liability to its owners in the vast majority of United States jurisdictions...

. The company later incorporated and signed a ten-year publishing deal with Activision Blizzard
Activision Blizzard
Activision Blizzard, Inc., formerly Activision, Inc. is the American holding company for Activision and Blizzard Entertainment. The company is majority owned by French conglomerate Vivendi SA and was created through the merger of Activision and Vivendi Games, announced on December 2, 2007, in a...

.

Among Bungie's side projects are Bungie.net, the company's official website, which includes forums as well as statistics-tracking and integration with many of their games. Bungie also sells company-related merchandise and runs other projects including a podcast
Podcast
A podcast is a series of digital media files that are released episodically and often downloaded through web syndication...

 and online publications about game topics. The company is known for its informal and dedicated workplace culture, and is currently working on multiple projects and an unknown new IP.

Founding


In the early 1990s, Alex Seropian
Alex Seropian
Alexander Seropian is an American video game developer, one of the initial founders and later president of Bungie Software Products Corporation, the developer of the Marathon, Myth, and Halo video game series. Seropian became interested in computer programming in college and teamed up with fellow...

 was pursuing a mathematics degree at the University of Chicago
University of Chicago
The University of Chicago is a private research university in Chicago, Illinois, USA. It was founded by the American Baptist Education Society with a donation from oil magnate and philanthropist John D. Rockefeller and incorporated in 1890...

, as the university did not offer undergraduate degrees in computer science. Seropian's first video game was a Pong
Pong
Pong is one of the earliest arcade video games, and is a tennis sports game featuring simple two-dimensional graphics. While other arcade video games such as Computer Space came before it, Pong was one of the first video games to reach mainstream popularity...

clone called Gnop!
Gnop!
Gnop! was the first computer game created and published by Bungie Studios. It was a simple Pong clone written and released nearly 20 years after the original. The name Gnop is simply Pong spelled backwards. The game was created by Alex Seropian in 1990, almost a year before Bungie's official...

(Pong spelled backwards.) Seropian released Gnop! free of charge, though a few players paid Seropian for the source code. Living at home shortly before graduation, his father's wishes for him to get a job convinced Seropian to start his own game company instead. Seropian founded Bungie in 1991 to publish Operation: Desert Storm. Seropian culled funding from friends and family, assembling the game boxes and writing the disks himself. Operation Desert Storm sold 2,500 copies, and Seropian looked for another game to publish.

Seropian met programmer Jason Jones
Jason Jones (programmer)
Jason Jones is a game developer and programmer who co-founded video game studio Bungie with Alex Seropian in 1991. Jones began programming on Apple computers in high school, assembling a multiplayer game called Minotaur: The Labyrinths of Crete...

 in an artificial intelligence course at the University of Chicago. Jones was a longtime programmer who was porting a game he wrote, called Minotaur, from an Apple II
Apple II
The Apple II is an 8-bit home computer, one of the first highly successful mass-produced microcomputer products, designed primarily by Steve Wozniak, manufactured by Apple Computer and introduced in 1977...

 to the Apple Macintosh platform. Jones recalled, "I didn't really know [Alex] in the class. I think he actually thought I was a dick because I had a fancy computer." Seropian and Jones partnered to release the role-playing video game
Role-playing video game
Role-playing video games are a video game genre with origins in pen-and-paper role-playing games such as Dungeons & Dragons, using much of the same terminology, settings and game mechanics. The player in RPGs controls one character, or several adventuring party members, fulfilling one or many quests...

 as Minotaur: The Labyrinths of Crete
Minotaur: The Labyrinths of Crete
Minotaur: The Labyrinths of Crete is a 1992 Macintosh computer game produced by the founders of Bungie Studios, Jason Jones and Alex Seropian. It is a sharply detailed dungeon crawler similar to many other computer role-playing games and adventure games...

in 1992; while Jones finished the coding, Seropian handled design and publicity. The game relied on a then-uncommon internet modems and AppleTalk
AppleTalk
AppleTalk is a proprietary suite of protocols developed by Apple Inc. for networking computers. It was included in the original Macintosh released in 1984, but is now unsupported as of the release of Mac OS X v10.6 in 2009 in favor of TCP/IP networking...

 connections for play and sold around 2,500 copies, but it developed a devoted following.

