Can Halo be bigger than Star Wars?

Microsoft's Shane Kim says the Halo brand is worth four to five billion dollars, so it's understandable that Microsoft wants to tread carefully when it comes to handling Halo's future.

Speaking to 1UP about expanding beyond the videogame and into Halo the entertainment property, Kim has explained that the property's something that must be judicially managed or "all of a sudden I start bringing you Halo party games..."

Sorry to dash hopes, but he also says Microsoft will never do Halo Kart Racing. We'll hold you to that.

MS hopes it has a property in Halo that it can use to extend into other areas where they make sense, and Kim cites the project coming from Bungie's partnership with Peter Jackson as an example. He describes the project as "really exciting."

"That's the way you start to expand beyond Halo the videogame into Halo the entertainment property, and you have to do that really carefully or people will say, "What's next? The Halo party game? What's next? The Halo driving game?" Kim says.

He admits that Microsoft doesn't have a lot of experience with nurturing and growing an entertainment property, but that's not putting the company off. In fact, Kim says lack of experience is going to make expanding the Halo brand "a lot of fun."

However, it's also why the company's "going to be really careful" about things like the Halo movie.

"We're not going to get a movie done just for the sake of doing a movie... I want to... go to a red carpet premiere of a really great Halo movie... and then [have people] go 'oh my god, I have to get into this universe somehow,'" he explained.

As Halo stands currently, Kim says he'd "feel real bad" if Microsoft was pimping the IP out and prostituting it, overstretching it, but "In general, everything we try to do with Halo is with high quality partners in a high quality way."

An expanding future ahead for the Halo brand then, but can it ever really be as big as something like Star Wars? Only time will tell.

July 19, 2007