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The person featured in this article is a Co-Founder of Bungie Studios.


This person is a former Bungie Employee
Alex

Alex Seropian


Alex Seropian is the initial founder of Bungie and former president and CEO of the company.

Bungie Career[]

The Founding of Bungie[]

In 1990, Seropian self-published a Pong clone called GNOP! (Pong spelled backwards) for the Macintosh. The game was released for free, but Seropian sold the source code for $15[1]. In May 1991, Seropian officially founded Bungie Software Products Corporation to publish his next game, Operation: Desert Storm, which he packaged himself with financial assistance from family and friends[1].

At the University of Chicago, Seropian met Jason Jones in an artificial intelligence class[1], joining forces to publish Jones' game, Minotaur: The Labyrinths of Crete. Seropian handled the design and publicity of the game while Jones finished the coding, with help from Jones' friend, Colin Brent, designing graphics.[2] When the game was complete, they assembled Minotaur boxes by hand in Seropian's apartment.[1]

Due to Minotaur's success, the duo wanted to release a sequel in 3D. Discovering that Minotaur's top-down perspective didn't translate well, they developed a new storyline for the first-person shooter genre that became Pathways Into Darkness, which was released in 1993. Winning awards including Inside Mac Games' "Adventure Game of the Year" and Macworld's "Best Role-Playing Game,"[3] Pathways was Bungie's first commercial success, resulting in the company moving from a one-bedroom apartment to an office studio and hiring Bungie's first full-time employee, Doug Zartman in May 1994.[4]

Under Seropian's leadership, Bungie developed a new FPS game series set in the future called Marathon[5] between 1994-1996, ported games for other studios (Abuse and Weekend Warrior) in 1997, and developed a real-time tactical series called Myth between 1997-1998.

Leading Bungie into the 2000s with Microsoft[]

The success of Myth enabled Bungie to change Chicago offices and establish a satellite studio in San Jose, California, called Bungie West. At E3 on May 23, 1998, Bungie announced two new games in development: Myth II: Soulblighter (Bungie East) and Oni (Bungie West). On November 30, 1998, Myth II: Soulblighter was released. However, due to a bug that caused the game to wipe all of the contents of the directory it was installed on instead of just the game, Bungie recalled the 200,000 copies and replaced the defective CDs with new ones, costing the company $800,000.[4]

As a result, in 1999, Peter Tamte, a former Apple employee who became Bungie's then-executive vice president, was brought in to generate cash.[6] Bungie re-released some back-catalog products in collections (such as the Bungie Action Sack), while Take-Two Interactive took a 19.9% equity stake in Bungie and secured exclusive North American distribution rights to four Bungie titles, including Halo, Oni, and two undisclosed projects. In addition, Take-Two's Rockstar Games obtained rights to publish video game versions of these games.[7]

Due to continued financial difficulties as a result of Myth II's launch, Tampte contacted Ed Fries, head of Microsoft Game Studios, about a possible acquisition. Fries only had two years to put together Xbox's launch portfolio, so he contacted Take-Two and negotiated an agreement with them to gain the rights to the Myth series and Oni, while Microsoft acquired Bungie, the rights to Halo, and Bungie's other games.[6] With the consent of Seropian, Jones, and the entire company, on June 19, 2000, Microsoft announced its acquisition of Bungie,[7] with Halo becoming a launch title for the Xbox.

The company moved to Microsoft's Millennium Campus in Redmond, Washington, and, over the next year, they overhauled the entire game. The game changed from third-person to first-person, the story was rewritten, graphics were updated and changed, and the game had to feel good using Xbox's gamepad controller.

Seropian was told to incorporate new features to the game to take advantage of the Xbox, such as surround sound and cinematics. As a result, many features were cut from the game to make the release date, such as open-world maps, a lengthy campaign, and online multiplayer.

Seropian has said that the last 10% of developing the game felt like "impending doom of the 'tijuana mama game,'[8] meaning that it finished up incredibly hot before release date.[6]

On November 15, 2001, Halo: Combat Evolved was released worldwide. Reviewers praised the game, calling it "the most important launch game for any console, ever,"[9] and "it's easily one of the best shooters ever, on any platform."[10] The game received numerous Game of the Year rewards, including those of the Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences, Electronic Gaming Monthly, Edge, and IGN.

Leaving Bungie[]

Seropian left the company at the end of 2002 after realizing that he wanted something new and that Bungie would be working on Halo 2 for a long time,[6] so he moved back to Chicago with his wife to start a family.[11][12] He formed a new studio in 2003, Wideload Games, using a modified version of Halo's engine to create a new game, Stubbs the Zombie. The company was acquired by Disney in 2009 and Seropian joined Disney to head its in-house game development team, Disney Interactive Studios.[13]

In 2012, Seropian founded a new studio, Industrial Toys, which was acquired by Electronic Arts in 2018[14] and shut down in January 2023.[15] In July 2023, Seropian and other industry veterans founded a new studio, Look North World.[16]

Game Credits[]

Developed

Advisor

  • Devil's Tuning Fork (2009)
  • Octodad (2010)

Special Thanks

  • The Maw (2009)
  • 'Splosion Man (2009)
  • JellyCar 2 (2009)
  • Tron (2010)
  • Disney Guilty Party (2010)
  • Alice in Wonderland: An Adventure Beyond the Mirror (2010)
  • Tron: Legacy (2010)

References[]

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