The team focused on the Macintosh platform, not Windows
Microsoft Windows
Microsoft Windows is a series of operating systems produced by Microsoft.Microsoft introduced an operating environment named Windows on November 20, 1985 as an add-on to MS-DOS in response to the growing interest in graphical user interfaces . Microsoft Windows came to dominate the world's personal...

-based personal computers, because the Mac market was more open and Jones had been raised on the platform. While Jones was responsible for many of the creative and technical aspects, Seropian was a businessman and marketer. "What I liked about [Seropian] was that he never wasted any money," Jones recalled. With no money to hire other personnel, the two assembled Minotaur boxes by hand in Seropian's apartment. While the pair remained low on funds—Seropian's wife was largely supporting him—the modest success of Minotaur gave the duo enough money to develop another project.

Inspired by the shooter game
Shooter game
Shooter games are a sub-genre of action game, which often test the player's speed and reaction time. It includes many subgenres that have the commonality of focusing "on the actions of the avatar using some sort of weapon. Usually this weapon is a gun, or some other long-range weapon". A common...

 Wolfenstein 3D
Wolfenstein 3D
Wolfenstein 3D is a video game that is generally regarded by critics and gaming journalists as having both popularized the first-person shooter genre on the PC and created the basic archetype upon which all subsequent games of the same genre would be built. It was created by id Software and...

, Jones wrote a 3D game engine for the Mac. Bungie's next game was intended to be a 3D port of Minotaur, but Jones and Seropian found that Minotaurs top-down perspective gameplay did not translate well to the 3D perspective, and did not want to rely on modems. Instead, they developed a new storyline for the first-person shooter
First-person shooter
First-person shooter is a video game genre that centers the gameplay on gun and projectile weapon-based combat through first-person perspective; i.e., the player experiences the action through the eyes of a protagonist. Generally speaking, the first-person shooter shares common traits with other...

 that became Pathways Into Darkness
Pathways Into Darkness
Pathways into Darkness is a first-person adventure video game developed and published by Bungie Software Products Corporation in 1993, exclusively for Apple Macintosh personal computers. Players assume the role of a Special Forces soldier who must stop a powerful, godlike being from awakening and...

, released in 1993. Jones did all the coding, with his friend Colin Brendt creating the game's art. The game was a critical and commercial success, winning awards including Inside Mac Games' "Adventure Game of the Year" and Macworlds "Best Role-Playing Game".

Pathways beat sales expectations and became Bungie's first commercial success. Bungie moved from a one-bedroom apartment to a studio in Chicago's South Side
South Side (Chicago)
The South Side is a major part of the City of Chicago, which is located in Cook County, Illinois, United States. Much of it has evolved from the city's incorporation of independent townships, such as Hyde Park Township which voted along with several other townships to be annexed in the June 29,...

 on South Halsted Street
Halsted Street
Halsted Street is a major north-south street in the American city of Chicago, Illinois.-Location:In Chicago's grid system, Halsted street marks 800 West, one mile west of State Street, from Grace Street in Lakeview south to the city limits at the Little Calumet River in West Pullman...

; Bungie composer Martin O'Donnell
Martin O'Donnell
Martin "Marty" O'Donnell is an American composer known for his work on video game developer Bungie's series, such as Myth, Oni, and Halo...

 remembered that the studio, a former girl's school next to a crack house
Crack house
Crack house is a term mainly used in the United States used to describe an old, often abandoned or burnt-out building often in an inner-city neighborhood where drug dealers and drug users buy, sell, produce, and use illegal drugs, including, but not limited to, crack cocaine.In the 1980s, inner...

