You’ve got to give the gaming industry credit. They have no shame when it comes to making every single possible use of their popular IPs. This fact was made all the more evident by watching Microsoft’s E3 presentation. After finishing the first Halo trilogy (which, by my math, added up to six games), it was generally assumed that, because of Bungie’s departure from Microsoft, Halo deserved a break. Story lines came to somewhat satisfying conclusions, and Halo: Reach is still going strong online, so all’s well that ends well, right? Not if Microsoft & 343 Industries have anything to say about it! With the announcement of the remake of the original Halo, plus the reveal of an entire new Halo trilogy less than a year after the launch of the last Halo title, it’s beginning to look like we can expect a Halo title once a year. What does Microsoft have to say about this? Find out after the jump.
Microsoft’s Phil Spencer deserves a little credit for admitting to the obvious, and being fairly straight-forward. “We had discussions about ‘will people look at this as us milking it’,” Spencer remarked during a recent interview with Eurogamer, but he quickly adds that the hope is that adding Live connectivity, achievements, and reskinning the game in HD will help players to see this re-release as a labor of love, not greed. The timing of the launch of Halo Anniversary, as the remake is becoming known, can be attributed simply to coincidence. “It wasn’t part of us trying to get into an annualized rhythm with the franchise,” says Spencer, “[This holiday season] is the 10th Anniversary for Halo. It felt like a good time to celebrate it.”
To give Microsoft and 343 the benefit of the doubt, producing a Game of the Year edition is by no means a rare occurrence these days. A tenth anniversary version, especially when it’s Halo, was almost inevitable. The real challenge for Microsoft now is to keep the quality and originality of the new Halo games at the same level or higher than the previous titles, lest Halo becomes the next in the long line of series which keep churning out the same game, year after year.