Is Halo’s Ten Year Plan the Right Direction?

There is no doubt that Halo: Infinite holds the key to the future of the franchise. Microsoft and 343 Industries are pulling out all stops to put away all doubts that this franchise of old has a timeless appeal. For everything we know about Halo: Infinite so far 343 is focusing on crafting an experience that will build a passionate and dedicated fanbase. However, some recent news has got me worried about the direction of the franchise.

Recent Interviews

With the latest controversial debut of Halo Infinite, Microsoft and 343 have delivered a slew of new details about the latest outing in the Halo franchise. Ranging from positive to negative one of the largest details that has been dropped is that Halo Infinite is planned to be a 10 year title. For those who are initially wondering why this sounds so familiar this is what was promised with the Destiny franchise and you can see how that turned out.

With the trends of the industry moving towards the “Live Service” model is no surprise that Microsoft wants to cash in with their largest player. But is this really the move that’s needed after a devise recent entry? Current ongoing support for The Master Chief Collection and previously within Halo 5 pave way to what 343 is capable off but both of these titles also launched in horrific states.

Halo: MCC Season 2

Love them or hate them, “Live Service” models are opening streams of endless content that open multiple doorways within ones imagination. They can completely reshape a gaming experience (look at the success of Star Wars Battlefront 2 and Rainbow Six Siege) but Microsoft and 343 need to be warry of the negative stigma surrounding the current landscape of their beloved franchise.

How will Casual Players Join the Arena?

343 has a monumental task ahead of them to re-invite casual players back into the Halo Universe. How will they succeed in building a brand new community in an already massively populated FPS genre? Phil Spencer, Executive Vice President of Gaming at Microsoft, conducted an interview with Polygon and gives his take on how Halo can evolve in this new landscape. His comments on the Infinite give a brief insight into what Halo fans can experience this November.   

“There’s been a ton of learning in the studio around what does it mean to actually have a collection, the kind of totality of the Halo lore and stories and experience inside of one Halo world, one Halo UI, and platform,” Spencer said. “As 343 has gone through this journey, they’ve seen some of the benefits of not requiring that our customers make a decision between ‘Do I want to play this one or that one?’

“I feel like in a way, the games almost compete with each other. You see that with some of the annualized franchises that are out there — which clearly Halo’s not annualized — but you see that where you spend a lot of energy actually trying to move the customers who are already playing your game to a new version of your game. I think as gaming has evolved, there’s a view of ‘Our customers are our customers and we should respect them where they are.’ It’s similar to our Xbox message, and I think you’ll see that in terms of the way Infinite is talked about — even the structure of what the game is itself.”

Halo: Reach Forge art.

A Huge Gamble

Halo has always been a franchise near and dear to my heart. 343 has taken a lot of liberties with their first two entries and has had plenty of missteps along the way. I don’t want Halo to become Destiny but I do understand that the franchise needs to evolve with the new landscape of gaming. 343 needs to find their identity as each entry has copied another massively popular title in the industry. I just hope that this new vision is their own and not influenced by other titans.

Turning Halo into a 10 year plan style of game is going to be a huge bet for Microsoft. As a fanboy of the franchise for over a decade I truly hope that this bet pays of in everyone’s favor. I guess we’ll find out in November what exactly this experience has in store for long time and new fans. Remember, you can always stayed tuned to Generation Xbox for the latest and greatest in Halo and all other Xbox news!

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