, "smelled like a frat house
Fraternity and sorority houses
North American fraternity and sorority housing refers largely to the houses or housing areas that fraternity and sorority members live and work together in...

 after a really long weekend" and reminded staff of a locale from the Silent Hill
Silent Hill
is a survival horror video game series consisting of seven installments published by Konami and its subsidiary Konami Digital Entertainment. The first four games in the series, Silent Hill, Silent Hill 2, 3 and 4, have been developed by an internal factor, Team Silent...

horror video games.

Marathon, Myth, and Oni


Bungie's next project began as a sequel to Pathways into Darkness
Pathways Into Darkness
Pathways into Darkness is a first-person adventure video game developed and published by Bungie Software Products Corporation in 1993, exclusively for Apple Macintosh personal computers. Players assume the role of a Special Forces soldier who must stop a powerful, godlike being from awakening and...

, but evolved into a futuristic first person shooter called Marathon. Among its contributions to gaming was the first control system where players could use the mouse to look up and down as well as pan side-to-side. Pathways had taught Bungie the importance of story in a game, and Marathon featured computer terminals where players could choose to learn more about the game's fiction. Released in 1994, the game was a critical and commercial success, and was regarded as a relatively unknown but important part of gaming history. It served as the Mac alternative to DOS PC-only games like Doom.

The first game's success led to a sequel, Marathon 2: Durandal
Marathon 2: Durandal
Marathon 2: Durandal is the first sequel in the Marathon series of science fiction first-person shooter computer games from Bungie Software. It was released on November 24, 1995. The game is mostly set on the fictional planet of Lh'owon, homeworld of the S'pht, and once again the player takes the...

, which was later the first game Bungie ported to Windows 95
Windows 95
Windows 95 is a consumer-oriented graphical user interface-based operating system. It was released on August 24, 1995 by Microsoft, and was a significant progression from the company's previous Windows products...

 in September 1996. The series introduced several elements, including cooperative mode, which made their way to later Bungie games.

After Marathon, Bungie moved away from first-person shooters to release a strategy game, Myth
Myth (computer game)
Myth is a series of real-time tactics computer games. The games are:*Myth: The Fallen Lords*Myth II: Soulblighter*Myth III: The Wolf Age...

. The games stressed tactical unit management as opposed to the resource gathering model of other combat strategy titles. The Myth games won several awards and spawned a large and active online community. Myth: The Fallen Lords was the first Bungie game to be released simultaneously for both Mac and Windows platforms.

The success of Myth enabled Bungie to change Chicago offices and establish a San Jose, California
San Jose, California
San Jose is the third-largest city in California, the tenth-largest in the U.S., and the county seat of Santa Clara County which is located at the southern end of San Francisco Bay...

 based branch of the studio, Bungie West, in 1997. Bungie West's first and only game would be Oni, an action title for the Mac, PC and PlayStation 2
PlayStation 2
The PlayStation 2 is a sixth-generation video game console manufactured by Sony as part of the PlayStation series. Its development was announced in March 1999 and it was first released on March 4, 2000, in Japan...

.

Halo and buyout


In 1999, Bungie announced its next product, Halo
Halo: Combat Evolved
Halo: Combat Evolved, frequently referred to as Halo: CE, or Halo 1, is a first-person shooter video game developed by Bungie and published by Microsoft Game Studios. The first game of the Halo franchise, it was released on November 15, 2001 as a launch title for the Xbox gaming system, and is...

, as a Real-time strategy
Real-time strategy
Real-time strategy is a sub-genre of strategy video game which does not progress incrementally in turns. Brett Sperry is credited with coining the term to market Dune II....

 game for Windows
Microsoft Windows
Microsoft Windows is a series of operating systems produced by Microsoft.Microsoft introduced an operating environment named Windows on November 20, 1985 as an add-on to MS-DOS in response to the growing interest in graphical user interfaces . Microsoft Windows came to dominate the world's personal...

 and Macintosh
Macintosh
The Macintosh , or Mac, is a series of several lines of personal computers designed, developed, and marketed by Apple Inc. The first Macintosh was introduced by Apple's then-chairman Steve Jobs on January 24, 1984; it was the first commercially successful personal computer to feature a mouse and a...

