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Apple's Steve Jobs 'raged' at Steve Ballmer when Microsoft bought Halo

post #1 of 130
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When Microsoft acquired Bungie, creator of the "Halo" franchise, to develop the flagship game for its first Xbox gaming console, Apple Chief Executive Steve Jobs reportedly made an angry phone call to Microsoft's Steve Ballmer.

"Halo" was first introduced as a game for the Mac, but all that changed when Microsoft purchased the developer, Bungie, in 2000 to make the game a launch title for its then-unreleased Xbox gaming console. The first Xbox was released in 2001, and the premier launch title, "Halo: Combat Evolved," was celebrated as a landmark achievement.

Prior to Microsoft's acquisition of Bungie, "Halo" was planned as a Mac game, just as Bungie's previous titles "Marathon," "Myth" and "Oni" were released for the platform. And Microsoft's deal was apparently enough to prompt a phone call from Jobs to Ballmer, according to Ed Fries, former vice president of game publishing at Microsoft.

In an interview with Develop, Fries revealed that Jobs called almost immediately after the Microsoft-Bungie deal was announced. The report said that Jobs "raged at Microsoft" over the acquisition.

"[Jobs] was mad at Ballmer and phoned him up and was angry because we'd just bought the premier Mac game developer and made them an Xbox developer," Fries said. He added that Ballmer told him to contact Jobs and "calm him down."

Microsoft attempted to placate Jobs' alleged unhappiness by making a new deal that would bring some other game titles to the Mac. The original "Halo: Combat Evolved," even made its way to the Mac years after it debuted on the Xbox.

"We did this deal with Apple where we'd port some PC games to the Macintosh and help [former Bungie vice president] Peter Tamte create this company to do it, and I had to go to a Mac developer conference and get on stage and talk about this whole new partnership," Fries reportedly said. "It was a pretty strange time."

Bungie may yet again make games for the Mac, as the company broke free of Microsoft in a deal that allows the Redmond, Wash., software giant to retain the rights to the Halo franchise. Brian Jarrard, franchising director at Bungie, said in 2007 that Mac games could be in the company's future.

"Now that we're branching off and controlling our destiny, that puts us in a position where we could put ourselves back on the [Mac] platform definitively again," he said.
post #2 of 130
Yeah, I remember that day... was very sad. Two of the only games I played around that time were from Bungie... Myth and Myth 2.
Disclaimer: The things I say are merely my own personal opinion and may or may not be based on facts. At certain points in any discussion, sarcasm may ensue.
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Disclaimer: The things I say are merely my own personal opinion and may or may not be based on facts. At certain points in any discussion, sarcasm may ensue.
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post #3 of 130
Can't blame Bungie for selling out but if Jobs thought very highly of this company then he should've just bought them.
post #4 of 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by robertwildman View Post

good on you jobs. He should be allowed to do that make a good game then let a Microsoft take over. bungie you have fail so bad if you stayed on you will be making lots more money.

Oh couldn't agree more. As we all know, Halo struggled on the unsuccessful XBOX Platform. It could of been a major success on the Powerhouse Gaming Platform, the Mac!!

Thanks again for your well thought out and intelligent post!!!
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iMac 24" (Late 07), iMac 17" G5, Mac mini (Early 09), MacBook (Mid 07), iPad WiFi 32, iPhone 4, iBook G4 1.2, HP Compaq 610 Laptop, eMachine W5233, (1) Xserve G5 and (1) Xserve G5 Cluster node with...
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post #5 of 130
Quote:
Bungie may yet again make games for the Mac, as the company broke free of Microsoft in a deal that allows the Redmond, Wash., software giant to retain the rights to the Halo franchise. Brian Jarrard, franchising director at Bungie, said in 2007 that Mac games could be in the company's future.

Maybe Apple should buy Bungie now and stop developing for XBoX. Then we will see how Ballmer feels.
post #6 of 130
How many times will we hear about Steve's kurt and inappropriate comments? Is it not enough to be leading one of the highest valued companies? His narcissistic personality was old last century and I can only hope that his "handlers" would get a tighter rein on him. I love their products even though many of them have had to be replaced because of poor quality control. But I am committed to the system and going over to a PC would be counterproductive. So, how about a little more innovation and a little less conversation.
post #7 of 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wurm5150 View Post

Can't blame Bungie for selling out but if Jobs thought very highly of this company then he should've just bought them.

