Halo: Reach was the last Halo-based title from the series’ creator, Bungie Studios. But that doesn’t mean that the Halo story is over and done with. It’s been known for a long time now that Microsoft planned on making more games based in the universe. The main speculation was about who would be making the games, along with when these titles would be released. It’s now known that 343 Studios, consisting of a lot of former employees from Bungie Studios, will now take the Halo helm, and it seems that Microsoft is now clearing up (at least a little bit) when they plan on these future games coming out.
Considering Halo: Reach just came out, Microsoft isn’t talking up the next game in the franchise, let alone the exact release date. But, Microsoft is apparently planning on releasing these titles faster. In a brand new interview with IGNMicrosoft Game Studios’ Vice President Phil Spencer said that the Redmond-based company intends to release the Halo games at a faster frequency. He points out that there’s no exact strategy that says they have to release a new game every year, but that the three year waiting period between Halo titles, which was what was happening previously, is probably not frequent enough.
Spencer points out that waiting so long in between releases, that the overall engagement for the titles could dwindle. Because of that mind state, Microsoft is planning on “a more persistent Halo engagement for customers and not go dark for two years.” While a new game every year might not be the best plan, Spencer says that Microsoft wants to provide gamers with “an ongoing relationship” with the franchise.
Truth be told, it will be up to Microsoft to find a sweet spot for the release of future titles. Spending too much time in between titles could indeed make people stop caring about the franchise, but three years in between Halo titles in the years before hasn’t made the franchise any less successful, either. However, on the flip side, releasing sequels every year might be too much, and people may get exhausted. It could also seem that Microsoft is milking a franchise that many believe they’ve already been milking.
The faster release schedule for video games within the franchise has grown since 2009, surely. The industry saw the release of Halo: Wars in February of 2009, which was then followed by Halo: 3 ODST in September of the same year. And then ultimately, the release of Halo: Reach just a week ago. While neither the RTS-based Halo: Wars or the side-story themed Halo: 3 ODST saw the sales numbers that other pivotal releases, like Halo 2 and Halo 3 saw, they were indeed successful in their own right. If Microsoft can find the right way to keep fans of the franchise engaged, before the release of a major title, then they can probably keep the Halo universe going for quite some time.