For many, it had been a long and arduous wait for Bungie’s final Halo game. Released two years after their swan song to Master Chief, Reach became Bungie's farewell to the franchise that had brought them great acclaim and success. With 343 Industries heading up development of Halo games moving forward, Microsoft hopes to reduce the amount of time gamers must wait for the series' next iteration.
Microsoft’s Phil Spencer believes that forcing gamers to sit back and count the days before a Halo game’s release is just not going to work anymore, claiming:
“I will say I think one Halo game every three years -- which was kind of our old cadence — is probably not frequent enough."
While Halo: Reach went through a long development cycle, followed by some intense marketing, expect Microsoft to shorten that amount of time by delivering a solid project inspired by what other publishers are doing.
With Reach being a record breaking juggernaut for Microsoft, it isn't hard to imagine they want to shorten the amount of time between releases. Though praising Activision’s model with Call of Duty, Spencer hopes to move away from the expectation that a new Halo game will be released towards the end of every year:
"343 Industries is thinking a lot about how to take this franchise and turn it into something that people feel like they have an ongoing relationship with and they can entertain themselves more often. But it's not, hey every November 6 or whatever we have to ship a game and build a production plan around that. We want to do things that make sense as a first party."
Whether this means that Halo will become a franchise that follows the motto, “when it’s done it will be released” or if it hints that Microsoft might be pursuing a different part of the year for annual releasee, cannot be gleaned from the statement. The hope is that as long as Halo continues to deliver a solid single player and multiplayer experience, Microsoft won't care when they release the game.
What do you think of the idea of a new Halo game every year? Is it trying to milk the cow for all it’s worth? Or do you say "bring it on, Microsoft!"
Halo: Reach is available now for the Xbox 360.