Apple CEO Steve Jobs was furious over Microsoft's acquisition of Bungie, it was revealed today.
Ed Fries, former vice president of Microsoft's game publishing division, recalled to Develop's Rob Crossley
the moment he had to make deals with Jobs in 2000 after the Halo
creators were snapped up to work on Xbox development.
"As soon as we announced we bought Bungie, Steve Jobs called," Fries explained. "He was mad at [Microsoft CEO Steve] Ballmer and phoned him up and was angry because we’d just bought the premier Mac game developer and made them an Xbox developer."
Bungie, a professed Mac-loving developer, had been making games for the platform since 1991 including cult favourites Marathon and Oni. Shortly before Microsoft purchased the studio, it publicly announced work Halo - then a relatively unknown project. Jobs introduced the game at a press event to showcase the revival of gaming on the Macintosh. Hence, the anger.
"During the day, I got an email from Steve Ballmer asking me to phone Steve Jobs and calm him down about the whole thing,” Fries added. "We did this deal with Apple where we’d port some PC games to the Macintosh and help Peter Tamte create this company to do it, and I had to go to a Mac developer conference and get on stage and talk about this whole new partnership. It was a pretty strange time."
Fascinating stuff from the cut-throat world of business - could Halo
have truly revitalised the Mac platform had the deal not gone through? Would the game not have seen any kind of mainstream success were it not for Microsoft? A toughie. Let us know your thoughts in the forum below.