ActiBlizz Financials Suggest Bungie PC Title

By Jim Rossignol on November 12th, 2010 at 1:28 pm.


A slide from a recent financial conference revealed Activision’s big prospects for the coming years, and it heavily implicates the PC. We know there’s another Blizzard MMO on the way, of course, but there’s also Bungie, who Microsoft relied on to prop up the Xbox with exclusive titles over the past few years. There seems little doubt that Activision will be wanting a similar blockbuster from the studio, only this time Activision know – thanks to the money-printing monster that is Call of Duty – that they might as well bring it out on all platforms. Whether or not you give a damn about Halo, it’s worth remembering how ambitious the game looked when it was still a PC title. If Bungie still have those kinds of aspirations in them, things could get really interesting. This could be the biggest announcement in quite some time, when it happens. Any bets on it being the big reveal for E3 next year?

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95 Comments »

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  1. Bald Space Marine says:

    World of Halo

  2. Greg Wild says:

    More interesting is the fact that 4 out of those are A) Blizzard, B) PC Only. And only half are MMOs.

    • Eamo says:

      I thought the fact that WoW is making more in a week than they expect Diablo 2 to make in total quite surprising. Makes you wonder why they bother :)

    • Premium User Badge

      skalpadda says:

      @Eamo, It’s still not a small chunk of cash though, and just hanging on to the couple of million customers who will buy the game will keep your market share up, which affects the value of your company, not to mention having even more people plugged in to Battle.net.

  3. Tyshalle says:

    I’m not terribly sure I have a ton of faith in Bungie to be ambitious. Yeah, Halo lived up to its “Combat Evolved” subtitle back in its day, but then the company proceeded to pump out about thirty more Halo games that were basically carbon copies of the first.

    It doesn’t exactly inspire confidence — or get my hopes up.

    • Gap Gen says:

      I remember being slightly disappointed by Halo back in the day. It always felt quite limited in scope – the limitations of the xbox meant that fights seemed fairly small-scale, rather than creating raging battles you had to fight your way through. Never played the sequels, so can’t comment on them.

    • Jad says:

      Well, Halo came out in 2001. My memory is a little fuzzy, but I think that most FPSes back then were pretty small-scale in terms of fights. At the very least “raging battles you had to fight your way through” is not a necessary thing for a FPS to be good: there are many great ones in which you are rarely fighting more than 6-7 enemies at a time.

      The real problem with the first Halo was that the level design was absolute shit. I found the Library basically unplayable, I never got further in the game. But the combat, the weapons, the enemy design was solid. And the multiplayer (I’m talking about on the PC) was a bunch of fun.

  4. Premium User Badge

    RaveTurned says:

    Halo-Brim: Headgear Evolved.

    No hats, no sale.

  5. pkt-zer0 says:

    Oni 2 please.

    • ShoTro says:

      YES! I thought I was the only one who wants this. But the practically two button deep combat system was freaking awesome.

    • Bhazor says:

      That had one of my favourite villains motivations of all time.
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=251nqXiSJuY&feature=BF&list=PL25D184F8A7AC8445&index=5
      “It wants feet”

      Also “Stop it! It will kill us all!” “Why did you make it in the first place?” “Well… you know”.

    • areyoutherebog? says:

      Yes, please.

    • Peter says:

      +9001

      I can’t express how much I want Oni 2. That is one of the greatest games in the genre for me, and I have played a lot of games.

      So..please, even a remake of the old one would work.

    • DigitalSignalX says:

      Agree, one of, if not THE most awesome shooter kicker puncher games ever. A new engine, graphics, the complexity of PC controls, more depth and content would ALMOST make me forgive Bungie for being money grubbing whores for Microsoft and abandoning their PC roots.

    • TeeJay says:

      Oni is one of my favourite games of all time and people are still making mods for it, eg:

      Oni Central: http://oni.bungie.org/

    • Derke says:

      Give me my Iron Demon mecha, six barrelled rocket launcher and that one guy who was cut from the game but still appeared on the opening.
      That’s the only way they can redeem the sin of rushing a game

  6. malkav11 says:

    Meh to Halo, whether the Halo they originally promised for PC or the Halo we got. It’s much more instructive to remember Marathon and Myth, which constitute more than enough reason to care about a Bungie freed from the Halo shackles. Even though it’s not clear they still have games of that calibre in them.

