BBC News - In a statement, the two firms said they would "forge a new long-term partnership" based around new games. The move will surprise many in the games industry, despite rumours about a split in recent weeks. Bungie is now a privately held company in which Microsoft holds a minority stake. Bungie now has a long-term publishing agreement with Microsoft Game Studios for future Halo titles. Microsoft continues to own the intellectural property (IP) rights to Halo. Brian Jarrard, Bungie's director of franchise and community affairs, told BBC News that the move had not come about because of any pressure to keep doing Halo titles. "Microsoft has always been flexible and they certainly have not had any gun to our head for more Halo titles."