Sound and Fury or, The Day Nothing Happened

The robot and the monster are mad at each other, presumably because they’ve realized their genitals are incompatible.If you’re into gaming news (and I am, in a big way), you’ve probably heard a lot of talk about the recent decision by Bungie to separate from its parent company Microsoft. Bungie, for those with lives, are the makers of Halo, the third installment of which might as well have been subtitled “you guys, please buy some Xbox 360’s already. Seriously, they’re just sitting on the shelves over here. Bill Gates is crying.” Not that that strategy didn’t work, you consumer sheep. In fact, the first-day sales records set by Halo 3 are comparable to a major movie premiere, Harry Potter book release, or the change in Gates’ couch. Scratch that; he probably has some sort of laser couch that incinerates denominations less than thousand-dollar bills. But even Bill Gates’ purported laser couch couldn’t generate the kind of raving, uninformed buzz that subsumed gaming forums in the weeks leading up to Bungie’s departure. Everyone who’s ever touched a Commodore 64 had their rabid opinion, the majority being that the whole thing was a hoax. Most of the responses to the guy
who originally broke the story are along the lines of “you are a moron who deserves to have his life crushed out of him by an industrial press.” The fact that all of those people were wrong isn’t especially surprising, but the resultant wave of forums posts along the lines of “no, sir, it is you who should be mercilessly killed, for I was correct” is a textbook example of how the net cheapens our very lives. Which, you know, is always good for a laugh. So in the midst of all of this talk about nothing, what really happened? Bungie did leave Microsoft. Why? They’re not saying, although
some folks have got some seemingly informed theories about the whole thing. I naturally have my own ideas:
  • Bungie execs came to realize that despite Microsoft’s promises, Mountain Dew: Game Fuel still tastes like fucking Mountain Dew.
  • Bungie couldn’t resist the opportunity for getting thousands of knee-jerk journalists to include the phrase “Bungie Jumps” in their headlines.
  • They’re sick of making the same goddamned game over and over and over again so frat guys can pretend to shoot each other with rocket launchers.
  • It’s all to distract media from the fact that while working with Bungie on their newest project, Peter Jackson ate a level designer.
  • In the end, the most likely answer is that it was purely a business decision, and will allow Bungie some bargaining leverage when it comes time to split up profits form Halo 9. Even Bungie’s franchise director has said that in the foreseeable future, “day-to-day life won’t change much.” Translation: more Halo, more Microsoft soft drink tie-ins, and a hell of a lot more idiots using the internet to spout off about shit they know nothing about. God, I love the circus.

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