Here’s an edited version of a quick interview I had with Bungie President Harold Ryan on the Kirkland studio’s new partnership with Activision Blizzard, giving the Activision exclusive rights to Bungie’s next game after “Halo: Reach.”
Did Microsoft make a bid to publish your new franchise?
We’ve been in discussions with Microsoft. We still continue to have a great relationship with those guys.
Ultimately for us the balance between being exclusive to either first party, whether it be Microsoft or Sony, to really engage with a globally engaged partner like Activision was a major component of not choosing Microsoft or Sony.
Will you move the studio to Santa Monica?
There is not a chance we’ll move the studio to Santa Monica.
Will you share details of the new game before “Halo: Reach” goes on sale?
You should expect that were focused on Reach.
When will you release the new game?
It will be sometime. I know its going to knock everybody’s socks off.
So, 2011 perhaps?
I wouldn’t commit to a date.
Will your next franchise be bigger than “Halo”?
Incrementally or exponentially?
Exponentially … we’ve spent a lot of time laying out plans that took what we learned over the next 10 years.
Does Activision have exclusive rights to additional franchises developed by Bungie over the next decade?
This particular deal we’re focusing on one franchise. There’s potential for new franchises that we come up with for Activision.
Will this mean a big increase in employment at the studio?
We’re going to continue to do what we’ve been doing since we left Microsoft (and work to) attract the best people in the industry. We’re not currently planning to take on major acquisitions or anything that would drastically grow us.
Do you have enough resources to build multiple franchises at once now?
We have enough people to do two things at once but what we’re planning for our next IP (intellectual property) is super aggressive and it’s going to be the biggest thing ever.