The rumors were true and it is now official. Bungie Studios has jumped Microsoft's money-rich ship and have gone independent. In a press release sent out this morning, Microsoft announced plans for Bungie to become an independent developer, but mentioned that they will still retain a "publishing agreement" between both studios and that Microsoft will keep "an equity interest in Bungie". The press release also mentions that Microsoft owns and will retain the Halo IP and that the Peter Jackson Halo project and Halo Wars are still on track for release. No other reasons were given for the split, but it seems to be on good terms.
So fanboys, what do you make of this? The press release sounds way too fluffy and way too civil for such a breakup, but maybe that's really how it is. We aren't sure, but it's going to be extremely interesting to see what Bungie's plans are for the future, how the Halo IP grows and how the two parties work together. Odd times indeed.
[Via Major Nelson]