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    Wednesday, November 15, 2006

    Embracing communities to drive innovative development: Bungie Studios


    Today is officially "Halo day" as it marks the five-year anniversary of Halo and to commemorate this occasion, Microsoft just revealed a few tantalizing announcements for fans of the franchise. Halo was launched 5 years ago by Bungie Studios and has become one of the best-selling franchises in video game history. Not to mention it established Microsoft in the video game realm, and allowed the xbox to gain some market penetration. I myself have been an enormous fan of Bungie, playing Marathon in middle with my friend Ben in marketing class. Bungie has one of the greatest core communities on the web and has for years, through a robust online forum web page where players can ask questions directly to the creators and ask for specific implementation in games. Bungie has always obliged and even allowed consumers to help create map types, concepts, weapons, vehicles and more for upcoming games. If Bungie's success is anything to go by, embracing your community and allowing them to be part of the innovation demonstrates the power of utilizing critical mass. I think it also points to the evolution of a brand(the studio) into a "branded utility" of sorts as Piers has put quite a bit of thought behind on PSFK. While Bungie isn't necessarily a true branded utility, it has evolved the Halo franchise to multiple platforms (pcs, movies) while keep the community as a core driver in the process. The Bungie brand will always be about game playing, but Bungie doesn't have to just be a studio owned by microsoft. By including its core community, Bungie has effectively created a living brand that evolves as its consumers do. Just a few things Bungie has cookin.

    Halo 2 Maps
    Halo 2 came out nearly two years ago and grossed $125 million during the first 24 hours of its release! Sketch notes "several hundred thousand people [are] still playing Halo 2 on Xbox Live, it’s clear that there’s still high interest in our game, which is awesome. We’re eager to get this new content in your hands as we have folks who are putting a lot of hard work into making something really cool." Bungie has continued to support past projects many years down the line, creating an appreciative community that never feels forgotten.

    Halo 3 Public Beta
    Fans will have an opportunity to play Halo 3 multiplayer over Xbox Live BEFORE the final game is available. You’ll be playing a little multiplayer and simultaneously providing us with some valuable data to help our development team.

    Outside Projects/Halo Movie/Franchise
    Bungie currently has a Peter Jackson collaboration project that will result in some new adventures in the Halo Universe (this includes a Halo Movie!).


    Halo!

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