About a year ago it sounded as if Microsoft was ready to expand their Xbox division in some bold and exciting ways with the introduction of a Halo TV series produced by Steven Spielberg. One year later, though, and that intriguing expansion has transformed from a potentially game-changing idea to yet another failed experiment by a major player in the video game market.
But while the Xbox Entertainment Division, which was meant to be Microsoft’s TV wing, is no more, the Halo TV series does live on. The project was either too big or too far along for Microsoft to pull the plug on it, and we’d suspect the recent partnership with Showtime also had something to do with keeping it alive.
Now that Halo is expanding, that puts even more pressure on the folks running the show (a.k.a. Microsoft and developer 343 Industries). They have a unique opportunity here to take Halo from a hugely popular video game franchise and, as Producer Kiki Wolfkill explains, “transform” it into something even bigger.
In a brief interview with Microsoft, Wolfkill talks briefly about the Halo brand’s expansion, which, in the next year or so, will include games, a TV series, a digital short by Ridley Scott, graphic novels, and books. To her, it’s not just about having these peripheral elements floating independent from each other, but rather it’s about uniting them into something that “move[s] the universe forward.”
“With Xbox One, we have the opportunity to allow people to experience all these different modes of storytelling – game, television, even graphic novels — in the same place and without friction. I want to transform how people experience ‘Halo’ in their living rooms and on their PCs…We will never do anything that doesn’t move the universe forward. We won’t do something for the sake of being in a certain medium.”
Whether the team at Microsoft will be able to achieve those goals is unclear, but the plan certainly sounds ambitious. Of course, the next chapter of Master Chief’s journey begins with the release of Halo: The Master Chief Collection, but as we’ve heard many times, that’s only the tip of the iceberg.
Now, however, we have a better understanding of just how deep Microsoft would like that iceberg to go. There is no question that Halo 5: The Guardians is a key pillar, but this Halo TV series seems to be an important element as well. Unfortunately, we are pretty far in the dark where both are concerned.
That being said, in the coming year that should change. Microsoft will begin to flesh out their plans for Halo moving forward, and fans should have plenty to seek their teeth into. Where Halo used to be a major event once every 4 years or so, it sounds like it will soon become a part of our regular entertainment consumption.
Do you plan on following the Halo TV series when it airs? Do you like to consume all the Halo content, or do you prefer to focus on just the games?
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