While gamers everywhere are just today getting their hands on Halo: Reach for the first time, Bungie, the game's developer, is now moving a majority of their staff to their next project. Back in April, Bungie shocked everyone when it was announced that they were partnering with Activision for the next ten years to develop their "next big action game universe" for release on multiple consoles.
With work on Reach completed, the full weight of Bungie's 180 person staff is focused on their next game to be released under the terms of the Activision deal. In an interview with Develop, Studio Communications Manager Brian Jarrard mentioned that with this new game they are going to be taking a fresh start and building their own engine from the ground up instead of licensing Unreal or continuing to use their Halo engine (which may be property of Microsoft):
“Yeah, [the new engine is] actually in development, so I would say it’s in a stage where, technically we’re still at the end of a pre-production mode. But now that Reach is done the full weight of our team is rolling into the project. Real work is underway.
With the engine still in a pre-production phase it doesn't appear that we will be getting our hands on Bungie's next game any time soon. While the next title may be far off, this new engine talk sounds like good news. They have shown with the games in the Halo series that they are capable of creating multiplayer modes with more options than a lot of other games on the market. By making their own engine this will again allow them to hopefully continue to offer modes like Forge, which most games lack.
Jarrard also went on to say that building their own engine is also how the studio likes to operate. One of the main points of the Activision deal was that Bungie remained independent and retained ownership of the IP they are producing. Having their own engine is just another way for the studio to keep the spirit that has made them so successful:
"I think it goes hand-in-hand with our independent spirit. Just like we don’t want to develop a game off someone else’s IP, we want to push our own technology in the same way. That’s going to be our position for the foreseeable future."
With Halo: Reach receiving a 4.5 rating from us here at Game Rant and high scores from a majority of other publications, whatever Bungie's next project is will probably be one of the most hyped and talked about games the year it releases.
Will they be able to continue their success without the Halo name? Or do the majority of casual Halo fans not even know about Bungie and just think the game is made by Microsoft? Ranters, what are your thoughts on Bungie's next project? Are you interested in something new or not interested if it doesn't have Halo in the title?