. Halos public unveiling occurred at the Macworld Expo
Macworld Conference & Expo
Produced by Boston-based IDG World Expo, Macworld | iWorld is a trade-show with conference tracks dedicated to the Apple Macintosh platform. It is held annually in the United States, usually during the second week of January...

 1999 keynote address by Apple's then-interim-CEO Steve Jobs
Steve Jobs
Steven Paul Jobs was an American businessman and inventor widely recognized as a charismatic pioneer of the personal computer revolution. He was co-founder, chairman, and chief executive officer of Apple Inc...

 (after a closed-door screening at E3 in 1999).

On June 19, 2000, soon after Halos preview at Electronic Entertainment Expo 2000, Microsoft
Microsoft
Microsoft Corporation is an American public multinational corporation headquartered in Redmond, Washington, USA that develops, manufactures, licenses, and supports a wide range of products and services predominantly related to computing through its various product divisions...

 announced that it had acquired Bungie Software and that Bungie would become a part of the Microsoft Game Division under the name Bungie Studios. Halo would be developed as an exclusive title for the Xbox. The reasons for Bungie accepting Microsoft's offer were varied. Jones stated that "I don't remember the details exactly, it was all a blur. We'd been talking to people for years and years—before we even published Marathon, Activision
Activision
Activision is an American publisher, majority owned by French conglomerate Vivendi SA. Its current CEO is Robert Kotick. It was founded on October 1, 1979 and was the world's first independent developer and distributor of video games for gaming consoles...

 made a serious offer. But the chance to work on Xbox—the chance to work with a company that took the games seriously. Before that we worried that we'd get bought by someone who just wanted Mac ports or didn't have a clue." Martin O'Donnell
Martin O'Donnell
Martin "Marty" O'Donnell is an American composer known for his work on video game developer Bungie's series, such as Myth, Oni, and Halo...

, who had joined Bungie as an employee only ten days before the merger was announced, remembers that the stability of the Xbox as a development platform was not the only benefit. Around the same time, it was discovered that Asian versions of Myth II could entirely erase a player's hard drive; the glitch led to a massive recall of the games right before they shipped, which cost Bungie nearly one million dollars. O'Donnell stated in a Bungie podcast that this recall created some financial uncertainty, although accepting the offer was not something "Bungie had to do." Seropian and Jones had refused to accept Microsoft's offer until the entire studio agreed to the buyout.

As a result of the buyout, the rights to Myth and Oni were transferred to Take-Two Interactive
Take-Two Interactive
Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. is a major American publisher, developer, and distributor of video games and video game peripherals. Take-Two wholly owns 2K Games and Rockstar Games. The company's headquarters are in New York City, with international headquarters in Windsor, United Kingdom...

 as part of the three-way deal between Microsoft, Bungie and Take-Two; most of the original Oni developers were able to continue working on Oni until its release in 2001. Halo: Combat Evolved, meanwhile, went on to become a critically acclaimed hit, selling more than 6.5 million copies, and becoming the Xbox's flagship franchise.

Halos success led to Bungie creating two sequels. Halo 2
Halo 2
Halo 2 is a first-person shooter video game developed by Bungie Studios. Released for the Xbox video game console on November 9, 2004, the game is the second installment in the Halo franchise and the sequel to 2001's critically acclaimed Halo: Combat Evolved...

was released on November 9, 2004, making more than $125 million on release day and setting a record in the entertainment industry. Halo 3
Halo 3
Halo 3 is a first-person shooter video game developed by Bungie for the Xbox 360 console. The third installment in the Halo franchise, the game concludes the story arc begun in Halo: Combat Evolved and continued in Halo 2...

, the final installment in the Halo trilogy, was released on September 25, 2007 and surpassed Halo 2s records, making $170 million in its first twenty-four hours of release and becoming the most pre-ordered game in history.

