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Bungie-MS split rumours flame on

Internet explodes with rumours that Bungie is to split from Xbox daddy, while PR departments stay vague...

The internet exploded with fanboy chatter last night, as website 8bitJoystick claimed to have information pointing to a split between Microsoft Game Studios and Halo developer Bungie. Big hats of cynicism on now, please...

The site's source - who doesn't work at Bungie but "knows" someone who does - says that Microsoft has agreed to allow Bungie to become an independent studio, but MS will keep the rights to its cash cow Halo franchise. The source claims that the split stems from increased friction during the rush to release Halo 3.

The alleged scenario wouldn't be too dissimilar from Bizarre Creation's recent buyout - although they were never owned by MGS.

Usually this kind of dodgy speculation wouldn't get close enough to get laughed out the door, but an untypical response from Bungie and Microsoft's PR departments has us uncomfortably suspicious.

Microsoft's canned PR statement is "there's been no such announcement. We continue to celebrate the tremendous success of the global phenomenon that is Halo 3". Meanwhile Bungie's usually talkative community pair Frank O'Connor and Luke Smith have gone oddly silent on their usual forum hangouts... as if waiting for an official announcement.

We'll stay on the case, and let you know of any further developments. Rare swapping allegiances seemed crazy a few years ago, as well...

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