Microsoft and Bungie Studios to Evolve Relationship Companies to forge new long-term relationship.

    REDMOND, Wash., Oct. 5 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Microsoft Corp. today
 announced a plan for Bungie Studios, the developers of the "Halo(R)"
 franchise, to embark on a path to become an independent company. Microsoft
 will retain an equity interest in Bungie, at the same time continuing its
 long-standing publishing agreement between Microsoft Game Studios and
 Bungie for the Microsoft-owned "Halo" intellectual property, as well as
 other future properties developed by Bungie.
     The critically acclaimed Xbox 360(R)-exclusive "Halo 3" achieved $300
 million in global sales in its first week. Released on Tuesday, Sept. 25,
 "Halo 3" is the fastest-selling video game ever and already one of the most
 successful entertainment properties in history.
     "Our collaboration with Bungie has resulted in 'Halo' becoming an
 enduring mainstream hit," said Shane Kim, corporate vice president of
 Microsoft Game Studios. "While we are supporting Bungie's desire to return
 to its independent roots, we will continue to invest in our 'Halo'
 entertainment property with Bungie and other partners, such as Peter
 Jackson, on a new interactive series set in the 'Halo' universe. We look
 forward to great success with Bungie as our long-term relationship
 continues to evolve through 'Halo'-related titles and new IP created by
     "This exciting evolution of our relationship with Microsoft will enable
 us to expand both creatively and organizationally in our mission to create
 world-class games," said Harold Ryan, studio head for Bungie. "We will
 continue to develop with our primary focus on Microsoft(R) platforms; we
 greatly value our mutually prosperous relationship with our publisher,
 Microsoft Game Studios; and we look forward to continuing that affiliation
 through 'Halo' and beyond."
     Bungie Studios will remain in its current location in Kirkland, Wash.
     About Bungie Studios
     Bungie Studios was founded in 1991 with two goals: to develop games
 that combine brilliant technology, beautiful art, intelligent stories and
 deep gameplay, and then sell enough of those games to achieve its real goal
 of total world domination. Over the past 10 years it has produced games
 such as the "Marathon" trilogy and the first two "Myth" games, hailed as
 classics by critics and gamers around the world. Bungie's "Halo" franchise
 is an international award-winning action title that has grown into a global
 entertainment phenomenon, selling more than 14.8 million units worldwide,
 logging nearly 1 billion hours of multiplayer action on Xbox LIVE(R), and
 spawning action figures, books, a graphic novel, apparel and more. Bungie
 released "Halo 3" on Sept. 25, 2007 to universal critical acclaim, and
 first day US sales of over $170 million, making it the biggest opening day
 in entertainment history. More information on Bungie can be found at
     About Microsoft Game Studios
     Microsoft Game Studios is a leading worldwide publisher and developer
 of games for the Xbox and Xbox 360 video game systems, the Windows(R)
 operating system and online platforms. Comprising a network of top
 developers, Microsoft Game Studios is committed to creating innovative and
 diverse games for Windows (, including such
 franchises as "Age of Empires(R)," "Flight Simulator" and "Zoo Tycoon(R)";
 Xbox and Xbox 360 (, including such games as "Gears of
 War" and franchises such as "Halo," "Fable(R)," "Project Gotham Racing(R)"
 and "Forza Motorsport(R)"; and MSN(R) Games (, the
 official games channel for the MSN network and home to such hits as
 "Bejeweled" and "Hexic(R)".
     About Microsoft
     Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq:   MSFT) is the worldwide leader in
 software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize
 their full potential.

SOURCE Microsoft Corp.

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