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Microsoft's Phil Spencer on Bungie's missing E3 announcement

We had a chance to speak with newly appointed general manager of Microsoft Game Studios Phil Spencer earlier this afternoon but there's good news and bad news. The bad news: We spoke with him just a couple hours before Bungie announced that the very same Microsoft Game Studios "changed" plans to announce the game this week. The good news: We just so happened to ask Spencer about the lack of a Bungie announcement in Microsoft's press conference (as expected) and the publishing relationship with Bungie.

Spencer: "Our relationship with Bungie was always about a triple-A creative studio building content for our platform, and our working relationship brought about Halo 1, Halo 2, Halo 3 – which I think are great games. If that's the core of the relationship, creative people building content for our platforms, I don't think the relationship has changed. We have a relationship with a very talented studio who wants to create games for Xbox.

Joystiq: Speaking of Bungie, there wasn't any mention of Halo games or Halo projects during the presentation yesterday and there wasn't any mention of Bungie or Bungie working on any other projects. Bungie has been teasing something on their website for the last couple weeks, and it seems like they're ready to announce it but they're doing it independently of Microsoft. Is that indicative of any kind of change in that relationship – that they wouldn't have that game announced at the E3 conference?

Spencer: We focused the E3 event on games that are coming this holiday, from a first-party perspective. If you look at the games we talked about in the briefing, the games that you will see – Banjo, Viva Pinata, Fable 2, Gears of War 2, Lips, Scene It – these are all games that you're going to see this fall. That was the decision we made – we did the same thing last year, if you'll remember – to try and really introduce people to the games as they come towards completion, we'll show them what we have and what is coming. The relationship to Bungie and the projects that we're working on together – we don't have anything to announce today – but it's in our plans.

it's not clear if Spencer is saying that whatever project Bungie is working on wouldn't have been available this year (rumors be damned) and that explains its absence from E3. We'll publish the rest of the interview as soon as we're done transcribing it.

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