The Top 7... ways Halo influenced the games industry


What Halo did: Pissed off an entire population of fans, that's what. When Master Chief promised to "finish the fight" on Earth in Halo 2, we assumed he meant after the cut scene, or after the next loading screen… not three years, one generation of consoles and sixty dollars later in Halo 3. Still, we learned to wait.

What the industry has done since: Now we're not even surprised by the wait. With mega publishers like EA, Activision and Microsoft scheduling series to release a new entry every one or two years – seriously, you can set your watch to some of these – the cliffhanger ending is commonplace. All games are planned as franchises, and each sequel is shipped with the next sequel already in development. You know you'll get another Modern Warfare within 24 months of this Modern Warfare, for example, so you don't worry too much when Soap and Captain Price are left in a closure-lacking lurch.


What Halo did: Last decade, the videogame industry officially surpassed the movie industry in gross sales – while The Dark Knight set a day-one record for film with $67 million, Halo 3 set a day-one record for US entertainment as a whole with $170 million. And the publicity and marketing campaign matched that growth. Microsoft treated their game like a Hollywood blockbuster, with fast food licensing tie-ins, celebrity galas and Times Square photo ops. The same just happened with Halo: Reach, as any Doritos bag will tell you.

What the industry has done since: If you live in or near a city, you see the Halo effect every day. Billboards for Red Dead Redemption. Bus stops plastered in Mafia II. The tops of taxis advertising Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions. If you live in the suburbs, we're still pretty sure you noticed that Dante's Inferno commercial during the Super Bowl. Or the Mountain Dew cans skinned with World of Warcraft elvess. The release of a game is more than a release – it's an event.


What Halo did: Um, what didn't Halo do? Novelizations such as The Fall of Reach, Ghosts of Onyx and Contact Harvest… six in total, with three more on the way, and not including the collection of short stories, the encyclopedia, the bestiarum and a handful of art books. Then there are the graphic novels and four- or five-part comic series. And the action figures designed by Todd McFarlane. And the anime produced by famous Japanese directors. And the possibility of a movie or television show, or both, from Lord of the Rings mastermind Peter Jackson. And the alternate reality games like I Love Bees. And the non-shooter games like Halo Wars. And the soundtracks. And… well, you get the idea.

What the industry has done since: Publishers and developers have realized that, if their universe is compelling enough, gamers will happily continue exploring it outside of the actual games. And pay extra money to do so. Thus, the animated prequel for Dead Space. Thus, the companion novels for Mass Effect and God of War. Thus, the comic books for Gears of War and Prince of Persia. Thus, the tie-in toys for BioShock 2 and Assassin's Creed. The list will only get longer.


  • Pruman - January 4, 2011 9:30 p.m.

    I'm surprised that you guys completely left out how Halo shook up what at that point were pretty tired FPS conventions. Before Halo, FPS heroes had one health bar that was only restored by health packs, could carry up to 9 different weapons and the ammo required to feed them, had to select grenades and melee attacks before they could be used (and they usually weren't powerful enough to make doing so worthwhile), and vehicle sequences were generally on-rails. Nearly every FPS that came out after Halo appropriated one or more of the mechanics it pioneered. The recharging health one was the most aggravating: in Master Chief's case, it makes sense because he has a suit of power armor with a built-in personal shield. Does it make sense for a WWII grunt in Call of Duty? No effin' way!
  • lincc289 - September 21, 2010 2:27 p.m.

    go!go! About you, fashionable tide Story will start from here!
  • kibbles0515 - September 16, 2010 9:42 p.m.

    I hate what the Halo multiplayer experience has spawned: games with crummy multiplayer modes that are tacked-on and worthless, and that sad, sad group of people that don't care for games UNLESS they have multiplayer. *sigh*
  • SkyDragonc5 - September 16, 2010 6 a.m.

    It was bound to happen. I do like the expansion of games into other media now. I like my comics and my games and my statues...
  • minimaxi - September 16, 2010 5:26 a.m.

    ehh sorry but i think this list is the equivalence of a man applying a patent for the act of "holding your penis to pee"; many games have done those before. I AM DISSAPOINT
  • TURbo - September 16, 2010 12:31 a.m.

    @510BrotherPanda Halo is no Pokemon. Halo hasn't had a huge TV show, multiple movies that managed to make money, and a card game that everyone bought into for a couple ears.
  • DynamicJul - September 15, 2010 8:13 p.m.

    Collectables worth collecting? Metroid anyone?
  • elpurplemonkey - September 15, 2010 7:48 p.m.

    Great Top 7 Charlie, but after your review, I'm afraid to look at these potential comments.
  • Spybreak8 - September 15, 2010 5:03 p.m.

    It's nice to live through the games that influence how others play/make games. Super Mario Bros, Zelda, Mario 64, Goldeneye, C&C, Half Life, Counterstrike, Mass Effect and Halo. Total Annihilation, just forgot that one.
  • BIOSback - September 15, 2010 8:40 a.m.

    @TheKnot True but Samus was out of her suit in later Metroid games. No one has still seen Master Chief's face.
  • Syncmaster - September 15, 2010 3:19 a.m.

    what the game industry still have to learn from Halo? PUT TONS OF CONTENT ON THE GAME, then, think about DLC. really, there are no other shooter as complete as halo nowdays. I can only remember perfect dark and timesplitters had an amazing shit ton of modes. oh, and you didnt even mentioned the regenerate health, sticky grenades, weapon swaping, etc etc etc.
  • Rattlehead - September 14, 2010 11:36 p.m.

    Good thing Poopcicle is banned or he'd freak out
  • FauxFurry - September 14, 2010 11:14 p.m.

    Halo is a pretty cool guy. Eh generates memes,revolutionizes the FPS genre,spawns legions of imitators and doesn't afraid of anything!
  • Crypto140 - September 14, 2010 8:56 p.m.

  • DreamWeaverPL - September 14, 2010 8:42 p.m.

    @Violate Number 3 on your list? That's funny. I don't own a PS3, there's no hatred for Halo in what I've said before, played it, and I care about video games as a whole. And I'm not "trolling", duh. You need to go to wikipedia or somewhere where they could explain such difficult terms for you.
  • yagirlfriendsfavoriterapper - September 14, 2010 5:23 p.m.

    Number 5 is why I hate ODST and Reach got green-lit instead of Halo 4, Halo 3's ending was F'ed up. It's has been 3 tears and I'm still waiting, oh well Halo 4 on XBOX 720 @ e3 2011, watch!
  • TURbo - September 14, 2010 2:42 p.m.

    Halo All I play Oh. Regenerative health and weapon limits has carried over to many games. If there was one like this for the COD games, aiming down the sights has to be number 1.
  • farsided - September 14, 2010 2:09 p.m.

    you still suck Charlie. recaptcha: "admire us". I refuse.
  • deedob - September 14, 2010 12:11 p.m.

    Correction, There are seven (7) novels of Halo in existance, not 6... with 3 more on the way. Fall of Reach, The Flood, First Strike, Ghost of Onyx, Contact Harvest, The Cole Protocol, Evolutions - Essential Tales of the Halo Universe
  • malakai - September 14, 2010 12:10 p.m.

    i would like to point out you see what issac from deadspace looks like

Showing 1-20 of 71 comments

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