Independent company


On October 1, 2007, Microsoft
Microsoft
Microsoft Corporation is an American public multinational corporation headquartered in Redmond, Washington, USA that develops, manufactures, licenses, and supports a wide range of products and services predominantly related to computing through its various product divisions...

 and Bungie announced that Bungie was splitting off from its parent and becoming a privately-held Limited Liability Company
Limited liability company
A limited liability company is a flexible form of enterprise that blends elements of partnership and corporate structures. It is a legal form of company that provides limited liability to its owners in the vast majority of United States jurisdictions...

 named Bungie LLC. As outlined in a deal between the two, Microsoft would retain a minority stake and continue to partner with Bungie on publishing and marketing both Halo
Halo (series)
Halo is a multi-million dollar science fiction video game franchise created by Bungie and now managed by 343 Industries and owned by Microsoft Studios. The series centers on an interstellar war between humanity and a theocratic alliance of aliens known as the Covenant...

and future projects, with the Halo intellectual property belonging to Microsoft.

While Bungie planned on revealing a new game at E3 2008, Bungie studio head Harold Ryan announced that the unveiling was canceled. Bungie announced the project originally meant for E3 in October, a prequel and expansion to Halo 3 titled Halo 3: ODST. Bungie and Microsoft revealed the company was developing another Halo-related game, Halo: Reach
Halo: Reach
Halo: Reach is a first-person shooter video game developed by Bungie and published by Microsoft Game Studios for the Xbox 360 console. Reach was released in North America, Australia, and Europe on September 14, 2010. The game takes place in the year 2552, where humanity is locked in a war with the...

, for release in 2010. Reach was the last game in the Halo franchise to be developed by Bungie.

Bungie continued expanding, though they did not commit to details about new projects and ship dates. The company grew from roughly 120 employees in May 2008 to 165 in June 2009, outgrowing the studio Microsoft developed. Ryan helped redesign a former multiplex in Bellevue
Bellevue, Washington
Bellevue is a city in the Eastside region of King County, Washington, United States, across Lake Washington from Seattle. Long known as a suburb or satellite city of Seattle, it is now categorized as an edge city or a boomburb. The population was 122,363 at the 2010 census.Downtown Bellevue is...

 into new Bungie offices, with 80000 square feet (7,432.2 m²) replacing the 41000 square feet (3,809 m²) they occupied.

On April 29, 2010, Bungie announced that it was entering into a 10-year publishing agreement with publisher Activision Blizzard
Activision Blizzard
Activision Blizzard, Inc., formerly Activision, Inc. is the American holding company for Activision and Blizzard Entertainment. The company is majority owned by French conglomerate Vivendi SA and was created through the merger of Activision and Vivendi Games, announced on December 2, 2007, in a...

 to bring a few new IPs to multiple platforms, and steamroll out the sequels. Under Bungie's agreement with Activision, new intellectual property
Intellectual property
Intellectual property is a term referring to a number of distinct types of creations of the mind for which a set of exclusive rights are recognized—and the corresponding fields of law...

 developed by Bungie will be owned by Bungie, not the publisher, a rare agreement in the video game industry.

On June 30, 2011, Bungie announced its "Aerospace" project, that would provide independent game developers with resources and support, including Bungie.net.

Bungie.net


Bungie.net serves as the main official portal for interaction between company staff and the community surrounding Bungie's games. The "News" area of the site contains information about events in the community, project news, and weekly postings called "Bungie Weekly Updates". Bungie.net also features forums where users can interact. When Bungie was bought by Microsoft, the site was originally seen as in competition with Microsoft's own Xbox.com site, but community management eventually won out as the bigger concern. The website also contains screenshot
Screenshot
A screenshot , screen capture , screen dump, screengrab , or print screen is an image taken by a computer to record the visible items displayed on the monitor, television, or another visual output device...

s, several gaming forums, and a media player.

Bungie.net profiles can link to player's Xbox Live
Xbox Live
Xbox Live is an online multiplayer gaming and digital media delivery service created and operated by Microsoft Corporation. It is currently the only online gaming service on consoles that charges users a fee to play multiplayer gaming. It was first made available to the Xbox system in 2002...

 accounts and display their Bungie game achievements and statistics. Detailed information about each game of Halo 2,"Halo 3", and "Halo 3: ODST" and "Halo: Reach" played is recorded, and can be viewed using the "My Stats" area of the website. This information includes statistics on each player in the game, and a map of the game level showing where kills occurred, called "Heatmaps".

