Bungie is to become an independent company again, Microsoft confirmed today.
The platform holder said it will retain an equity interest in the Kirkland, Washington-based developer.
It will also continue to publish games based on the Microsoft-owned Halo IP and other future properties developed by Bungie.
Shane Kim, corporate vice president of Microsoft Game Studios, said the company was "supporting Bungie's desire to return to its independent roots".
However, he added, Microsoft "will continue to invest in our Halo entertainment property with Bungie and other partners, such as Peter Jackson, on a new interactive series set in the Halo universe".
"We look forward to great success with Bungie as our long-term relationship continues to evolve through Halo-related titles and new IP created by Bungie," he added.
Bungie studio head Harold Ryan described the move as "an exciting evolution" of the relationship with Microsoft.
"We will continue to develop with our primary focus on Microsoftâs platforms; we greatly value our mutually prosperous relationship with our publisher, Microsoft Game Studios, and we look forward to continuing that affiliation through Halo and beyond," he said.
Bungie's most recent game, Halo 3, achieved USD 300 million in sales in its first week, Microsoft said yesterday.