Looks like the rumors are true- Bungie and Microsoft are announcing a new relationship that apparently will give the game studio more creative control to the studio. To be honest the relationship always seemed like an odd match culturally. I’ve worked with Bungie in the past, and it was always clear they’ve maintained their independence through sites such as Bungie.net. I’ve always respected their attitude.
If nothing else, this should ensure Bungie retains their uniqueness and enable them to continue to push the edge with new content while the Halo universe evolves simultaneously. The press will be quick to ask if this is a separation or divorce with shared custody of the children. Only time will tell.
Oh, and first-week sales for Halo 3 hit $300 million.
Update: Mary Jo Foley has a good assessment here.