$51B in cash can buy a lot of revenge. Buy up every significant development firm and discontinue all of their PC development to focus on Mac and iOS development. Adobe, Intuit, game developers, etc. No PC Photoshop, Lightroom, Quicken... All PC users are left with are apps made by MS.
post #8 of 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by tcphoto View Post

How many times will we hear about Steve's kurt and inappropriate comments? Is it not enough to be leading one of the highest valued companies? His narcissistic personality was old last century and I can only hope that his "handlers" would get a tighter rein on him. I love their products even though many of them have had to be replaced because of poor quality control. But I am committed to the system and going over to a PC would be counterproductive. So, how about a little more innovation and a little less conversation.

Back in 2000 Apple was hardly flush with cash, "one of the highest valued companies", or in a position to buy Bungie as others have suggested. In fact I think it tended to still have "beleaguered" next to its name whenever a journalist wrote about it. Jobs is leading "one of the highest valued companies" because he MADE it one of the highest valued companies, and that was in no small part because of his in-your-face attitude, so I'd cut him a little slack there.

Although Bungie is now independent, Microsoft owns all the Halo-related IP so there's no point in acquiring them to "get back" at Microsoft? Bungie can rot for all I care.
post #9 of 130
Are we sure this story is accurate? All the junk I've read on the web over the decades is that Steve Jobs has been extraordinarily anti-game on the Mac platform. He wanted the Mac to be treated as a serious business machine (for the rest of us?). Hard to believe he'd then have a fit when a gaming vendor left the platform. Then again, he's supposedly a fairly mercurial personality.
post #10 of 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by tcphoto View Post

So, how about a little less conversation.

Good idea... you start...
Hmmmmmm...
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Hmmmmmm...
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post #11 of 130
Waaaah. Jobsie can't have his way all the time. Spoiled brat...
post #12 of 130
Seriously, is this what passes for "news" these days?

"As the world turns slowly through the days of our lives of the young and the restless, my children, the bold and the beautiful, spend their time at general hospital."

There, that should hold everyone until AI comes up with some more "news".
Pity the agnostic dyslectic. They spend all their time contemplating the existence of dog.
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Pity the agnostic dyslectic. They spend all their time contemplating the existence of dog.
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post #13 of 130
I once had dinner with the Bungie guys at a Macworld Boston at the height of the popularity of Marathon. It was disappointing to lose them as a Mac developer but I can't blame them for taking the (large) check from Microsoft. And as mentioned earlier, Apple wasn't in a position to do anything about it 10 years ago, unlike now.
post #14 of 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by tcphoto View Post

How many times will we hear about Steve's kurt and inappropriate comments? Is it not enough to be leading one of the highest valued companies? His narcissistic personality was old last century and I can only hope that his "handlers" would get a tighter rein on him. I love their products even though many of them have had to be replaced because of poor quality control. But I am committed to the system and going over to a PC would be counterproductive. So, how about a little more innovation and a little less conversation.

I would rather deal with someone who is honest about their feelings than someone who stuffs their feelings and puts up a front. It's not good in personal relationships and not good in corporate ones either. If you have feelings, express them and resolve the situation directly and honestly. It sounds like that is what happened. Instead of Steve pussing out and getting all passive aggressive over the next decade, looking for some payback, he let them know exactly how he felt. They dealt with it and worked out a deal.

Notice that he didn't go to the press with this; we only know about it because an MS person told the tale years later when it didn't matter anymore, except to those looking to take a cheap shot at Steve.
A.k.a. AppleHead on other forums.
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A.k.a. AppleHead on other forums.
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post #15 of 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by tcphoto View Post

How many times will we hear about Steve's kurt and inappropriate comments? Is it not enough to be leading one of the highest valued companies? His narcissistic personality was old last century and I can only hope that his "handlers" would get a tighter rein on him. I love their products even though many of them have had to be replaced because of poor quality control. But I am committed to the system and going over to a PC would be counterproductive. So, how about a little more innovation and a little less conversation.

