Steve Jobs Almost Bought Bungie

Yep, you read that correctly; Bungie, the creator of hit first person shooter series Halo, almost belonged to Apple, the producer of the Mac and various iDevices.

Ten years ago, back before the days of Halo, Bungie was in a bit of financial trouble and was looking for a larger company to take them under their wing. Bungie, whose biggest hit at the time was cult classic shooter Marathon for the Mac, naturally went to a familiar face for help.

Steve Jobs initially shot down the request, but according to former Bungie project lead Tuncer Deniz, Jobs quickly turned around and tried to accept the offer. Phil Schiller, senior VP of of worldwide product marketing, called up Bungie to seal the previously declined deal, only to be turned down by the now-famous developer. As we all know, Bungie had been purchased by Microsoft and was now on their way to developing one of the cornerstone games in FPS development.

Jobs was decidedly pissed, seeing as he had now lost his premier Mac game developer to the Xbox, and phoned up Microsoft to share his thoughts about the deal. “…I got an email from [Microsoft CEO] Steve Ballmer asking me to phone Steve Jobs and calm him down about the whole thing,” said former VP of game publishing for Microsoft Ed Fries, in an interview with Develop. While they may have been able to calm Jobs down, it’s still interesting to think that Halo could have been an Apple property. Could the series have remained a Mac title, and would the console series we’ve come to know and love been a mouse and keyboard shooter? It’s an interesting thought.

Bungie has since broken off from Microsoft, doing so shortly after the release of Halo 3, developed Halo: Reach as an independent developer, and has now joined up with Call of Duty publisher Activision.