Frank O'Connor, who has served as content manager for Halo developer Bungie Studios, is saying that he is leaving the company to join Microsoft, the company that published Halo and was the owner of Bungie.
As part of a Weekly Update posted on Bungie's site, O'Connor has stated his reasons for the move. It's pretty clear from the tone of the post that the separation was amiable, with Frank's message beginning with the now-famous "It's not you, it's me" line and then going on to thank both Bungie and the Bungie fans for their appreciation of his work. And, of course, for "not following through on the death threats."
O'Connor revealed that Bungie is already hard at work on a new project, apparently not Halo connected, which is set to be the "Next Big Thing," and that his move to Microsoft is related to a Halo product in need of a bit of content. Other details that these have not been offered.
In October 2007, Bungie decided to extract itself from its relationship with Microsoft and to become an independent developer again. It seems that the main issue between the two companies was the fact that Bungie wanted to create original intellectual property, but also needed some breathing space after creating the epic three-part Halo franchise for Microsoft.
At the moment, the exact situation regarding the rights to the Halo universe is not yet clear. It seems that Microsoft holds most, if not all, the rights, as Ensemble, which is a Microsoft studio, is currently working on a real time strategy game called Halo Wars, which is set to take place in the same universe as the Halo FPS games, but in an earlier time frame.
And do check out the goodbye post over at Bungie, as it contains some of the best goodbye Photoshop work I have ever seen.