While Microsoft had a blockbuster showcase last week with Starfield as the main feature, there were two notable absences, Microsoft’s main two action games before this new era: Halo and Gears of War. While Gears 6 is supposed to be in the works, Halo Infinite has shifted to its live service seasonal model with nebulous plans for Master Chief himself to return, as there were recent cuts to those working on campaign content at 343.
In an interview with The Guardian, Phil Spencer was asked about Halo, which he says is still important, but…
“I wouldn’t say Halo is of lesser importance, but we have over 20 studios now,” Spencer said. “I’ll go back to the years where I had basically four games – Fable, Forza, Halo, Gears, the four horseman of the apocalypse. We have a lot more games now.”
This was always the point of Microsoft picking up more and more studios, and big ones at that, so they could expand their reach past those limited franchises. The original Fable trilogy is ancient at this point, with Fable 3 out 13 years ago in 2010, though it’s about to return. Gears as a series has continued to produce solid offerings, but without the significant impact they may have once had. Forza is always great and probably the most consistent high-quality franchise they have.. Halo has been…up and down in the post-Bungie years with 343. Infinite did not launch its live service ambitions terribly well, but they have improved it in time. Though it does feel like Master Chief’s stories for the foreseeable future are mainly going to be told through the extremely bizarre Paramount Plus series rather than another game any time soon.
I can see a world where Starfield is effectively the biggest Xbox game of this generation. Both in literal size, but in terms of impact and reach. Not “sales” per se, given that almost all Xbox copies will be played through Game Pass, but no doubt it will do great on Steam as well. It will without a doubt be bigger than Gears 6, and I’d predict bigger than Fable and Perfect Dark, I’d imagine. As for Halo, 343 took its shot with Infinite, and I’m wondering if the next mainline Halo installment will even arrive before this generation ends, and it remains unclear if the original “Halo Infinite is a ‘platform’ ” idea still holds after all this time.
Halo Infinite has indeed gotten to a decent place with all its improvements and Forge mode, but it’s pretty easy to see that these days it is not quite the flagship series Microsoft relied on for years. I suppose Master Chief is still the face of the brand, rather than some random Starfield NPC, but things have certainly changed, and it seems Phil Spencer recognizes that.
Read More In an interview, Phil Spencer was asked about Halo, which he says is still important, but…