343 Industries boss Bonnie Ross talks about the possibility of expanding the Halo universe into all-ages territory with something like a Lego-Halo spin-off game.
Although the Halo franchise has always skewed towards a mature audience, there's no denying that the series has a brand presence that appeals to gamers of all-ages. Master Chief is the closest thing that Microsoft has to an Xbox mascot and some parties would like to see Microsoft channel that Halo appeal into a spin-off game (or series) that would be more appropriate for younger gamers.
Although there are currently no plans for an all-ages friendly Halo adventure, 343 Industries boss Bonnie Ross explains that a Lego-esque spin-off treatment is always an option worth considering. Microsoft has apparently been hearing demand for such a game and is currently examining its options.
Ross explained that any hypothetical side projects would obviously keep the core audience in mind and do right by the franchise and its history...
"Whether or not we do a game, I think we need to be really deliberate on the right game, because we can't alienate our core audience... I would say that when we first started the franchise, the thought of doing, like, a Lego Halo game was not something that our core fans thought was interesting, whereas now we're getting requests for that."
Although the world of Halo is definitely PG-13 at its most tame, the desire to branch out makes a lot of sense from a marketing standpoint. The franchise is Microsoft's Mario and selling more games, toys, movies, and t-shirts is always going to be tempting. If Halo did get the all-ages treatment, there are certainly worse routes to take than the Lego version. Although there have been a few duds, most of the Lego games have been very well-received and offered a fun, humorous take on beloved franchises like Marvel and Lord of the Rings.
When asked about expanding the franchise, Ross referenced the Star Wars extended universe and how that franchise is able to tell many different stories across various platforms. Ideally, 343 and Microsoft would like to see success with a similar approach in Halo. We've already seen comics and movies, but perhaps the Halo Showtime TV series will help kick things into high gear.
For now, Halo fans are hoping that the team is hard at work on another installment in the main series. If Microsoft does end up green-lighting an all-ages spin-off it seems very unlikely that the project would divert any of 343's resources, so that hypothetical project shouldn't slow any other plans down.
What do you think of the possibility of an all-ages friendly Halo game? Would you be interested in playing it? Let us know in the comments.
There are currently no concrete plans for a Lego Halo game.
Source: Fast Company