Microsoft Corp. announced it acquired Chicago-based Bungie Software Products Corp., a leading developer of action oriented computer and video games. As a result, Microsoft gains exclusive publishing and distribution rights to select Bungie-developed titles, including the highly anticipated HALO. Bungie's development staff will become an independent studio within the Microsoft Game Division. Microsoft expects the Bungie team to play a key role in the development of content for Microsofts X-Box console. In related news, Take-Two Interactive Software Inc., current distributor of Bungie-developed titles, announced it acquired all right, title and interest to select Bungie game properties, including the award-winning MYTH franchise and the upcoming action game ONI. Take-Two also has sold its 19.9% equity interest in Bungie to Microsoft. Ryan Brant, Chief Executive Officer of Take-Two, said, "This acquisition is a positive for all involved. We have a tremendous amount of respect for Bungie's talents and the contributions it has made to the games industry, and we look forward to working with Microsoft to make X-Box a success." Alexander Seropian, founder and CEO of Bungie Software Products, said, "Bungie's highly talented team consistently delivers award-winning games, and we're looking forward to supporting their creative spirit here at Microsoft. This is an opportunity to combine the strength of two outstanding software companies: Bungie's talent for creating great games and Microsoft's strength in distribution. Microsoft will provide us with the resources and infrastructure we need to continue to build great games and make them available on a worldwide scale. We are also looking forward to helping define the X-Box platform, which may soon be the world's premier game console." Bungie is being added to Microsofts other gaming acquisitions FASA Interactive Technologies Inc. and Access Software Inc., both of which have resulted in the upcoming PC games MECHWARRIOR 4: VENGEANCE, CRIMSON SKIES and LINKS LS 2001.