I would argue that Steve's personality has helped to steer the company in the right direction. You need to make bold changes and not be afraid to upset a few people. Steve has it mastered. Those same people that may be negatively effected by Apple's moves still respect him. His comments are often the start of industry wide debates. Nothing wrong with that. Someone needs to stir the waters when something needs to be changed. Steve's management style is part of Apple's innovation.

Maybe you would be happier to use a PC with their PS/2 ports that should have been removed a decade ago, but their CEOs are afraid of change.

If you want to talk about inappropriate comments.... you should look at Microsoft's CEO.
post #16 of 130
Bungie is a blood traitor and a sell out. F' Bungie. F' Microsoft. While I'm at it, F' anyone who disagrees.
I never get tired of being right all the time... but I do get tired of having to prove it to you again and again.
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post #17 of 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wurm5150 View Post

Can't blame Bungie for selling out but if Jobs thought very highly of this company then he should've just bought them.

Sometimes we forget the history of Apple. In early 200s, Apple was still touch and go, in terms of its finances; in spite of the success of the iPad series.

Let us not forget the market situation also at the time, the internet bubble happened in late 1999 causing a very long market downturn that did not recover until about 2001. While most that were decimated were internet companies, the tech sector, specially computer companies were also affected.

On the other hand, Microsoft was at the height of its power -- a US$600 billion company, in early 21st century.

With these conditions making an acquisition would be the last thing on Apple Computer, Inc's priorities. Even if they made a bid, Microsoft would have found a way to outbid them (just like what Google did with AdMob, more recently).

It did not stop there. I remember in our university in the mid 1990s, the store used to carry and provide technical support for both Wintel and Mac computers. Whether it was true or not, supposedly some Microsoft representatives offered a sweet deal with the company, the following year, the university computer division no longer carried carried nor provided technical support for Macs.

That was the dark modus operandi of Microsoft, at the time. Or, have you forgotten what it did to bury Netscape? At the time, small companies that show promise can easily be burried by Microsoft by announcing that they were coming up with a similar product, in the future. So, some small companies had no choice but to bow to a Microsoft acquisition. And, since they are powerkess, Microsoft can also dictate the price of the acquisition.

A decade after...

CGC
post #18 of 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wiggin View Post

$51B in cash can buy a lot of revenge. Buy up every significant development firm and discontinue all of their PC development to focus on Mac and iOS development. Adobe, Intuit, game developers, etc. No PC Photoshop, Lightroom, Quicken... All PC users are left with are apps made by MS.

Steve Jobs is probably reading this and taking you seriously. And don't forget to purchase the Monopoly Control Authority - we wouldn't want any of those ass holes getting in the way
post #19 of 130
I wonder if Steve told Ballmer that he's going to kill Microsoft and then threw a chair across the room...
Hmmmmmm...
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Hmmmmmm...
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post #20 of 130
Apple did the same with Shake, Final Cut, iTunes and Logic. What goes around comes around.

Marathon wasn't all that great anyway and even Halo doesn't have anywhere near the depth of games like Half-Life.

I'm more looking forward to Half-Life 3 for the Mac than whatever Bungie comes up with next.

Bungie is a one-trick pony. They are often referred to as one of the few good developers left in the industry but what shows a good developer is variety. Raven Software IMO is better than Bungie in that regard.
post #21 of 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by Not Unlike Myself View Post

Bungie is a blood traitor and a sell out. F' Bungie. F' Microsoft. While I'm at it, F' anyone who disagrees.

Yes, but how do you really feel?
A.k.a. AppleHead on other forums.
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post #22 of 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by Curmudgeon View Post

Are we sure this story is accurate? All the junk I've read on the web over the decades is that Steve Jobs has been extraordinarily anti-game on the Mac platform. He wanted the Mac to be treated as a serious business machine (for the rest of us?). Hard to believe he'd then have a fit when a gaming vendor left the platform. Then again, he's supposedly a fairly mercurial personality.

