The House of Halo has trademarked something called Bungie Aerospace, but isn’t saying what it is. But as we know all too well at GR, in the absence of official announcements from developers, patents and trademarks are second only to Amazon.com listings as sources of cold hard, games industry fact.
There’s nothing that can’t be deciphered by a bit of professionally-trained journalistic guessing based on vague and nebulous product registrations, so by Zeus that’s exactly what we’re going to do with Bungie’s new project. Here are a few suggestions, and their likelihoods of being true.
It’s a new game
Above: Hardly jumps off the shelf, does it?
Doubtful, to be honest. We know that Bungie is absolutely done with Halo after Reach is out, but we don’t think Aerospace is its mysterious new IP. The reason? Devs don’t tend to overtly namecheck themselves on their game boxes, except in the cases of American McGee and Archer MacLean. And look how that latter example most recently turned out.
Yes, Bungie is working on a new IP, but Aerospace just doesn’t sound like a game title to us. And besides, if it was a game it’d already be a much bigger deal. You know how Bungie loves its cryptic teasers.
It’s a licensable engine
Above: Bungie's current tech is rather pretty, so engine licensing is plausible
If you want to be a big deal in the industry, you make lots of good games. If you want to be a really big deal, you make a couple of good games, sell the engine tech to everyone else, and let them make lots of average games that look a lot like yours but not as good. Epic knows this, and Bungie must too.
Thus, with the big B finally stepping up its tech with Reach, and Microsoft-free independence imminent, it makes a lot of sense that the dev would be looking into new avenues of profit for its digital wares. And if so, it may be no bad thing. While Halo 3 was never technologically mind-blowing, Reach looks none too bad, and we need at least some games that aren’t made with Epic’s Unreal engine.
It’s a new community/distribution platform
Above: Think Steam but with more Bungie logos
Now this is really worth thinking about. With Bungie soon completely free of Microsoft and new publishers yet to be announced, it’s entirely possible that Bungie is working on some sort of mini-Steam equivalent for the distribution of its own games.
The dev already has a massive community based around Bungie.net, but with so much of that Halo-related, its understandable that it might want a fresh start for the new iteration of the company. If branching into the PC market with its next (presumed) shooter, combining that community with a digital distribution network makes all kinds of sense. And besides, Aerospace is exactly the kind of cloud/sky/general meteorology-type name that’s cool for that sort of thing at the moment.
It’s a new transport manufacture division
Above: Safety not guaranteed
Specialising in providing cheap, affordable flight via the medium of giant elasticated ropes.