For those of you not familiar with the videogame industry: the blockbuster series Halo for Xbox and Xbox 360 is developed by Bungie, a company Microsoft acquired in 2000 to make Halo: Combat Evolved a launch title for the original Xbox. In 2007, Bungie became a privately held company; then earlier this year Bungie announced a 10-year publishing deal with industry giant Activision Blizzard.
According to a report published by Develop, Steve Jobs was literally “furious” when Microsoft announced they had acquired Bungie in 2000, and called Steve Ballmer as soon as he learned about the deal.
Ed Fries, the former vice president of game publishing at Microsoft, and the man central to Microsoft’s acquisition of Rare and Bungie, told Develop he had to personally broker a deal with Apple back in 2000 to appease the indomitable Macintosh boss.
“As soon as we announced we bought Bungie, Steve Jobs called,” Fries said.
He was mad at [Microsoft CEO Steve] Ballmer and phoned him up and was angry because we’d just bought the premier Mac game developer and made them an Xbox developer.
“So, during the day, I got an email from Steve Ballmer asking me to phone Steve Jobs and calm him down about the whole thing,” he said.
So apparently Bungie was developing Halo for Mac and PC but Microsoft snatched up the company before Apple could do anything. The Halo franchise has grossed almost $2 billion to date.