Expanding the Halo universe

GR: Did you ever have to correct the anime studios on the details of Halo canon?

FO: Mostly on detail. It was such a great collaborative process. We really didn’t get to the stage of fully-fledged colored art before we had to say, “Whoa, the Chief has two eyes!” It was really a very logical process. Actually, each of the studios, if the director wasn’t a Halo fan to begin with, he had at least one Halo nutjob on staff, luckily for us. They all had a really good understanding of the universe. There are some narrative differences in how they tell as story, but there was never any problem with understanding the canon or the fiction.

GR: Is the Legends compilation going to be released in Japan?

FO: Yes. Simultaneously.

GR: So hopefully you’ll find some anime fans who haven’t played the game and might be inclined to pick it up now.

FO: It’s already happened. We’ve had emails from people in Japan who’ve enjoyed the anime on Waypoint and are now converted Halo fans and want to find out more about these stories through the games.

GR: Other than Legends, what are some of your personal favorite expansions of the Halo universe?

FO: I’m really fond of the Halo graphic novel, because it was our first big step out of the bounds of the novels or the game fiction. The novels were definitely started opportunistically and we had good luck with our author Eric Nylund, who set a really good pace and foundation for the novels. But the graphic novel was fun for us, because it was like, “Who’s your favorite comic book artist?” I liked people like Moebius and Simon Bisley and got to work really directly with them. They didn’t disappoint.

JH: I’m excited to see some of the toy collection stuff going forward. McFarlane does such an awesome job with those figures, and they build so much detail into them. I’ve got a ton of Halo figures and I’m looking forward to collecting more in the future. To me they’re one of the coolest things we’ve come out with for Halo.

GR: So should we expect to see some Reach toys?

JH: That sounds like a very logical conclusion.

GR: All future decisions on merchandise will fall to 343 Industries, right? So if there’s any really bad Halo stuff, we know who to blame…

JH: We’ve done a really good job for the most part of coming out with merchandise that makes sense for the fans. I’ve got a huge collection of awesome Halo action figures, and you can expect to see more stuff like that. Bad merchandise is definitely one of the things that we will guard against here at 343, making sure that you do not have to suffer Halo Underoos or anything like that.

Feb 1, 2010