What's in a Name: Bungie Aerospace

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What's in a Name: Bungie Aerospace
Bernard Yee is the Aerospace Portfolio Manager for Bungie, tasked with helping the newly independent studio expand into digitally distributed frontiers. He's previously worked on everything from EverQuest at Sony Online Entertainment to Rock Band at Harmonix.

The name came about a couple ways: There are a bunch of real space industry fans at Bungie; like when the shuttle launch happened, a bunch of people from the studio went down to Florida to watch it. So there's a bunch of aerospace engineering fans at the studio and I think the name came about partially from that.

There's an expression in Latin, and I forget what it is in Latin, but it's "to boldly go into the stars" [Ed: "per audacia ad astra"] and I think that saying sort of personified Bungie's feeling of being independent again. We could be cross-platform, we weren't tied to any specific console device anymore, we're getting to do something new with a big IP. And as specifically applied to Bungie Aerospace, the idea that there were a whole host of platforms like iOS and Android and PC/Steam and to a similar degree XBLA and PSN; that there were different game experiences being developed there.

It's almost like the mammals underfoot the dinosaurs, something interesting was happening. Bungie is a very technically capable studio and we clearly see the trajectory of these hardware devices. We understand the things that make Bungie a great game studio on console were going to be increasingly relevant in this space, with iOS devices. But it wasn't 100% transferable, right? The lessons we learned on console will be useful on the mobile platform but they're going to be different game experiences. Maybe the game sessions are 20 minutes instead of two hours. I think I remember reading that Torchlight's average game session was about 20 or 30 minutes. I would guess that Halo or Call of Duty's average is much longer.

The idea is that we want to understand this platform because it's relevant to us as game creators and there's a lot to learn. We wanted to do this as a way to grow Bungie's expertise and reach into other areas. That's where the Aerospace name came from.

Bungie Aerospace recently released its first title, Crimson: Steam Pirates, from developer Harebrained Schemes. It's available for iPad from the iOS App Store.

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