A screenshot from the forthcoming Halo: Reach / All rights reserved - Microsoft Game Studios

While Activision Blizzard look set to lose one set of award winning developers in the shape of Infinity Ward following recent troubles, they appear to be gaining another having signed an exclusive 10-year publishing deal with Bungie Studios.

Marking a significant departure for the studio and a coup for Activision, Bungie will part from Microsoft, with whom they have been synonymous since 1999 having developed the hugely successful Halo series of games. This could well signify that the impending Halo: Reach for Xbox 360 will be the last Halo game to grace Microsoft’s console – at least developed by Bungie.



Xbox fans need not fear however, as the deal does not mean Halo’s metallic hero Master Chief will be blazing a trail on to rival consoles such as the PlayStation 3 and Nintendo Wii any time soon. Instead, it is believed the deal signifies a whole new Bungie franchise to be released at some point across multiple platforms.



“We chose to partner with Activision on our next IP because of their global reach, multi-platform experience and marketing expertise,” said Harold Ryan, President of Bungie. “From working together over the past nine months on this agreement, it is clear that Activision supports our commitment to giving our fans the best possible gaming experiences.”



Exactly what this new intellectual property will be remains to be seen but, having published critically acclaimed titles such as Marathon, Myst and Halo, Bungie's new project is sure to be the subject of huge interest and hype.

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