    • Arthur Barnhouse says:

      If they just name their next game “Durandal: AI Badass” I’ll buy a copy for me and every friend with a PC.

    • Hmm-Hmm. says:

      Quite a few years have passed since Bungie was acquired by Microsoft.. I just looked it up, and that was in 2000. Now, ten years later, I wonder how much of creativity still remains within Bungie.

      I guess we’ll have to wait and see, won’t we?

    • Tarqon says:

      John Howard was the man who man Halo:CE so amazing. After he left Halo just never managed to capture that perfection again. :( Howard went on to make the unappreciated gem Shadowrun, I have no idea what he’s doing these days.

  7. Premium User Badge

    oceanclub says:

    Call of Halo: Future Warfare 3: Ultrablack Ops (Semi-Hardened Edition), anyone?

    P.

    • Ian says:

      Bleh. It’ll not top Call of Halo: Future Warfare 2: The Revengening.

  8. Garg says:

    Halo was brilliant back when it came out; it made FPS combat much more interesting with the weapon variety and enemy AI. The sequels then pursued gimmicks like more vehicle sections (which were shit to start with) dual weapons, uber weapons (when half the brilliance of the first one is that there is no one best weapon, you have to constantly choose), and more rubbish plot.

    • Seth says:

      This is correct. Objectively so, I say!

    • mcnubbins says:

      I agree! And would add that the shields combined with the difference between plasma and projectile weapons made for a subtle gameplay mechanic that reallly made combat much more dynamic and interesting, and in many situations (specifically, when going toe to toe with an elite) it made the plasma pistol and the regular pistol the best weapon combination in the game. However, Halo did influence other games in the wrong direction, I think: The recharging shields thing, as well as they worked in Halo, does not make much sense in more ‘realistic’ shooters like COD, especially not when it’s the Halo 2 kind with no health packs at all, which sucked (I like health packs). Also, while the level design in Halo was really good up to a point, ‘The Library’ has to be the single worst level I’ve ever played in any FPS, and things didn’t improve enough from there, making the first half of the game far superior to the mediocre second half. Still, those first couple of levels …

    • Rich says:

      The health-pack vs. recharging health argument is a bit silly really. Both are abstractions, and hardly any games make distinctions between where you’re hit (besides the head), and how much it will actually effect your ability to fight… or even move. Of course they wouldn’t be much fun if they did.

      Anyway, I think I agree with Garg. Halo was a disappointment if you’d been following it since it’s original PC and Mac announcement, but was otherwise pretty important in growing the genre. It helped move us away from the ‘pump a full clip into a guy before he even flinches’ Quake, and even Half-Life, type of FPS.

    • Bret says:

      Counterpoint: Deus Ex had body part health. And it’s the best game ever.

    • mcnubbins says:

      I think Left 4 Dead games do the health more properly in a ‘realistic’ scenario with limping, bleeding implemented as well as actually having to spend time applying the bandages. Of course if the health pack is just a power-up, it is more ‘gamey’ in the same sense as a recharging shield, Then again, a recharging shield can make perfect sense in a sci-fi setting like the one halo provides. My point was only that recharging health is the norm now, even in man-shooting games set in contemporary scenarios, when you’d think there were more practical solutions to this that at least makes contextual sense.

    • malkav11 says:

      The enemy AI I’ll grant you. I’ve never found Halo’s weapons particularly varied or interesting, especially compared to more creative series. It’s basically standard guns (pistol, assault rifle, sniper rifle, missile launcher…shotgun, I think) alongside similar (though tactically separate) energy guns, with only a couple of more exciting exceptions like the Needler. And you’ve seen them all inside a couple of levels, as well as most of the enemies, so the remainder of the game is shooting the same things with the same weapons but in slightly different areas, which is far from exciting. Add to this the stupid, horrible, awful two weapon limit (that I will forever hate Halo for propagating throughout the genre), which restricts your weapon loadout even further because you can’t hang on to more specialized weapons just in case you need them, and it’s something of a mess.

      I do like the regenerating shields thing, though.

  9. Brumisator says:

    Remember when macs were a viable gaming platform? yeah, me neither.

