The news was brought up by Jacob Metcalf at 8bitjoystick.com, who the following email:
"So heres my big secret. You should google Bungie + Microsoft + separation this week. […] as today Bungie no longer part of Microsoft. Ask anyone who works there to search the global address book, they’re no longer in there. Microsoft was supposed to release the press release today but if they wait till the 10/6 the impact wont effect the quarterly results."
"Apparently MS just wants Bungie to make Halo for the rest of their natural days, and Bungie doesn’t like how MS is constantly trying to "handle" everything they do."
The message also states that Bungie will most likely develop Halo 4 for Microsoft, which gets to keep the rights for the franchise. Still, the collaboration between the two companies will most-likely end there.
At present time Microsoft’s PR team denies the rumor.
While this bit of news is indeed shocking, is doesn’t actually have to be true. First of all, Microsoft owns Bungie so it’s hard to believe that the software giant would just let its golden goose developer walk right out the door. Second, it’s also hard to believe that Bungie would just give up on a franchise that made the company famous.
Third, a source known as a "friend who has someone close that works at Bungie" id definitely not the most reliable one, given the current conditions. The source mentions in his/her email that the NDA has expired, so people are now supposed to be free to talk about it. And yet, everyone’s still silent.
With no additional details to shed some light on the case, we think there are two possible scenarios. It may be just a bogus rumor spread by an angry Microsoft or Bungie employee or there might be some negotiations going on between Microsoft’s management and Bungie, with the latter seeking to to strong-arm the Redmond company for some unknown purpose.