While Bungie had long provided places for fans to congregate and talk about games, as well as releasing new information and screenshots over Bungie.net, they had historically made less effort and been less successful at providing access to the inside workings of Bungie and its staff. As part of a move to become more familiar in the game industry, Bungie recruited recognized and respected voices from the fan community, including writer Luke Smith
Luke Smith (writer)
Luke Michael Smith is an American writer. He is currently a staff member at Bungie, a video game development company, and is a former video games journalist. Smith wrote for a college newspaper and weekly papers in Michigan before being hired as one of the first new freelance writers for Kotaku...

. The developer hosts a podcast where staff members are interviewed in a round-table, informal atmosphere.

Bungie also has an iOS application that allows stat-tracking on the go.

Culture


Martin O'Donnell described Bungie's workplace culture as "a slightly irreverent attitude, and not corporate, bureaucratic or business-focused"; artist Shi Kai Wang noted that when he walked into Bungie for an interview, "I realized that I was the one who was over-dressed, [and] I knew this was the place I wanted to work." Frank O'Connor comically noted that at a Gamestop
GameStop
GameStop Corporation is an American video game and entertainment software retailer. The company, whose headquarters is in Grapevine, Texas, United States, operates 6,500 retail stores throughout the United States, Canada, Australia, Austria, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, New...

 conference, the Bungie team was told to wear business casual
Business casual
Business casual is a popular dress code in professional and white-collar workplaces in Western countries. In the United States, 43% of non-self-employed workers commonly wear casual business attire. Casual street wear is the next most common work attire , closely followed by uniforms...

, to which O'Connor replied "We [Bungie] don't do business casual."

This informal, creative culture was one of the reasons Microsoft was interested in acquiring Bungie, although game designer Jordan Weisman
Jordan Weisman
Jordan Weisman is an American game designer, author, and serial entrepreneur who has founded four major game design companies, each in a different game genre and segment of the industry.-Biography:...

 said that Microsoft came close to destroying the company's development culture, as it had with FASA Studio. Studio head Harold Ryan emphasized that even when Bungie was bought by Microsoft, the team was still independent:

One of the first things [Microsoft] tried after acquiring Bungie, after first attempting to fully assimilate them, was to move Bungie into a standard Microsoft building with the rest of the game group. But unlike the rest of the teams they’d brought in previously, Bungie didn’t move into Microsoft corporate offices – we tore all of the walls out of that section of the building and sat in a big open environment. Luckily Alex and Jason [Seropian and Jones, Bungie’s founders] were pretty steadfast at the time about staying somewhat separate and isolated.

Microsoft eventually moved the studio to Kirkland, Washington. Despite the move, financial analyst Roger Ehrenberg declared the Bungie-Microsoft marriage "doomed to fail" due to these fundamental differences. Bungie also pointed out that they were tired of new intellectual property
Intellectual property
Intellectual property is a term referring to a number of distinct types of creations of the mind for which a set of exclusive rights are recognized—and the corresponding fields of law...

 being cast aside to work on the Halo franchise. Edge
Edge (magazine)
Edge is a multi-format computer and video game magazine published by Future Publishing in the United Kingdom. It is known for its industry contacts, editorial stance, distinctive anonymous third-person writing style, yearly awards and longevity....

described the typical Bungie employee as "simultaneously irreverent and passionately loyal; fiercely self-critical; full of excitement at the company’s achievements, no matter how obscure; [and] recruited from its devoted fanbase."

The Bungie workplace is highly informal, with new and old staff willing to challenge each other on topics, such as fundamental game elements. Staff are able to publicly criticize their own games and each other. Fostering studio cooperation and competition, Bungie holds events such as the "Bungie Pentathlon", in which staff square off in teams playing games such as Halo, Pictionary
Pictionary
Pictionary is a guessing word game designed by Robert Angel and first published in 1985 by Seattle Games Inc. The game is played with teams with players trying to identify specific words from their teammates' drawings.-Objective:...