  10. Subject 706 says:

    Myth 4 pleeeease. Not gonna happen though. :'(

    • MrSafin says:

      Seconded!

      Was it coincidence that I re-installed Myth 2 this morning?

    • jackflash says:

      God more Myth would be incredible. Perhaps my most missed franchise.

    • Hmm says:

      I’d LOVE to get Myth 4. Myth 1 and 2 are among my favourite games ever.

  11. ceebux says:

    I vaguely remember way back when Halo was first announced as a PC exclusive that it was supposed to be a persistent world MMOFPS-thing. Is that true, or am I making up more false memories?

    • areyoutherebog? says:

      I though it was supposed to be a Tribes clone with indigenous life and prettier terrain?

    • Twisted says:

      I remember well that you could hardly tell apart the screenshots for Halo and the ones for Planetside. If only they had worked together!

  12. Navagon says:

    I suppose we’ll have to see just how creative Bungie can be now at least some of their shackles have been removed.

    • BooleanBob says:

      Well, whatever it is they come up with, there’ll be an ActiBlizz mandate that it be franchisable. So don’t expect any self-contained narratives, for starters.

      I’d also be willing to bet the house I will never own (card-carrying member of the lost generation!) that one or more of the following elements will be present : Sci-Fi, futurism, guns, a stoic male lead, a sassy female sidekick, guns, Sci-Fi, shooting (with guns).

    • Navagon says:

      They already agreed a long running series with Activision, so that’s not very prophetic.

      Some kind of sci-fi action game seems likely given their track record.

    • Chris says:

      “shackles have been removed”
      Bungie… rampant?

    • Navagon says:

      Bungie: cordless?

  13. MeestaNob says:

    Master Chief helmet for Heavy.

    You heard it here first.

  14. Sunjammer says:

    Marathon remake. Yes!

    • Rich says:

      I guy can dream.

    • Thants says:

      I think just replaying the original with the open source version is better than any remake would be.

    • Rich says:

      Me and a friend from sixth form used to play Aleph One co-operatively all the time. Great fun.
      Still, it would be nice to see the depth of story from Marathon presented in a more dramatic way*. It made sense then, but constantly reading terminals is bit old fashioned these days.

      *One that is either skipable or, even better, from your perspective without taking away your control.

    • Bret says:

      I’d want to keep at least some terminaling.

      More direct stuff is good, but the little bits of history like Durandal’s mind breakingly dull official duties seem best suited to optional reading.

      And the thing the first Marathon needs most?

      Definitely the WSTE-M5. Best guns.

  15. gryffinp says:

    Wait bungie is associated with Activison now? Jeez, this is what I get for not following console gaming at all.

    • Rich says:

      Yes. They appear to be largely autonomous though. As Blizzard is.
      Activision is, I think, just going to be their publisher, and won’t actually have a stake or say in any of their new IP.

  16. Sigh says:

    For me Halo: Combat Evolved was the first multiplayer FPS that I became completely enthralled with. It was the first game that I spent hours upon hours with…staying up until 3 or 4 in the morning. I remember perfecting my pistol dueling skills while darting in and out of the little hills of Blood Gulch.
    That was amazing about the game, at short to medium range the basic Marine pistol was the BEST weapon while the smoke-trail sniper rifles dominated the extreme long ranges. I remember fondly trying the age-old trick of trying to flank the opposing team by taking a warthog up the cliff wall path on the side of the map and through the elevated cavern and then straight down cliff wall barreling ferociously towards the enemy base hoping to sneak inside and grab their flag.

    I could still navigate most of the levels blindfolded and I can still see their layout and now dated textures in my mind’s eye. What a glorious time that was. I had a basic Dell PC that had no business running any games at all, but Halo ran beautifully. Sometimes I think back to that time period when I had a crippled PC followed by an iMac and the only games I played or owned were Halo and Call of Duty 2. I had so much fun in that simpler time and created so many memories and became really good at 2 games…I wonder if my current existence with my beast of a gaming PC and game library that is so Steam-sale large I will never play/install a third of the titles is comparable in the fun department to that simpler time.

    I’m sure a lot of comments in this thread will talk about how Bungie can only make regurgitated clones of Halo:CE, or how the original Halo wasn’t that impressive in the first place. But for me that game and the timeperiod it thrived in fills head and heart with nostalgia of a more pure (for me at least) time of PC gaming.

