Microsoft announced today that it will be commissioning a series of five live-action webisodes based in the Halo universe called "Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn." Though it's far from the full-fledged Halo movie we've all been anticipating/dreading, the full web series will run about an hour and fifteen minutes.
Premiering on Machinima, the site that also premiered the Mortal Kombat series from last year, the Halo series will be distributed weekly in 15 minute chunks, and will follow an original story about how Master Chief inspired a UNSC recruit. According to Variety, that recruit will grow up to become a high-ranking officer aboard the UNSC Infinity.
The UNSC Infinity is also the location of Halo 4's training program in multiplayer, and it will also interact with Master Chief in the campagin, though 343 Industries hasn't yet clarified how. The new character (the recruit) will reportedly also tie-in with the Halo 4 campaign in some way.
"Every time we do a live-action commercial the audience says, 'We want to see more so that we can explore the 'Halo' universe a little bit more," said Frank O'Connor, franchise development director at 343 Industries. "Demand grew more and more out of the two little vignettes we'd previously produced."
O'Connor added that part of the reasoning behind the web series is to provide an easy entry-point into the series for new players and people who've never played Halo. Rather than making them backtrack through half a dozen games, several books and comics, live-action commercials, and half of the Halo Wiki.
343i stressed that the web series is not intended to be purely a marketing piece, but is rather a standalone creative product. So far we don't have an official release date, but it's currently slated for release sometime in the fall.