, Dance Dance Revolution
Dance Dance Revolution
Dance Dance Revolution, abbreviated DDR, and previously known as Dancing Stage in Europe and Australasia, is a music video game series produced by Konami. Introduced in Japan in 1998 as part of the Bemani series, and released in North America and Europe in 1999, Dance Dance Revolution is the...

, and Rock Band. Bungie also faces off against professional eSports teams and other game studios in Halo during "Humpdays
Wednesday
Wednesday is a day of the week in the Gregorian calendar. According to international standard ISO 8601, it is the third day of the week. This day is between Tuesday and Thursday...

", with the results of the multiplayer matches being posted on Bungie.net.

Bungie's staff and fans, known as the "Seventh Column", have banded together for charity and other causes. After Hurricane Katrina
Hurricane Katrina
Hurricane Katrina of the 2005 Atlantic hurricane season was a powerful Atlantic hurricane. It is the costliest natural disaster, as well as one of the five deadliest hurricanes, in the history of the United States. Among recorded Atlantic hurricanes, it was the sixth strongest overall...

, Bungie was one of several game companies to announce their intention to help those affected by the hurricane, with Bungie donating the proceeds of special t-shirts to the American Red Cross
American Red Cross
The American Red Cross , also known as the American National Red Cross, is a volunteer-led, humanitarian organization that provides emergency assistance, disaster relief and education inside the United States. It is the designated U.S...

; after the 2010 Haiti earthquake
2010 Haiti earthquake
The 2010 Haiti earthquake was a catastrophic magnitude 7.0 Mw earthquake, with an epicentre near the town of Léogâne, approximately west of Port-au-Prince, Haiti's capital. The earthquake occurred at 16:53 local time on Tuesday, 12 January 2010.By 24 January, at least 52 aftershocks...

, Bungie sold "Be a Hero" t-shirts and donated money to the Red Cross for every Halo 3 or ODST player on Xbox Live who wore a special heart-shaped emblem. Other charity work Bungie has done included auctioning off a painting of "Mister Chief" by Frank O'Connor, a Halo 2 soda machine from Bungie's offices, and collaborating with Child's Play
Child's Play (charity)
Child's Play is a charitable organization founded by the authors of the popular computer and video games-based webcomic Penny Arcade that organizes worldwide toy drives to children's hospitals. Mike Krahulik and Jerry Holkins founded Child's Play in 2003 to improve the lives of sick children by...

 auctions. Recently Bungie created the nonprofit Bungie Foundation.

Offshoot companies


Many of Bungie's employees have left the company to form their own studios. Double Aught
Double Aught
Double Aught was a software company founded by several former members of the Bungie Software team . Founding the company was Greg Kirkpatrick, Chris Geisel, Jihan Kim, Randy Reddig, Colin Kawakami and David Longo...

 was a short-lived company composed of several former Bungie team members, founded by Greg Kirkpatrick. Seropian left to form Wideload Games
Wideload Games
Wideload Games is an American game developer located in Chicago, Illinois.It was founded in 2003 by Alexander Seropian—the co-founder of Bungie and head behind the games Halo: Combat Evolved, Myth, and Marathon—and 6 other former Bungie Studios employees 3 years after Bungie's acquisition by...

, creator of Stubbs the Zombie in "Rebel Without a Pulse". Other companies include Giant Bite, founded by Hamilton Chu (former lead producer of Bungie Studios) and Michal Evans (former Bungie programmer), and Certain Affinity
Certain Affinity
Certain Affinity is an American video game development studio based in Austin, Texas, in the USA. It was founded in 2006 by Max Hoberman and a small number of other ex-Bungie employees and other industry veterans.-History:...

, founded by Max Hoberman (the multiplayer design lead for Halo 2 and Halo 3); Certain Affinity's team included former Bungie employees David Bowman and Chad Armstrong (who later returned to Bungie). The company collaborated with Bungie in releasing the last two downloadable maps for Halo 2 and the downloadable Defiant Map Pack for Halo: Reach.

External links