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E308: Microsoft's Phil Spencer on Bungie's E3 teaser, absence

A few hours prior to the madness that has become of the Bungie Announcement cancellation, Joystiq had a chance to speak to newly appointed general manager of Microsoft Game Studios Phil Spencer. The bad news, writes Joystiq, is no one was aware of the impending "changed" announcement agenda at the time but the good news is Joystiq was wise enough to ask why Bungie was left out of the press conference and about Microsoft's publishing partnership with the famed developer.

Spencer: "Our relationship with Bungie was always about a triple-A creative studio building content for our platform, and our working relationship brought about Halo 1, Halo 2, Halo 3 – which I think are great games. If that's the core of the relationship, creative people building content for our platforms, I don't think the relationship has changed. We have a relationship with a very talented studio who wants to create games for Xbox.

When Joystiq inquired about Bungie's teaser site and possible E3-timed reveal Spencer had some interesting comments on the matter. Jump in for more.

Joystiq: Speaking of Bungie, there wasn't any mention of Halo games or Halo projects during the presentation yesterday and there wasn't any mention of Bungie or Bungie working on any other projects. Bungie has been teasing something on their website for the last couple weeks, and it seems like they're ready to announce it but they're doing it independently of Microsoft. Is that indicative of any kind of change in that relationship – that they wouldn't have that game announced at the E3 conference?

Spencer: We focused the E3 event on games that are coming this holiday, from a first-party perspective. If you look at the games we talked about in the briefing, the games that you will see – Banjo, Viva Pinata, Fable 2, Gears of War 2, Lips, Scene It – these are all games that you're going to see this fall. That was the decision we made – we did the same thing last year, if you'll remember – to try and really introduce people to the games as they come towards completion, we'll show them what we have and what is coming. The relationship to Bungie and the projects that we're working on together – we don't have anything to announce today – but it's in our plans.

We can't say for sure if Spencer means whatever Bungie is working on wouldn't be available this year, but it at least explains the absence. Microsoft, being the publishing partner of Bungie properties, as stated in a quote from Luke Smith, would have the say on any reveal or announcements. It's possible Microsoft decided Bungie didn't need to reveal its "Ace" just yet.

Joystiq will have the entire interview with Spencer soon.

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