Halo gets a celebration video to commemorate the original game's 15 year anniversary, which says that the flagship Xbox franchise is "just getting started."
Today marks the 15th anniversary of the Halo franchise. Halo: Combat Evolved launched a decade and a half ago on November 15, 2001 alongside the launch of the original Xbox console. To celebrate, Halo’s developer 343 Industries has released a video promising that the Halo franchise has a big future ahead of it.
The trailer is voiced by Steve Downes, the actor behind the series’ longtime protagonist, Master Chief. A fun Easter egg: if the two-second ESRB rating bumper is removed from the video, the length comes out to 1:17, a number familiar to fans. It’s a recurring number in the franchise, a nod to Master Chief’s name and number, John-117.
To celebrate the anniversary 343 Industries will have a special live stream today, which begins at 3:43 p.m. Pacific time on the official Halo Twitch channel. There are also some in-game treats for Halo fans. Any players who log in to play Halo 5 will get a 15th Anniversary REQ Pack that includes the classic Halo Mark IV armor and helmet as well as REQ cards for the SPNKR Rocket Launcher, CE Magnum, and Halo 2 Beam Rifle. In addition, there is a special “Anniversary Throwback Playlist” in multiplayer featuring Forge map additions of maps like Battle Creek, Hang ‘Em High, and Prisoner.
Speaking of the future and this celebrating marking just the first 15 years of Halo, 343 Industries and Xbox seem to be continuing to stack their Halo deck full of releases. Halo 5 continues to have content updates on a regular basis with more planned; that Halo TV series is still said to be in development; Halo Wars 2 is due out in February, and Halo 6 has begun early development.
Halo does not seem to be quite the mega-hit it once was, but it continues to bring in a good amount revenue for Xbox and Microsoft. Halo 5 sold well at launch and reviewed fairly high overall, with its multiplayer suite especially getting commendations. The franchise has experienced a long history, first created by Bungie who then left the franchise after Halo: Reach, handing things off to the then newly formed Microsoft-owned studio, 343 Industries.
While fans and gamers in general may have wondered if Halo was slowing down at all, this video makes it clear that 343 and Microsoft are still working hard to keep the franchise relevant and moving into the future.
Halo 5 is available now, exclusively on Xbox One.