Microsoft is hiring for Halo 4… probably

Franchise planner's inbox will be flooded with fanboy mail in 3… 2… 1…

Want to help make the next Halo game? If you’ve got the skills, you may be in luck. Today 343 Industries, also known as the division in Microsoft that deals with all things Halo, postedfifteen new job openings in addition to the nine posted last month.


Above: Halo: Reach, Bungie's last hurrah with the series

We’re sure the Halo fans that are actually qualified for these jobs are salivating at the prospect of working on the next game, but the rest of us? We just want to know when it’s coming out. Thus far, Microsoft has been predictably tight lipped about Halo 4. All we really know at this stage is that it won’t be developed by Bungie.

That being said, the job postings do give us enough information to make an educated guess, or at least wildly speculate, on when we’ll see the next Halo.

The available jobs lean very heavy on the art and design side, which suggests the game is still in a pre-production stage and getting ready to ramp up to development. If that’s the case, it could be some time before the game is complete. Most AAA games usually take two to three years and considering the extra care and polish given to Microsoft’s flagship franchise, it could easily take longer. Sure, the developers could build a huge team and knock it out sooner, but even then, we’d be looking at holiday 2011 at the earliest. 2012 seems more likely.

That’s where it gets even more interesting. If Halo 4 is that far out, we have to consider the possibility that Microsoft may want to make it a launch title for their next console. A Halo game at launch would be a sure-fire console mover and Microsoft has to be considering that option. A next gen Halo game would be great, but that could move the game’s release even further away.

It’s as if millions of fanboys suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced; or at least rushed to the forums to bitterly complain.

But fear not. Halo is the 360’s premier franchise and Microsoft aren’t going to go that long without milking it like a rented cow. After the constant Halo saturation we’ve had lately, the series will likely take a year off, but if Halo 4 is still three or four years out you can expect to see Halo in some form or another before then. Halo: Reach 2, perhaps? Or a Halo Wars sequel?

After all, those grunts aren’t going to head shot themselves.

Jul 1, 2010

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