Bungie is hoping to move onto bigger and better things at Activision, which will start with its own game engine built from the ground up.
Licensing game engines? Bungie scoffs at it. Now that Halo: Reach is basically out of the door and the studio has regained its independence at Activision, it's going to develop a custom game engine from scratch as the framework for its first project.
While some companies find it easier to license an engine and build on top of it, Bungie's Brian Jarrard told Develop that it's important to Bungie's independence to make everything its own. "I think it goes hand-in-hand with our independent spirit," he said. "Just like we don't want to develop a game off someone else's IP, we want to push our own technology in the same way. That's going to be our position for the foreseeable future."
Jarrard also revealed that the game's engine is already in development and that Bungie is able to kick it into high gear now that Halo: Reach is coming out tomorrow. "Yeah, [the new engine is] actually in development, so I would say it's in a stage where, technically we're still at the end of a pre-production mode," he continued. "But now that Reach is done the full weight of our team is rolling into the project. Real work is underway."
All that's left for fans, once they beat Halo: Reach, is to wait and see what Bungie comes up with using its own brand new technology and its own brand new IP. If Activision signed the studio for ten years, Bungie obviously has a big idea in the works. Whether it ends up being an action-RPG or a new first-person shooter, or both, or neither, I think we can all pretty much assume that it'll be awesome.