He is personally not a game player. That doesn't mean he doesn't want games on the Mac. At the time he was struggling with keeping developers on the Mac, so not too hard to understand. I'm not sure that mercurial is the best word for him because he is driven by reason. Everything he does is well thought out. The closest thing is when he makes a decision he acts swiftly on it.

I think so many people like to work for Apple because of Steve's (and now Apple's) personality. He is uncompromising. He is not going to mess up products or designs in the sake of compromise. He does what needs to be done. Could you see someone like Jonny Ive working at HP where he would have to report to 50 managers who all want to see their little idea incorporated in?
post #23 of 130
yeah thats the one of the last smart things Steve Ballmer did .
post #24 of 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wurm5150 View Post

Can't blame Bungie for selling out but if Jobs thought very highly of this company then he should've just bought them.

I think he's catching on, realizing that Microsoft's acquisitions are just about grabbing intellectual rights or new talent but about grabbing market. Apple has more than enough money now to make Microsoft very nervous, and I think that is why we are seeing them all of a sudden become a lot friendlier to Apple.

If Apple acquires Sony it would be a HUGE deal, not only would they get Sony game titles but it would immediately put them in the business of general consumer electronics. Not sure it's going to happen but it would bring blu-ray to the Mac paltform & iOS could eventually become a staple OS for many Sony devices. Name mergers would take years but it would be no small deal if it happens.
post #25 of 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

Apple did the same with Shake, Final Cut, iTunes and Logic. What goes around comes around.

iTunes? Last I checked, that has been multi-platform for several years now - about 6 version numbers ago...
post #26 of 130
As I recall, Bungie wouldn't shut up about the dropping of Sprockets internally and how that was the last straw because Apple was killing Mac Game Development.

They weren't getting the same treatment as Carmack and boo hoo they just weren't going to take it anymore.

It's amazing how a decade moves forward and you see how big the Mac expanded platform has become and now you are hinting?

Either you have been developing for the past 3 years since the split or you're way behind, Bungie.

Either way, you won't be courted like you wanted then, even now.
post #27 of 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by tcphoto View Post

How many times will we hear about Steve's kurt and inappropriate comments? Is it not enough to be leading one of the highest valued companies? His narcissistic personality was old last century and I can only hope that his "handlers" would get a tighter rein on him. I love their products even though many of them have had to be replaced because of poor quality control. But I am committed to the system and going over to a PC would be counterproductive. So, how about a little more innovation and a little less conversation.

For cripes sake, that was 10 years ago.

And do you know what the definition of narcissistic really means. For a person who has helped drive down the prices of software, hardware, music, wireless data plans, etc., than anyone else, you call him selfish.

Can you name one company that Apple bought out in an attempt to crush the competition to the technology?
post #28 of 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by hezetation View Post

I think he's catching on, realizing that Microsoft's acquisitions are just about grabbing intellectual rights or new talent but about grabbing market. Apple has more than enough money now to make Microsoft very nervous, and I think that is why we are seeing them all of a sudden become a lot friendlier to Apple.

If Apple acquires Sony it would be a HUGE deal, not only would they get Sony game titles but it would immediately put them in the business of general consumer electronics. Not sure it's going to happen but it would bring blu-ray to the Mac paltform & iOS could eventually become a staple OS for many Sony devices. Name mergers would take years but it would be no small deal if it happens.

Apple doesn't buy massively indebted corporations with huge financial obligations to employees.

SONY has nearly a 10:1 debt ratio and > 170,000 employees. Not going to happen.
post #29 of 130
This may only good strategic decision to be accredited to Ballmer.
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post #30 of 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by Curmudgeon View Post

Are we sure this story is accurate? All the junk I've read on the web over the decades is that Steve Jobs has been extraordinarily anti-game on the Mac platform. He wanted the Mac to be treated as a serious business machine (for the rest of us?). Hard to believe he'd then have a fit when a gaming vendor left the platform. Then again, he's supposedly a fairly mercurial personality.

I'm thinking the loss of Bungie to Microsoft might have solidified his lack of support for gaming on Mac.
post #31 of 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post

Apple doesn't buy massively indebted corporations with huge financial obligations to employees.