    If Bungie can even capture a drop of that original essence then they will have accomplished something.

    • Bhazor says:

      “For me Halo: Combat Evolved was the first multiplayer FPS that I became completely enthralled with. It was the first game that I spent hours upon hours with…staying up until 3 or 4 in the morning. I remember perfecting my pistol dueling skills while darting in and out of the little hills of Blood Gulch.”

      That describes every multiplayer shooter since Quake 2. Just because it was the first game you played a lot does not mean it was the best.

    • Sigh says:

      @Bhazor

      Nowhere in my post did I say it was the best game or a defining moment of a generation of games (though for the latter I do think it was one of a handful for that time). However, there are many other PC gamers like me who still hold very fond memories of that game (whether it was their first or not). If Bungie can recapture that essence in a way that iisn’t mitigated by current trends or Activision’s touch then it might be something special.

      Also it seems odd to compare Halo:CE to the Quakes and the Unreals and all that baloney. They seem like very different games with very different mechanics to me. Perhaps you are thinking along the lines of the quote, “All of Philosophy is just footnotes to Plato” which becomes: “All FPS’s are just footnotes to Wolfenstein 3D”. They are all the same right? They all have a little gun pointing out of the bottom of your screen and they all have hills. :-)

    • Premium User Badge

      Shakermaker says:

      @Bhazor

      Taste = Opinion
      Opinion =/= Fact

    • Jad says:

      @Bhazor

      Odd that you pick Quake 2 as the starting point for enthralling multiplayer shootery, because as I was reading Sigh’s nostalgia-fueled love note to Halo it brought back memories of my time with Quake1/QuakeWorld, which was my first online gaming experience — I also have the map layouts of from that game burned into my head.

      Anyway, what I got from him was not that Halo was somehow the “best” multiplayer shooter, just that it was good enough to be someone’s favorite … just like Quake 1 was my favorite well into the Q3 era (then I got into stuff like CS and UT and DoD such).

    • Will says:

      That was really nice, man.

      It was the first Unreal Tournament for me, it was the ‘that game’ for me. Although I did put a large number of hours into Halo as well. It doesn’t seem like it should be almost 10 years ago!

      True story: Based purely on which game was recommended by their friends and played first, people picked up and ran with either Q3 or UT. The whole biff between them is just people feeling the ‘that game’ feeling about one or t’other. Looking back, I know it could just have easily been Quake 3 for me, but it isn’t. Quake 3 players, let’s build a bridge! Hold my hand! *sound of drum circle*

    • Rane2k says:

      Will: I can speak only for myself here, but I think the “animosity” between Quakers and UTers is long gone. (Or it remains in a kind of “tongue-in-cheek” way, but nothing serious)

      At least I have made peace with the UT franchise, despite being a Quake-Worshipper for 14 years now.

      I´d rather like to see an Unreal Tournament 4 (or 2012 or something) than a Call Of Duty 27: Military Shooting 2: Machineguns & Grenades Edition.
      (Hopefully id makes a multiplayer-centric sequel to the Quake series as well.)

    • P3RF3CT D3ATH says:

      @Sigh Excuse me. Did you just call the Quake games and the Unreal games baloney?

    • Sigh says:

      >>>>>@Sigh Excuse me. Did you just call the Quake games and the Unreal games baloney?>>>>>

      Not the games the comparison…poor articulation on my behalf.

    • Sigh says:

      I take that back.

      Only Quake is baloney. :)

  17. Xercies says:

    An Oni sequel please

  18. Mattress says:

    “Whatever you think of Halo” ???
    The Halo series (with exception of Halo2 – a misstep) has been amongst the most innovative and well designed FPS of the last decade along with Half Life2. To think otherwise exposes the insecurities of a PC only gamer…

    • Rich says:

      “along with Half Life2.”
      Phew, good job I kept reading. I very nearly exploded there.

    • Bald Space Marine says:

      6/10

    • Alexander Norris says:

      Halo was innovative but its level design sucked. The other games in the series, not so much on both counts.

