Steve Jobs Raged Over Bungie Acquisition

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Steve Jobs Raged Over Bungie Acquisition

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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

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The PC version was ported by Gearbox, the Mac version was ported by Macsoft. Who got the better version?

But did he Ragequit?

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

Anyone that rich is not allowed to be angry. Not allowed.

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.

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...

The Cheezy One:
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.

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.

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

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.

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

binvjoh:

The Cheezy One:
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.

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

This. This is enough to explain the topic.

You know some low-ranking executives had shuriken sticking out of their necks before that day was over.

The Cheezy One:

binvjoh:

The Cheezy One:
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.

mikecoulter:
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:
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...

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

Delusibeta:
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

The Cheezy One:

binvjoh:

The Cheezy One:
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.

This is a little surprising, I mean, otherwise Apple seemed to always overlook computers potential for entertainment--it seemed that way until the iPod anyway. There never seemed to be any thought whatsoever on he Mac's potential as a game machine, except for maybe "Puzzle." Anyway I had switched over to Windows by the time this would have happened. Obviously this was a VERY good business decision from MS, and probably too little too late from Apple.

cobrausn:
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.

But do you think that steve jobs still does stuff in his company? Maybe he comes up with an idea, but by the time it goes through all the layers of management, its been declared infeasible and scrapped. He has people to run the business for him, he is just a figurehead like royalty or the president.

Did Ballmer tea-bag the corpse of Mac gaming?

MarcFirewing:

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

This. This is enough to explain the topic.

Well, would you be happy if a big company that owned the platform took over every good-looking game studio? I mean, Microsoft's the reason pretty much all of the Halo games have been so rushed.
What I want to know is what Bungie would have been like if it was independent of Microsoft.

The Cheezy One:

cobrausn:
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.

But do you think that steve jobs still does stuff in his company? Maybe he comes up with an idea, but by the time it goes through all the layers of management, its been declared infeasible and scrapped. He has people to run the business for him, he is just a figurehead like royalty or the president.

You'd be suprised how involved he is in the design of the products. He's mostly about aesthetics and the smooth operation of the product, but he really does define the Mac-iness of an Apple product.

It worked out. Microsoft got to make some games, and Mac gets to sell to hipsters who are used to paying for overpriced junk from all of their time spent in coffee shops.

The Cheezy One:

cobrausn:
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.

But do you think that steve jobs still does stuff in his company? Maybe he comes up with an idea, but by the time it goes through all the layers of management, its been declared infeasible and scrapped. He has people to run the business for him, he is just a figurehead like royalty or the president.

Yeah, but your earlier qualifier was just 'Rich', not 'Rich and just a Figurehead', which I lump in with 'Rich and Retired'. Also, back in the 90s, his company was not nearly as successful, and the decisions he was making then had huge impact.

I feel no need to bash the rich. I hope to one day be rich.

Also, president > figurehead. Figureheads can't use executive orders. Most of the time I wish the president couldn't either.

So 9 years ago Steve Jobs was upset about a competitor. Good thing we are on top of the new cycle. Maybe next we'll get an update on why the Titanic is late pulling into port?

At that time Apple wasn't really that big in the consumers mindset if you ask me. They started with their iPods and such and got big with the iPhones and their sleek and beautiful Macbooks. I don't think they could have paid for taking the joint over.

Well this explains why the first Halo was ok as it started out development as PC-native, then got worse and worse after it became console-native.

It's just more evidence to support the master-race's argument.

Mcface:
It worked out. Microsoft got to make some games, and Mac gets to sell to hipsters who are used to paying for overpriced junk from all of their time spent in coffee shops.

Yeah, you've really got me down pat. I'm such a hipster, and I pay $12 for a latte. Yeah, I'm going to go drive my iCar to the coffee shop right now and go hip the place up like crazy. I'll bring my Macbook and totally not run almost all PC games through Wine, and then I'll go rub my iPod all over my face for good measure.
Because that's TOTALLY what Mac users do.

Erana:

Mcface:
It worked out. Microsoft got to make some games, and Mac gets to sell to hipsters who are used to paying for overpriced junk from all of their time spent in coffee shops.

Yeah, you've really got me down pat. I'm such a hipster, and I pay $12 for a latte. Yeah, I'm going to go drive my iCar to the coffee shop right now and go hip the place up like crazy. I'll bring my Macbook and totally not run almost all PC games through Wine, and then I'll go rub my iPod all over my face for good measure.
Because that's TOTALLY what Mac users do.

Not really surprising.

Therumancer:
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.

Yeah, maybe it was after this but I could have sworn Apple announced it would no longer attend E3 before Bungie was acquired. Around the same time that they backed out of E3 they canceled some planned OS improvements dealing with 3D graphics that upset a lot of game developers that were still supporting Macs (as well as some CAD/CAM developers doing the same).

Apple has warmed to games since then but for a while that wasn't the impression they were giving.

I wish I was able to confirm all of these dates so I knew what order they happened in.

Steve Jobs having a hissy is news? Steve Jobs isn't capable of any other emotion.

Erana:

Mcface:
It worked out. Microsoft got to make some games, and Mac gets to sell to hipsters who are used to paying for overpriced junk from all of their time spent in coffee shops.

Yeah, you've really got me down pat. I'm such a hipster, and I pay $12 for a latte. Yeah, I'm going to go drive my iCar to the coffee shop right now and go hip the place up like crazy. I'll bring my Macbook and totally not run almost all PC games through Wine, and then I'll go rub my iPod all over my face for good measure.
Because that's TOTALLY what Mac users do.

That's what they do in California. You don't live in California.

cobrausn:
Yeah, but your earlier qualifier was just 'Rich', not 'Rich and just a Figurehead', which I lump in with 'Rich and Retired'. Also, back in the 90s, his company was not nearly as successful, and the decisions he was making then had huge impact.

I feel no need to bash the rich. I hope to one day be rich.

Also, president > figurehead. Figureheads can't use executive orders. Most of the time I wish the president couldn't either.

Ah, I automatically lump 'Rich' in with 'Rich businessmen', and my cynicism does the rest. Also, I got through my business studies course reading Dilbert comics, and while they are an exagerration, when you work in the industry, they hit quite close to home. Sometimes, when a CEO is used to his orders making/breaking a company, he doesn't understand when he has people to do his thinking for him. My dad says that his boss needs to understand when to let his underlings do the work, because he keeps trying to fix everything himself

I also hope to be rich. Well off at least. I want to be able to work really hard to give my family what they want. Like my dad.

Interesting to think how modern gaming would be different had that acquisition not happened. Think about it, Halo was the main reason xbox won that round of the console wars. Had it been released on PC/Mac it may have either given a second wind to the PC market and made Macs more game friendly, or vanished into relative obscurity.

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