Microsoft's just told VG247 that its partnership with Bungie remains the same, despite today's announcement that it had signed a ten-year publishing deal with Activision on its new IP.
In a statement just sent to us, the firm told us it remains "deeply engaged" with the studio on development of Halo: Reach.
"Our partnership with Bungie as a first-party developer for Xbox 360 remains unchanged," reads the statement, "and right now we’re deeply engaged with them on the development of “Halo Reach,” which is poised to be the biggest game of 2010."
Bungie says it will remain an independent studio despite the deal, which sees Activision involved in a publishing-only role: the developer maintains control of the IP. Analyst Michael Pachter says the game is "well along in its development".
There's more on the deal here. Halo: Reach releases this fall for Xbox 360, with a multiplayer beta kicking off on Monday.