    • ShoTro says:

      Halo 2 was their big sell out game. Commercial music, Microsoft constantly butting in and making suggestions, and weird committee created characters. I have recently went back and played Halo 2 and I have to say… It is like an 80’s movie. Weird, political, but awesome bad. Like “they live” I have fond memories despite its glaring flaws. Bungie risked more on that game then any other. The flood containment procedure actually worked to help you as the Spark suggested it would! Sentinels are bad-ass in the game and have many variations. It has the only level were marine, covenant, sentinel, and flood area all in vehicles battling at the same time… In fact that might be the only game where you have that complexed a battle taking place.

      Those moments are what make that series… Yeah, you have to make it through the beginning levels which are almost all linear and rubbish, but the series always piled on the awesome at the end… Seriously, ODST ends in one of the most epic ways I have ever seen in a game although the experience before that was… not bad, just… uncoordinated.

      I can’t honestly say my second play through Half-life 2 was that good at all… it was boring. I ended up running through Half-life 1 again and had a blast.

      Halo is about exploring and coming up with creative ways to approach scenarios…. some of them and only at the higher difficulties… otherwise you wont understand why the series is any good. Which is something either Bungie needs to fix or, I don’t care, if you are not interested in playing something that forces you to fight AI that seriously surprises you at times on huge battlefields but only when the difficulty is raised… then don’t.

    • Heliocentric says:

      I actually never rated halo or halflife 2 much at the time. Deus ex ruined my expectations.

    • Rich says:

      “I can’t honestly say my second play through Half-life 2 was that good at all… it was boring.”
      Couldn’t disagree more. Have played through Half-Life 2 hundreds of times. It doesn’t have any levels I think, “oh great not this bit”. Halo has The Library: the most lazy bit of game design ever.
      Halo 2 wasn’t so good for me. Massively over-hyped and had even more groan-inducing sections. Plus a rubbish ending.
      Halo 3 I haven’t tried yet, but am not too bothered.
      I only really enjoyed the story bits of ODST. Wandering around the city at night just felt like a chore I had to get through to see the interesting stuff.
      Finally, I genuinely want to try Reach. Damn Microsoft’s marketing department.

    • ShoTro says:

      I was a huge fan of Half-life 1, removing over half the characters for Half-life 2 and changing the pacing is just… wrong. Seemed like they took something unique and added generic enemies to the game. I liked the whole HP Lovecraftian / The Mist overtones, but they kinda just went out the window in 2. I guess having had played with gravity guns and basically everything that was in the game, in other games and mods first dulled the “amazingness” of Half-life 2 which as more of a culmination of these ideas than anything for me and a bit less fun too. The episodes though made up for the lack of everything in the 2 though by providing what the original lacked: context.

      Halo 1 (rushed, but game changing, Assault on the Control room is still the single greatest large scale battle in any FPS), Halo 2 (sold out, mostly lame, but has some of the best moments in the series), Halo 3 (rehash of things, I played this one the least, great end to the trilogy, just more of the same though), Halo: ODST (you play the least interesting guy in the game but excellent otherwise), and then Halo: Reach… first play through it was good, but keeps getting better. Still suffers from some of the more frustrating things about the series, but the best game in the series. Story is bigger and more interesting than it first seems (just like the rest of the games).

      My money is on something like a prequel to Marathon or something.

    • Xercies says:

      Half Life 2 is one of the most boring overlong, and pointless games i have ever played in my life. Nothing really makes sense in it, it doesn’t hang together at all and you are really left with a sense of boredom throughout. i played it once and never wanted to go back to it ever.

      Halo, except for a few levels here and there was a fun little shooter, with a decentish story. I would play it again, the co-op is really great and the multiplayer is quite fun.

      Kill me in flames if you want.

    • fuggles says:

      That’s alright Xercies, I thought Halo 1 was terrible – the same enemies in the same corridor using the same tactics until the last level where you drive in a straight line. I see how it would have blown the minds of the relatively infant Xbox fps market but as a PC release it was well behind the curve.

      HL2 on the other hand, easily one of the best FPS ever, even if we seem unlikely to get part 3 ever. Different strokes and all that.

    • Rich says:

      Oh man, I’d forgotten about the last level of Halo. God I hate time-attack missions.
      Oh and it had jumps you had to make first time too, in a car that drives like a bar of soap.

