It's just been announced that Bungie's Frankie O'Connor will be leaving the company and heading for greener pastures. Which makes today a sad day for Bungie fans and Bungie employees alike. But not Halo fans! In his parting letter to the company's fanbase, O'Connor writes that he's "off to work more closely with Microsoft on the Halo franchise", which can only be good news for everybody involved. Best of luck at Microsoft, Frankie. The letter's in full after the jump if you're interested.

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Dear BungieFans,

It's not you, it's me.

In many ways, you're too good for me. You can find someone better. Maybe a little hairy dude. Maybe a Hungarian Unicyclist. I just know that I don't deserve you, and that this is just as hard for me as it is for you.

Yours truly,

Frankie.

I am leaving you. I am off to work more closely with Microsoft on the Halo franchise, so I shan't be too far away, but I wanted to take this last chance, appropriately enough in a Weekly Update, to tell you a very fond thanks. Thanks for being the most energized, enthusiastic, loyal, faithful, creative, imaginative and incredible community any video game could ever have.

Thanks for being patient when things went wrong, when playlists didn't work, when matchmaking broke, when bugs were being fixed. Thanks for the mail, the screenshots, the movies, the machinima, the models, the paintings and the sheer enthusiasm and talent you've shown me over the years.

Thanks for not following through on the death threats.

Thanks for sticking with us through thick and thin and thanks for the loyalty you're going to show Bungie over the coming years.

And on that note, let me tell you a bit about the coming years. It was very hard for me to make the decision to move on, but one thing that made it just a bit easier, was seeing the amazing work that's coming down the pipe. I was busy working on a story for one of our next games, an experience that is destined to surprise, amaze and entertain like nothing we've ever made before. That game has an amazing team invested in it, and one that will be tasked with building the Next Big Thing. You should see what they've already achieved, you truly should.

And there are other things rumbling at Bungie, just as secret, just as epic and just as incredible. And the thing that turns all that rumbling into incredible gameplay experiences is, has always been and will always continue to be, the people. The brilliant, talented, industrious gang of geniuses who brought you everything from a monochrome Pong clone to the staggering vistas and vision of Halo 3.

Artists, engineers, musicians, designers, writers, administrators, producers, managers, even our security staff are Bungie people, through and through. They are all, every last man, woman and Bob, the very essence of the spirit of the company and the thing I will miss most of all.

There are too many to name. More than 120 now, more than double the number than when I first started, about halfway through Halo 2. Amazing to think that I am Old School Bungie, when I never felt like anything other than a wide-eyed child in a moonlit candy store.

So thanks again. And look forward to all that candy. They're making it for you.

Goodbye, thanks for all the Photoshops today - and don't eat stuff off the sidewalk.


Bungie Weekly Update: 5/16/2008 [Bungie]