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Bungie’s Abandoned ‘Project Phoenix’ was ‘Minecraft-like’

Posted on July 10, 2013 AT 06:46am

A long time ago, around 1999, the Bungie team was hard at work on something titled ”Project Phoenix,” however, before it could be finished Microsoft bought the studio and work was shifted to Halo.

Bungie’s Jason Jones has finally decided that now is the right time to share some details about Project Phoenix, explaining that it was a “Minecraft-like” strategy game.

“It was a game that was based on a technology that was sort of Minecraft-like,” Jones told IGN. “You could build castles out of blocks, for example, and then knock them down. Ultimately the reason the game never saw the light of day was because of Halo. The [Project Phoenix] team got scavenged a number of times, both on Halo 1 and Halo 2, to finish Halo.

“It was able to render things like Minecraft,” he added. “It was cool. There were big castles and you could knock them down with trebuchets. Knocking holes in the wall, and dudes would come out.”

The developer couldn’t quite pin down exactly what it wanted Phoenix to be and so decided to cease work on it completely. ”It was trying to find out what it was, and it hadn’t,” said Jones. “It made it very clear at several junctures, ‘Well, should we put all the resources on the team behind Halo, or should we keep working on this game?’ Eventually we made the decision that it was Halo. The team just went away, or the project went away. The people are still here.”

Matthew Bennett, Associate Editor
Matthew Bennett finally got his big break with EGM three years ago, following years of volunteer work for various sites. An ability to go many hours without sleep and a quick wit make him ideal for his role as associate editor at EGMNOW.com. He often thinks back to the days when the very idea of this career seemed like nothing but an impossible dream. Follow him on Twitter @mattyjb89. Meet the rest of the crew.

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