Microsoft was contacted for comment but didn’t give away much saying:
"Right now our focus is on supporting Halo: Reach. We have nothing to announce at this time."
Since this next title will be 343 Industries’ chance to prove themselves as a competent Halo developer — one that exists in a world without Bungie — perhaps the best bet is to play it safe. Not wanting to mess with the canon of the Halo universe at the outset is a smart move on all parties’ accounts, but does it mean big Halo sales numbers?
Bungie already is long gone from the Halo franchise, but Microsoft certainly doesn't want to miss out on a year without new Halo revenue. A 2011 Halo remake with some of the Reach style multiplayer could be just the thing to call players back for another year of online domination.
When it comes to game rumors, sometimes it is best to just let them germinate with the public. Being able to evaluate an audience’s reaction based on the speculation can help inform how a company wishes to proceed. Usually said company is already well under way with the rumored idea, but other times the backlash or lack thereof will inspire changes.
While it’s impossible to know how deep, if at all, 343 is in this Halo remake, it stands to reason that they would be shooting for a November 2011 release. Fortunately the game is utilizing the Halo: Reach engine for the update, which should cut down on the amount of development time required.
Does Microsoft’s refusal to comment on the topic add credence to the existence of the Halo: Combat Evolved remake or do you see it as still just a rumor?