  19. Alexander Norris says:

    The fools; don’t they know PC gaming is dead?! They’ll never make a cent with all those pirates stealing money and the evil second-hand market!

  20. bleeters says:

    Frog blast the vent core.

  21. Vodka & Cookies says:

    Depends on how much the gaming press are influenced by the hype.

    Halo was a generational thing for certain demographics, the name Bungie didn’t mean anything to these consumers so it remains to be seen if lightning will strike twice as Bungie have not had a single non-Halo mega hit title.

    If the gaming press go mental with hype and sell their souls to Activision again like with Call of Duty then it stands a fair chance but if they dont then Bungie’s success is by no means guaranteed.

    http://arstechnica.com/gaming/news/2010/11/call-of-duty-black-ops-review-event-press-gifts-detailed.ars

  22. Gary W says:

    Unfairly, there’s an alternative universe out there in which Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth realized all its ambitions, and Halo was a modest hit with no further sequels.

  23. W Main says:

    World of Halocraft of World of Starcraft. Calling it now.

  24. Bhazor says:

    Myth 4 now please.

  25. ReV_VAdAUL says:

    Say what you like about Michael Pachter but he seems to very much understand (and be a part of) the greed lead side of gaming and he has predicted Bungie’s Activision game will be used as their attempt to get people to pay subscription fees for multiplayer FPS.

    Given how much Acti-Blizz make from WoW it makes sense they’d want to bring the subscription pilot to PC.

  26. Unaco says:

    I remember seeing Halo previewed back when it was PC (and Mac) only, in the late ’90s it would have been… I was blown away and, having dabbled in a little Marathon, was eagerly anticipating it. Then it went all X-Boxy, and I became somewhat disheartened.

    But, say what you will about Halo, and console shooters and what they’ve done, it was still a phenomenally good game… just not the game I had been expecting.

    • Unaco says:

      Man, I always press reply before I finish my comments.

      Anyway… If Bungie are looking to create a new project, and they do have the ambition and aspirations of the early Halo talk, I hope it’s a PC only, and the ambitions are seen through.

    • Rich says:

      I don’t mind if a game goes out on the consoles too, as long as the PC version isn’t significantly compromised as a result. Bioshock 2 and the CoD series, post CoD4, are examples where these compromises are obvious and unacceptable. Fallout 3 seemed to be largely unharmed. Even SupCom 2 came out on the xbox 360.

    • Barnaby says:

      There are inherent problems that can almost always be seen when a FPS game is created for people using controllers. It is hard to control a character in an FPS game with a controller without mechanisms that weaken the scheme on PC such as the auto tracking in Halo, for the most part. I didn’t find Halo on PC very appealing at all when I have a huge shooting reticule yet all the control and precision that a mouse/keyboard gives.

      Not saying devs can’t do it right as I have few complaints about Bioshock’s control scheme, just making the point that the issue of player control is one of the biggest problems presented by console games being ported to PC (along with lack of options such as audio).

    • mcnubbins says:

      I have to say you are right about the consoles to PC porting screwing up the controls in some cases, Halo: CE being one of them. Compared to how amazingly well it controls with the ugly Xbox pad, it feels just…wrong on PC… floaty and not smooth enough at all with a mouse.

  27. Hybrid says:

    The link to the slide 404’s. But yeah, it’d be interesting to see what Bungie can bring to PC.

  28. fuggles says:

    Man, I would super love a sequel to Oni – that game is so slick with a really great control system that nothing else has used. Oh yeah, and levels that Kieron described so well, as “epically minimalist”.

  29. David says:

    Man, I would LOVE a Myth 4. One of the best strategy games of all time, with an amazing story (besides the obvious LOTR parallels). Any game that plays like Myth 1 or 2 (not Myth 3, it was an unfortunate victim of “early 2000’s 3D” and was very sluggish. And voice acting, nurgh) and I will sell my body to get it.

    Unfortunately, they don’t own the rights to Myth at the moment, so it’s either Oni or Marathon. Or something new, obviously. I’d prefer something new, if they can’t make a new Myth.

    • Eclipse says:

      I’d love a new Myth too, but Marathon 3 wouldn’t be so bad, it’s basically the father of Halo.
      Anyway If it’s something new, I think it will be another Sci-fi FPS anyway