343 Industries hints at Halo's future, denies plans for spin-offs

Ever since 343 Industries was formed to handle all future Halo projects, Microsoft's off-shoot studio has been relatively secretive as to what it's planning for the franchise. Now, after umpteen job postings and sketchy internet speculations, franchise development director Frank O'Connor has told The Official Xbox Magazine in the UK that no major Halo release is slated for 2011, and the studio isn't looking to develop another Halo spin-off anytime soon.

“[We have] Nothing to announce right now, but I can tell you we're not working on any side stories as games at the moment,” O'Connor told OXM, referring to recent side projects like Halo Wars and Halo: ODST. “There'll certainly be more Halo fiction entering the universe, but we've no new games to announce right now.”

Asked what shape or form a future Halo game might take, O'Connor hinted, “I think that there are a lot of questions that fans of the series want answered, and we'll certainly be in the business of answering those questions. But we would be lazy and very lacking in imagination if we didn't inject lots of brand new questions into the universe, and enigma, mystery, and awe are at the heart of what drives the fiction.”

This being the 10th anniversary of Halo, O'Connor also confirmed that 343 Industries will continue supporting existing Halo games with new content and multiplayer promotions throughout the year, and that FPS bookworms can expect three new Halo novels. He also stated that Bungie will continue to lend its own support to Halo: Reach in much the same fashion it has done up until now.

“Bungie's committed to supporting Halo: Reach for the foreseeable future ... It's signed up to build at least three new maps, as it revealed not too long ago, but you can bet that it'll continue to support the community it's been joined at the hip with for such a long time now,” said O'Connor.

Pressed again for word on Master Chief in 2011, O'Connor added, “I imagine he will be chilling. Literally.”

Well, let's hope he's comfortable, at least.

[Source: The Official Xbox Magazine (UK)]

Feb 3, 2011

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  • BadCompanyBrik - February 5, 2011 6:28 p.m.

    The Bungie Weekly Update cleared up a lot about Matchmaking updates in the future. The following will go live on Tuesday: -Return of Firefight Arcade -Firefight Limited stays -New gametypes in Score Attack -The regular 'Firefight' playlist is being removed, presumably to avoid spreading population too much -Multiteam is 4 teams of 3, rather than 6 of 2, 3 Ball & Rocket Hog Race to be added now -Return of Grifball for an 'extended stay.' -Objective gametypes to be added to SWAT (Stockpile, Oddball, 3 Plot). -New round of Community Slayer maps -Addition of 'Bro Slayer', essentially Team Slayer with Invasion spawning. -Addition of 'Invasion Skirmish', essentially Invasion Slayer with instant drops, no vehicles, for smaller teams (ie, Countdown, Boardwalk, Powerhouse). Covie/Human drops alternate. Comes in SvS, SvE, and EvE flavours. Still tiered loadouts. Best MM update yet, IMO. lol at presumed fellow Bungie forumite above. @CancerMan, trust. Bungie knew Arcade and Grifball were popular, but they needed to see if other things would be more popular.
  • Jamahl - February 4, 2011 3:27 a.m.

    @ CancerMan The grifball playlist was just a beta test. And it will have its own playlist sometime later. The makers of grifball are still tweaking the settings. And @EwoksTastLikeChicken, the maps were NOT taken from the campaign after the campaign was done. They were made first, and then put into normal gameplay. Bungie has only released halo games one year after another ONCE, and anyone who complains of the halo games being rushed out is stupid, since generally about 3 years is between each release. Halo started 3 years before call of duty and Halo STILL has one less game than cod. The people who dislike Reach either do so because: A, Halo is "too mainstream" (Mainstream games are not all bad. If you have a reason you don't like a mainstream game like you don't like shooters because you've played too many, or you don't like the story, then JUST SAY THAT, instead of chalking it up to being mainstream), B, Reach changes too much about halo (Bloom is introduced, many varied armor abilities are added, Forge and firefight is overhauled, tone of the story is darker and more mature), and C, Reach doesn't change enough about halo(Refuted by the previous view, strangely enough. They usually believe that the game is exactly the same because you aim with the same controls and jump with the same ones, and basically ignore all new features and play like their only special ability is sprint, and that sprint can only be used for covering distances quickly instead of getting to areas quicker by hopping between platforms, and escaping hairy situations) And of course the people who don't like the excusivity of the system, which is a valid point if you actually can't play the game because you don't want to buy a console, but those people shouldn't weigh in unless they've actually had some hardcore gaming time with it. 343 has done an amazing job with halo for the time they've been doing it, and I love how they only have one game remade in book form, and the rest are all interesting stories with completely unfamiliar characters. And now this. Say all you want about Halo being milked, but it really isn't just about selling many copies and a game for these guys. It's about the whole universe that has been created. And this universe is not even close to being worn out. Heck, Star Wars was still extremely relevant for more than 20 years, although it's dying now. 343 has balls. And Bungie did too.
  • IChooseUAntistaMON - February 4, 2011 1 a.m.

    We need a CE reamake
  • SausageLozenge - February 3, 2011 11:16 p.m.

    I want more Halo! As long as its good. Remakes or RTSs.
  • batmanboy11 - February 3, 2011 10:42 p.m.

    I think I'm done with Halo, to be honest.
  • CancerMan - February 3, 2011 10:30 p.m.

    @HumorTumor Are you referring to the walking speed or the abundant hit points? Sprinting takes care of the former while the latter introduces a layer of skill not present in Call of Duty type games. Also, Reach is actually one of the faster Halo games. @EwoksTasteLikeChicken In the name of variety Bungie doesn't let fun stuff like Grifball stay up to long...sigh.
  • HomieT23 - February 3, 2011 9:52 p.m.

    Does a remake of Halo: Combat Evolved but with updated graphics (similar to Halo Reach) released as a $15 Xbox Live Arcade game sound appealing to anyone else? Maybe not, but it would be interesting.
  • Fuzunga - February 3, 2011 9:13 p.m.

    Does a remake count as a "major" release?
  • EwoksTasteLikeChicken - February 3, 2011 8:25 p.m.

    @HumorTumor Reach got kind of boring for me too, but not because it's too slow. I just didn't care for the maps. Halos 1 and 2 were really great, and even 3. I just wish that they hadn't put in maps from the campaign. Also, does anyone know if they're gonna put Grifball and Firefight Arcade back into the playlists? They were really starting to make the game new and fresh, when they took them out. :-(
  • FlikNightshade - February 3, 2011 8:18 p.m.

    I'm so glad to see someone else take control of the franchise finally.
  • Letter11 - February 3, 2011 8:08 p.m.

    @Acerlux I agree, the thought of Activision planning to shove out another Call of Duty just because they can annoys me. Bungie is officially no longer involved in game development in the Halo Franchise right? I hope the series doesn't get exploited with some mediocre releases in the future just because Microsoft knows the name will sell. But this gives me hope they'll take they release something when it's good and ready.
  • Acerlux - February 3, 2011 7:53 p.m.

    Glad to know the franchise is taking a break, at least for a year. 3 games in 2 years was a bit much for me. People who want more can read the books. Hooray for not burning out.
  • HumorTumor - February 3, 2011 7:47 p.m.

    My only wish is they make the gameplay faster. Halo Reach was insanely slow and it got boring really fast because of it.

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