One of gaming’s best startups, Bungie, turns 20

Bungie is one of the most successful game startups in history, although the company was obscure for the first 10 years of its existence, or half of its 20-year life. Today, the maker of the Halo series of games is marking its 20-year anniversary with the launch of an hour-long web documentary.

Entitled “O Brave New World,” the documentary includes footage from the company’s elusive co-founder, Jason Jones, as well as former Bungie chief Alex Seropian, and other key team members. The tale is worth watching as it shows what can happen with a couple of game developers who dream big and eventually generate a multibillion-dollar business.

Bungie scored big when it created Halo for the original Microsoft Xbox game console that debuted in 2001. The title combined great graphics, controller-based first-person action, pulse-pounding music and an engaging story with the memorable characters Master Chief and Cortana. It was so popular that it made the Xbox into a success and eventually sold more than 40 million units. The game series kept Bungie occupied for the better part of the last decade. Now Bungie is moving on to its new game series in a sci-fi universe in a publishing agreement with Activision Blizzard.

“This [documentary] is about what it means to build games at Bungie, in the past and the future,” Bungie community manager Eric Osborne told VentureBeat. “You’ll see how everything changed, from their hair styles onward. We talk to a lot of people about their successes and their trials.”

The story started out with two college-age boys who locked themselves in a basement with a Mac computer and emerged with a game called Gnop. They then moved on to Pathways, Myth, Marathon, Oni and finally Halo. This year, Microsoft’s 343 Industries has taken over the Halo franchise and plans to launch Halo Combat Evolved Anniversary, a remake of the original Halo in high-definition. And next year, it will launch Halo 4.

Here’s a link to the video on YouTube, or you can click on the O Brave New World link above.

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