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Big brains equals huge game

Ten key members of the Bungie West team (click for names).


Bungie TV - Bungie West Studio Tour - 2000

The tour was highlighted on bTV.

Bungie West frontage

The front of the San Jose office building; taken by Harry Al-Shakarchi when he interviewed the staff.

Bungie West refers to the West Coast studio that Bungie operated in San Jose, California from 1997 to 2001. Its first and last released game was Oni, which it developed for Windows and Mac, and which Rockstar ported to the PS2.

Bungie West was founded as a satellite studio staffed only with developers, and so they were mostly self-sufficient when it came to the actual development work. The music, promo art, and general business functions were handled by the main Bungie staff in Chicago. You can see a tour of Bungie West back in its short-lived glory days in this tour video[1] (180MB) from 2000, guided by Dave Dunn, one of Oni's level architects.

The lesser-known Bungie West[]

Though the common understanding is that Bungie West started operations in 1997, the first mention of Bungie West goes back to March of 1996, in a Usenet post by Eric Klein, Jr. Klein had been hired away from Apple Computer by Bungie to run the new Bungie Publishing label, which licensed Bungie technology to other companies, and published other developers' games, such as "Weekend Warrior" and "Abuse".

Reluctant to move to Chicago, Klein supposedly convinced Bungie to open an office on the West Coast. His Usenet post's signature gave the location "Bungie Software Products, West Coast Office, 1048 Bubb Road, Suite B, Cupertino, CA 95014", although there is no evidence that anyone else worked with him at this location; today, the address appears to be a residential neighborhood 10 minutes from Apple, which is also located in Cupertino. (Klein would leave Bungie in 1998.)

Bungie West Cupertino

1048 Bubb Rd, Cupertino, CA 95014 was the first address ever given for Bungie West.

The real Bungie West[]

Bungie West San Jose

1150 S Bascom Ave, San Jose, CA 95128 was the location of Bungie West's studio.

On April 22, 1997, Bungie filed as a business entity in California and began hiring new employees; at this time, the address for mailing résumés was "Bungie Software, 1150 S. Bascom Ave., Suite 27, San Jose, CA 95128". Thus it appears that the "real" Bungie West did in fact start in 1997, and only ever operated in San Jose. Since its first employees, Brent Pease and Michael Evans, were hired away from Apple like Klein was, it's not surprising to note that Bungie West's San Jose location is only several miles east of Cupertino.

Though the street address is definitively listed as being in San Jose, a neighboring suburban town called Campbell almost encompasses the location of Bungie West's former office, as seen in the map to the right. One developer stated privately that Bungie West was actually in Campbell, and that this was the basis of the name of Konoko's weapon, the Campbell Equalizer, but there are other possibilities.[2]

Closing and relocation[]

On June 19, 2000, it was announced that Bungie had been sold to Microsoft. As the majority of the work on Oni for Windows and Mac came to a close in the fall of 2000, some Bungie West personnel began moving to Bungie's new location in Microsoft's office complex in Redmond, Washington, while some employees went to other studios, or formed their own. In 2007, Bungie separated from Microsoft and moved to Kirkland, just west of Redmond. Then in 2010 they moved to a larger space in Bellevue, just south of Kirkland. Very few of the men and women behind Oni still work there; the list of their names is found in the Oni article.[3]


  1. Video - Bungie West Tour by Dave Dunn
  2. Easter Eggs - Developers Names: A texture for the Mercury Bow contains the name of Chris Hughes, one of the texture artists. His name is also presented in the Hughes Death Adder SMG, the standard weapon for Syndicate Strikers. Konoko's own standard weapon is the Campbell Equalizer Mk4, and the name "Campbell" can be found in a few places connected to Bungie: the Campbell family members mentioned in the credits, the city of Campbell, CA (arguably the true location of Bungie West, not San Jose), and Steve Campbell, founder of Bungie.org and Oni Central.
  3. OniGalore - Oni