One of the biggest surprises shown off during Microsoft’s E3 2013 press conference was the unveiling of a new Halo game for the Xbox One. While many initially believed the trailer to be for Halo 5, Microsoft refused to confirm that the game it had shown off was in fact a numeric sequel to the Xbox 360’s Halo 4. This lead many to believe that it may be a spin-off of sorts starring Master Chief, and a recent statement made by Microsoft Game Studios corporate vice president Phil Spencer lends credence to that theory.
During an interview with GameStop, Spencer was asked if the trailer for the new game was for Halo 5 or a spin-off similar to Halo 3: ODST or Halo: Reach. While assuring fans that the trailer was for “a legitimate version of Halo,” Spencer wouldn’t go into detail about what the official title for the new game would be. He did say, however, that the Reclaimer Trilogy has been expanded “to more of a saga.”
“While we originally said trilogy, we’ve actually expanded this to more of a saga, so we don’t want to limit the Reclaimer story within a trilogy.”
“But having [producer Bonnie Ross] come out and announce the game, making sure people know it’s a legitimate version of Halo coming out, and when it’s coming out, and features that they’re focused on we thought was… important.”
This makes the lack of a certain prime number on the newly announced Halo title appear — as if for now — to make a tiny bit more sense. 343 Industries has since responded after Spencer’s statement, reaffirming that the developer has “a long-term vision” for the franchise, and that it’ll be getting around to elaborating on that in the next few years. 343 emphasized within the statement sent to IGN that Halo: Spartan Assault is also part of its plan to broaden the Halo universe and avoid limiting their plans to a simple trilogy.
“As we said prior to the launch of “Halo 4” last year, we have a long-term vision for the future of the “Halo” universe and are excited to tell many stories in a variety of ways, such as Spartan Ops and games on other devices like “Halo: Spartan Assault,” so we don’t want to limit our plans to a trilogy. Our ambitions for the franchise are even broader than that, although the core story of the Master Chief and the Reclaimer Saga is still being approached with a classic narrative approach, with a beginning, a middle and an end. We simply have more storytelling tools at our disposal now.”
Whatever the new Halo title ends up being, it managed to surprise and excite gamers. Despite the back peddling surrounding Microsoft’s recent plans for the Xbox One, Halo will remain a huge selling point for consumers, and the power of Master Chief isn’t something that can simply be ignored.
Halo on Xbox One is scheduled to launch at some point in 2014.
You can follow Riley on Twitter @TheRileyLittle.