Beyond Halo, Marathon, Myth, Oni, What's Next For Bungie

As Bungie works to finish up what they say will be the best Halo game ever produced they're also hard at work at something else, their first non-Halo game in more than ten years.

"For all intents and purposes this will be Bungie's final Halo game," said Brian Jarrard, Bungie's community director. "I don't think we should never say never, but I can definitively say that the game that comes out after Halo from Bungie will be a brand new universe, a brand new experience. Something totally original from Bungie."

Looking at Bungie's history, there's a good chance whatever the team is working on will have legs and won't be a one-off title.

After making a few small titles, Bungie exploded onto the Apple gaming scene with first-person shooter and Halo precursor Marathon in 1994.

Riding on the successes of the Marathon trilogy, Bungie delved into real-time strategy with Myth: The Fallen Lords and Myth II: Soulblighter. The third in the series came from Take 2 Interactive, after Bungie was purchased by Microsoft.

In 1999, Bungie West started work action third-person shooter Oni, which was finished up by Rockstar Toronto, for 2001.

I pointed out to the Jarrard and Marcus Lehto, Bungie's creative director, that the studio, now free of Microsoft, still owns the rights to Marathon. Could Bungie be returning to Marathon for their next big game, I asked.

"Could it come back? Yeah sure, anything is possible, Bungie owns the IP," Jarrard said. "Would the team want to go back to Marathon as opposed to trying something brand new, coming off of a decade of one franchise, many years with Myth before that, many years with Marathon before that? I don't want to speak for the elders, but I have to imagine there is a strong desire to try something new."

While possible, it doesn't sound likely. Instead the team sound like they want to create something entirely new, a frightening proposition for a group who has often lived so long off of the byproducts of a new gaming universe.

"It is very scary," Lehto said. "There is no doubt about it, our goal is to hit our next title out of the park just like we did with Halo.

"With Halo it was a 10-year investment for us. We spent a lot of timing building this franchise up from what we created in 1997. We had no idea it would be as big as it turned out to be. Our greatest hope is that the next effort we put out there will be just as big."

As for Marathon's future?

It's not a game that Bungie has forgotten about, Lehto says.

"That's the reason I got into Bungie," he said.

After showing Jarrard and Lehto Gameloft's very Halo-esque N.O.V.A. on my iPhone, I ask about bringing Marathon to iTunes.

"That," Lehto says with a smile, "would be an awesome app."

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Comments

    Myth was such an awesome online game. You just don't get strategy like that anymore :(

    Look at my user name. ;)

    The Marathon games were pure gold for their day and a lot more entertaining (and challenging in parts) than their mainstream counterparts. Even playing it now after all these years the original is still a very hard game to beat, especially without a jump button. :P

    Oh god, i could only imagine how awesome a remake of the marathon trilogy could be

    I would buy an Oni sequel in a flash.

      Me too. Even better, they could start by outsourcing a remake of the original to bring it to a new audience with cel-shaded visuals while they work on a true sequel.

        I know, there is no other game that was the perfect mix of third person fighting and shooting with a cool anime-esque storyline. I would love to see a sequel or even just a remake.

    Argh... IF they ever went back to Halo they would start new and be different. No thanks, lol.

    Why leave Halo 3 open to such a cliffhanger to IF you return to it, you just start something new in a different universe. I really don't want MS touching Halo - but we all know they are going to.

    They just put their trust in Bungie to create a new IP. I know they don't own them anymore, but they can still publish their games and gain exclusive rights. I LOVE HALO - but it had/has an excellent run, one that no other franchise has really accomplished in 10 years. Well some have, but Halo is pretty massive.

    The only thing i can tell myself - is if Bungie return to Halo, the new universe will more likely be the new planet MC and Cortana discover.

    I believe Bungie have the fans rather than Halo. Sounds stupid - but imagine how many people are gonna be watching but also not sure on a non-Bungie Halo game. I really hope MS and Bungie work something out to ditch Halo for a while and concentrate on new IP.

    Just leave halo alone for crying out loud, the game has been used enough as it is, just let it die already.

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