REDMOND, Wash., June 19, 2000 — Microsoft Corp. today announced it acquired Chicago-based Bungie Software Products Corp., a leading independent developer of action oriented computer and video games. As a result of this acquisition, Microsoft gains exclusive publishing and distribution rights to select Bungie-developed titles, including the highly anticipated sci-fi action epic "Halo."
"This acquisition reflects our commitment to growing our business with a strong portfolio of quality games for the PC and Xbox platforms," said Ed Fries, vice president of games publishing at Microsoft. "Bungie's highly talented team consistently delivers award-winning games, and we're looking forward to supporting their creative spirit here at Microsoft."
Bungie's development staff will become an independent development studio within the Microsoft Game Division, where it will retain its unique character and edgy personality. Microsoft expects the Bungie team to play a key role in the development of content for the Xbox platform, creating the kinds of innovative technology that have defined its character. The team will also continue developing titles such as "Halo," a revolutionary action game recently nominated for four E3 Game Critics awards, including Best of Show, and heralded as "the first truly amazing game of the next millennium," by top online games Web site Gamespot.
"This is an opportunity to combine the strength of two outstanding software companies: Bungie's talent for creating great games and Microsoft's strength in distribution," said Alexander Seropian, founder and CEO of Bungie Software Products. "Microsoft will provide us with the resources and infrastructure we need to continue to build great games and make them available on a worldwide scale. We are also looking forward to helping define the Xbox platform, which may soon be the world's premier game console."
In a related announcement, Take-Two Interactive Software Inc., (Nasdaq "TTWO" ) current distributor of Bungie-developed titles, announced it acquired all right, title and interest to select Bungie game properties, including the popular "Myth" game franchise and the upcoming action game "Oni," and has sold its 19.9 percent equity interest in Bungie to Microsoft. Ryan Brant, Chief Executive Officer of Take-Two, said, "This acquisition is a positive for all involved. We have a tremendous amount of respect for Bungie's talents and the contributions it has made to the games industry, and we look forward to working with Microsoft to make Xbox a success."
Underscoring Microsoft's commitment to being a leading worldwide games developer and publisher, the acquisition of Bungie follows last year's successful acquisitions of FASA Interactive Technologies Inc. and Access Software Inc., both of which have resulted in the upcoming PC games "MechWarrior™ 4: Vengeance," "Crimson Skies™ " and "Links™ LS 2001," all due out later this year.
About Bungie Software
Founded in 1991, Bungie Software is a private, Chicago-based corporation dedicated to developing outstanding, immersive electronic games that surpass conventional technology and deliver compelling and repeatable play. Makers of the award-winning "Marathon" and "Myth"
series, Bungie is currently developing the highly anticipated anime action game "Oni" and the science-fiction action epic "Halo." For more information, surf to http://www.bungie.com/ .
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq "MSFT" ) is the worldwide leader in software, services and Internet technologies for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software -- any time, any place and on any device.
Microsoft, "MechWarrior," "Crimson Skies" and "Links" are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.
The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.
Note to editors: If you are interested in viewing additional information on Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft® Web page at http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/ on Microsoft's corporate information pages.