SONY has nearly a 10:1 debt ratio and > 170,000 employees. Not going to happen.

I wonder if they could buy a controlling interest without acquiring the company outright? Maybe something like the relationship that Apple has to Disney? Buy up shares to become the largest holder and get a seat on the Board? Before anyone calls me stupid, I'm just asking a rhetorical question to stimulate discussion, okay?
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post #32 of 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by Onhka View Post

For cripes sake, that was 10 years ago.

You know... I hope some day I'm famous enough that 10 years after I make an angry phone call people are still talking about it.
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post #33 of 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by justflybob View Post

Seriously, is this what passes for "news" these days?

"As the world turns slowly through the days of our lives of the young and the restless, my children, the bold and the beautiful, spend their time at general hospital."

There, that should hold everyone until AI comes up with some more "news".

How true!

AI should now adopt the tag "Don't bother to read: old hat ahead."
post #34 of 130
With APP STORE for MAC.
There will be plenty of games for MAC.
Including those developed by bungie.
post #35 of 130
Quote:
I'm thinking the loss of Bungie to Microsoft might have solidified his lack of support for gaming on Mac.

I'm sure it did. I'm also pretty sure Steve doesn't really give a shit about the gaming market on the Mac still, though. And that may also have been solidified by this deal. Remember how he wanted to turn the Mac into the best gaming platform there is, back in 1998? What has become of that? Then again, the future of games is not in the PC either. It's in iOS and consoles. Sad, but true.
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post #36 of 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by Not Unlike Myself View Post

You know... I hope some day I'm famous enough that 10 years after I make an angry phone call people are still talking about it.

Or even remember our names.
post #37 of 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by Curmudgeon View Post

Are we sure this story is accurate? All the junk I've read on the web over the decades is that Steve Jobs has been extraordinarily anti-game on the Mac platform. He wanted the Mac to be treated as a serious business machine (for the rest of us?). Hard to believe he'd then have a fit when a gaming vendor left the platform. Then again, he's supposedly a fairly mercurial personality.

It's most definitely true. It was one of the most egregious examples of poaching in the industry.

The first anyone heard of Halo, was when Steve Jobs introduced it on stage at an Apple event. It stunned the crowd because at the time it was beyond leading edge graphics and so forth. He finished the announcement with a statement that it was coming "exclusively to the mac" in the near future.

You don't get any closer to a "done deal" than that, but then Microsoft bought them out from underneath Apple for the express purpose of shutting Apple out.

It was a very dirty deal IMO. I'm not sure who's most at fault, Bungie or Microsoft, but someone (probably lots of someones) seriously compromised their morals with this deal.
post #38 of 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robin Huber View Post

I wonder if they could buy a controlling interest without acquiring the company outright? Maybe something like the relationship that Apple has to Disney? Buy up shares to become the largest holder and get a seat on the Board? Before anyone calls me stupid, I'm just asking a rhetorical question to stimulate discussion, okay?

It might attract the attention of competition regulators if two competing companies shared board members.
post #39 of 130
And hence, the trolls come out yet again for any opportunity to Jobs-bash...

I call BS on this article. This is being made out to be a Ballmer chair-throwing incident about something that SUPPOSEDLY happened 10 YEARS AGO and people are just falling for it and thinking it is fact.

Job's is a lot of things, but the thought of him just calling up Ballmer and yelling at him over a business deal, honestly does not ring true with me. Hell, if that were the case, Ballmer should have a red-phone on his desk that connects directly to Jobs to yell at him for each time Job's smacks him in the business world.

Jobs won't whine and bi*ch to someone. He'll simply think of something methodical and ruthless to return the favor in the typical, surgical fashion that Apple is known for being.

Bungie used to be a great shop. Went downhill quickly after MS's purchase. Typical Microsoft. Acquire good people / shops, and figure out a way to ruin it.
post #40 of 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by kakeroat View Post

With APP STORE for MAC.
There will be plenty of games for MAC.
Including those developed by bungie.

STOP SPELLING "Mac" IN ALL CAPS!!
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