Bungie, the celebrated makers of the Halo series, has apparently seen enough to conclude that it's time to get in to social network and mobile games.
Rather than developing for those platforms themselves, however, the company has decided to set up a publishing company, Bungie Aerospace, to assist small developers in creating and getting their products on to Facebook, the App Store, and so on. While it's old news that they stopped being Xbox exclusive, this is quite the diversion from Bungie's past - even its recent past. Nevertheless, Bungie itself draws a straight line from its history to this move. From VentureBeat:
"Bungie has always been passionate about making and playing great games, regardless of platform," said Pete Parsons, Bungie's chief operating officer. "Bungie Aerospace will allow us to explore game creation in multiple formats with some amazingly talented teams. Now that we've returned to our roots as an independent studio, we are in a position to launch Bungie Aerospace to support, foster, and elevate like-minded, independent developers."
Given the runaway success of social gaming companies like Zynga, and the explosion of smartphone and tablet gaming, Bungie appears to be trying to jump on the market before it's too late. That being said, these are also markets in which small, independent developers can flourish. Without the personnel or capital to produce a sprawling AAA title like a Final Fantasy or Halo, such companies are also unfettered by AAA expectations, and free to make smaller, shorter, but no less fun games that are easily handled by developers of their size. So Bungie may not only be making a sound financial decision, but a wise creative one as well.