Bungie History
Billion Dollar Donut

Halo 3

Included with a title called Crackdown at our benevolent dictator’s request, the Halo 3 Multiplayer Beta provided us with the opportunity to collect valuable feedback (and you, the gamer, a chance to whet your appetite for the next iteration) about the trajectory of Halo 3’s multiplayer game as development time waned and ship dates loomed on the horizon.

A clock counting down to “Content Complete” (the quotes are undeniably appropriate, here) kept watch over the 434 building’s vanguard, until a suspicious and still-unsolved incident with only days “left” before “content complete” shattered the clock’s face, ensuring that this truly was its final countdown. Had Studio Manager Harold Ryan shattered the clock over his knee? Was the clock used in a hacky sack midnight battle? Or was something more nefarious at play? We’ll never know or tell.


In memoriam of Halo 3’s crunch, a crudely drawn picture of an airplane, flying perilously low thanks to the weight of shipping the successor to Halo 3, showed up on a white board in the middle of the office. Throughout the two and a half-year long development cycle for Halo 3, various features, levels and ideas had been drawn - all being ejected from the spiraling Halo 3 plane. Harold’s pneumonia –addled lungs, Tag Builds and Personal Hygiene boxes plummeted earthward from the badly illustrated plane, to land in a graveyard of hopes and dreams.

The final build was certified and released to manufacturing (which is fancy talk for going gold [which is weirdo talk for ‘the game is complete’]).

 On September 25, 2007, Halo 3 launched. The fanfare was loud and the reception was hot. Folks seemed genuinely enthused as they lined up around the country to participate in Midnight Madness, with the East Coast receiving their copies, running home and getting online. Meanwhile, on the West Coast, throngs of folks lined up at the local Best Buy in Bellevue, WA.

After a swanky, mirthful celebration at Bungie’s Kirkland outpost, the fellas headed over to Best Buy in Bellevue to meet with fans, sign autographs and get to meet the hardest of our hardcore community. 

Halo 3’s seismic launch (fastest selling game ever, beater of random unrelated box-office records) was a mere squall compared to the tsunami about to make landfall...