Apparently, last week’s rumors were true and the Bungie team was convinced that the Microsoft management was holding the developer back. The announcement posted of Bunige’s site reads:

Bungie has long been built on creativity, originality and the freedom to pursue ideas. Microsoft agreed, and rather than stifle our imagination, they decided it was in both our best interests to unleash it. We’ll continue to make Xbox 360 games, and we’ll continue to make amazing games for MGS. In that regard, nothing has changed. All that has changed is that now Bungie Studios is once again, the property of the folks of Bungie Studios.”

Jason Jones, Bungie founder and partner, added:

Working with Microsoft was great for us, it allowed us to grow as a team and make the ambitious, blockbuster games we all wanted to work on. And they will continue to be a great partner. But Bungie is like a shark. We have to keep moving to survive. We have to continually test ourselves, or we might as well be dolphins. Or manatees.”

The new deal leaves Microsoft holding only a minority equity interest and a promise that the two parties will expand their partnership to include new IP created and owned by Bungie.

All in all, this departure is definitely a dose of bad public image for Microsoft. After all, it’s not every day that you, a corporate behemoth, manage to lose the developer of your most successful franchise to date.