Get ready to say ‘halo‘ to another space marine extravaganza. Hot on the mean green heels of last week’s Halo: Bootcamp leak, Microsoft’s uber-franchise is back at it again; this time teasing a full-on ‘Spartan Assault’. According to the domain name detectives over at Fusible, Xbox’s premiere shooter has extended its Internet bubble shield to encompass 5 new web pages.
These soon-to-be blockbuster URLs include the following:
For those paying special attention, that means that ‘SpartanAssault.com’ won’t be joining its brothers in arms when the mystery sites go live over the coming months. The reason: SpartanAssault.com already belongs to a Maine-based air soft organization of the same name. Considering Microsoft’s recent legal wrangles over the issue of domain name ownership, the company is unlikely to raise a fuss again here. The rather spartan looking site poses no more threat to Master Chief’s supremacy than an actual air soft gun would.
Early speculation suggests that the name ‘Spartan Assault’ could pertain to a series of downloadable challenges, in the vein of Halo 4’s successful Spartan Ops. Whilst the title certainly seems to fit, it’s important to note that these aforementioned ‘Ops’ never received dedicated URLs of their own. A more likely scenario involves either a brand new Halo title, separate from the ongoing Reclaimer Saga but utilizing its most recent engine (as ODST did with Halo 3) or an entirely new IP based in film or television.
With news of a Steven Spielberg-helmed Halo series emerging less than a fortnight ago, it’s possible that ‘Spartan Assault’ could relate to the venerable director’s latest venture. Whilst Forward Unto Dawn managed to excite fans with a modest budget, Spielberg’s take on the series is more likely to increase the production value significantly, echoing a Game of Thrones level of on-screen sheen.
With the problem of web page squatters unlikely to go away, bulk buys like these may well prove more precautionary than revelatory, a just-in-case acquisition that fails to produce an end product. Microsoft had the good sense to register domain names for Halo 7,8 and 9 back in September, though most contained the less-desirable .org and .net suffixes. Interestingly, should the series run to 10 titles in length, the Washington-based multimedia giant will only own 6 of the lucrative ‘halo-number.com’ templates, two of which appear to have purchased from private owners.
Look for Halo: Spartan Assault to uncloak its active camo at E3 — or sometime in the coming months.