Steve Jobs Raged Over Bungie Acquisition

Logan Westbrook

Transform, Roll Out, Etc
Feb 21, 2008
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Steve Jobs Raged Over Bungie Acquisition

Microsoft's acquisition of Bungie upset Steve Jobs so much that it took the creation of a whole new company to calm him down.

You might not know this, but before Bungie became one of the Xbox's most important studios, it had a long history of developing games for the Mac, and when Microsoft swooped in and bought the studio in 2001, Apple CEO Steve Jobs supposedly threw what could best be described as a "hissy fit" at Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer.

Halo, the game that sold millions of Xboxes, was originally intended to be for the Mac and PC, and was actually first announced to the public at the 1999 MacWorld conference. Microsoft's former VP of game publishing Ed Fries said that as soon as word of Microsoft's acquisition of Bungie got out, Steve Jobs called his Microsoft counterpart, enraged that the "premier Mac game developer" was now Xbox only. Microsoft and Apple were obviously rivals, but Microsoft also sold versions of its software for the Mac, making a good working relationship with Apple pretty important.

Fries said that he received an email from Steve Ballmer, telling him to get in contact with Jobs and calm him down. Eventually, Microsoft and Apple came to arrangement over porting some PC games to the Mac, and helping Peter Tamte - now of Atomic Games, the studio behind Breach and Six Days in Fallejah - set up a company to do the actual conversion. "I had to go to a Mac developer conference," he said. "And get on stage and talk about this whole new partnership. It was a pretty strange time."

Halo: Combat Evolved was eventually ported to the Mac by Macsoft in 2003.


Source: Develop [http://www.develop-online.net/news/36173/Steve-Jobs-raged-at-Microsoft-over-game-studio-sale]






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Delusibeta

Reachin' out...
Mar 7, 2010
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The PC version was ported by Gearbox, the Mac version was ported by Macsoft. Who got the better version?
 

mikecoulter

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Dec 27, 2008
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To be honest, he was right to be annoyed, but if he cared that much, why didn't he buy them?
 

Torrasque

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Aug 6, 2010
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Considering that Xbox steps between Sony and Nintendo in the age-old console war, and can become a major competitor in a couple years, I'd rage pretty hard too.
 

randomsix

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Apr 20, 2009
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Is it wrong that I know exactly where that picture is from and that they're fighting in the wrong direction?

OT: I wonder if the company was made exclusively with that one conversion in mind, or if it was in anticipation of many such jobs. If anyone has additional information...
 

binvjoh

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Sep 27, 2010
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The Cheezy One said:
Anyone that rich is not allowed to be angry. Not allowed.
Anger is a natural emotion, it's not something you can "allow" someone.

OT: I wonder what mac-gaming had looked like today if they had gotten Halo.
 

Loonerinoes

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Apr 9, 2009
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Steve Ballmer telling others to calm down.

I have a very hard time imagining that for soooome reason pfeheh.

But yeah...first come...first serve. Shoulda gave them the offer himself first I guess.
 

Popido

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Oct 21, 2010
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If it was first ment for Macs, can I still use the PCElitism card on this one?
 

Therumancer

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Nov 28, 2007
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I have a hard time believing this because it always seemed to me that Steve Jobs never cared much about video games. He pretty much saw Apple as being for "everything but games" and any that happened to show up were incidental.

Now apparently his attitude is changing somewhat, back back when the whole "Halo" thing was going on I have a hard time believing that he himself really cared all that much or considered his system to have a "premiere game developer".

It always seemed to me that the lack of decent games and game development on the Mac compared to the PC was largely because Mr. Jobs didn't care about games, and the platform just wasn't friendly.
 

Vohn_exel

Residential Idiot
Oct 24, 2008
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Macsoft? They should've just named the company Macrosoft. I mean, if it was Microsoft for the Mac, that'd just write itself.
 

The Cheezy One

Christian. Take that from me.
Dec 13, 2008
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binvjoh said:
The Cheezy One said:
Anyone that rich is not allowed to be angry. Not allowed.
Anger is a natural emotion, it's not something you can "allow" someone.

OT: I wonder what mac-gaming had looked like today if they had gotten Halo.
Tough. When you can buy anything you like, your problems are petty compared to those of poor people.
 

binvjoh

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Sep 27, 2010
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The Cheezy One said:
binvjoh said:
The Cheezy One said:
Anyone that rich is not allowed to be angry. Not allowed.
Anger is a natural emotion, it's not something you can "allow" someone.

OT: I wonder what mac-gaming had looked like today if they had gotten Halo.
Tough. When you can buy anything you like, your problems are petty compared to those of poor people.
The grass is always greener somewhere else. It's human to strive for the better, even if you're rich, and if you are denied this anger comes naturally.

Essentially what I'm saying is wealth dosen't necessarily equal happiness.
 

chenry

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Oct 31, 2007
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mikecoulter said:
To be honest, he was right to be annoyed, but if he cared that much, why didn't he buy them?
This was the late-90s. Apple wasn't the cash-flush juggernaut that they are now. Apple couldn't have bought Bungie even if he wanted it.

Vohn_exel said:
Macsoft? They should've just named the company Macrosoft. I mean, if it was Microsoft for the Mac, that'd just write itself.
MacSoft was not affiliated with Microsoft in any way. And considering MS tried to so MikeRowSoft just for sounding similar...
 

DTWolfwood

Better than Vash!
Oct 20, 2009
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Isn't this the kind of hissy fit that we all want? a really rich man gets angry cause one of his studios got bought out, and instead of suing and crap, he makes another studio to take his place? say making more jobs? Good Job there Steve Jobs XD
 

Anton P. Nym

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Sep 18, 2007
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Delusibeta said:
The PC version was ported by Gearbox, the Mac version was ported by Macsoft. Who got the better version?
Arguably the PC version... both Gearbox and Macsoft had permission from Bungie to port the game and the multiplayer map-design tools, but if I recall correctly only Gearbox was able to follow through and release the tools as a "Custom Edition" (a free aftermarket download, sharing the same product key as the game disc). I tried my hand, and discovered I just didn't have the chops to use them (let alone 3DS Max) well enough to put out a map worth playing.

-- Steve
 

cobrausn

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Dec 10, 2008
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The Cheezy One said:
binvjoh said:
The Cheezy One said:
Anyone that rich is not allowed to be angry. Not allowed.
Anger is a natural emotion, it's not something you can "allow" someone.

OT: I wonder what mac-gaming had looked like today if they had gotten Halo.
Tough. When you can buy anything you like, your problems are petty compared to those of poor people.
Give me a break. Last I checked, a poor person screwing up one day couldn't bring down a multimillion dollar empire, leaving thousands without Jobs (heh, get it? Jobs?). I could imagine being rich would be incredibly stressful, at least so long as you still in the business.

Rich and retired? No arguments.