Former Halo devs say they pitched dozens of spin-off games, including a rumored ODST game similar to Helldivers 2

Halo 3: ODST
(Image credit: 343 Industries)

Former Halo developers have revealed they pitched a plethora of ideas for spin-off games that ultimately got shot down, and among them was seemingly an ODST title very similar to Helldivers 2.  

Helldivers 2 burst onto the scene earlier this month and has been an instant hit thanks to its fast-paced and frantic gameplay that pits you and your co-op buddies against hordes of giant insects and deadly robots. For many Halo fans, it's the perfect formula for an ODST game, and according to recent rumors, former 343 developers once had the very same idea.

In a post that's gained considerable traction on Twitter, one fan claims 343 developers "pitched an ODST game that was almost exactly like Helldivers." They don't say how they gleaned this knowledge, but in the comments, @leaks_infinite, an account that covers leaks and general news surrounding the Halo series, claims to have heard the same back in 2022. "Not sure when the pitch happened, just that it apparently existed at some point," they say.

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Giving more credibility to the claims, former 343 Industries developer and senior designer on Halo Infinite, Kevin Schmitt, weighed in with a response. According to him, tons of ideas were pitched for Halo games, though these never saw the light of day for one reason or another.

"We must have pitched 20-30 game ideas over the 12 years I was there that would have totally worked in the Halo universe," Schmitt says. "Many SP & MP ODST-themed ones. Some galaxy-spanning, some more intimate… and one that was really dark. lol."

Naturally, the idea of these not being picked up has been met with a mix of sadness and confusion from fans. "Infuriating that none of these were allowed to be made," says @PWCR13. "The universe is so massive [with] endless stories to tell." @Halo_VFX writes, "I'd love to know the reasoning why they didn't go with any of them. It feels, from a fans' perspective, that they do as much as they can [to hold] the franchise back from having tons of gaming experiences that could be fun and successful."

And success is certainly what Helldivers 2 has found. In just 24 hours, the sequel managed to overtake God of War to become the biggest PlayStation Studios game launch on Steam. Since then, its spiraling concurrent player numbers have seen it surpass Destiny 2 and Starfield to become the biggest Steam launch from PlayStation or Xbox Studios. Developer Arrowhead recently admitted it was "struggling to keep up" with the game's immense popularity and has to raise the player cap to 450,000 to improve server stability.

Whether you're in the mood for fast-paced multiplayer action or intense single-player campaigns, you'll find them all in our pick of the best shooters.

Anne-Marie Ostler
Freelance Writer

Originally from Ireland, I moved to the UK in 2014 to pursue a Games Journalism and PR degree at Staffordshire University. Following that, I've freelanced for GamesMaster, Games TM, Official PlayStation Magazine and, more recently, Play and GamesRadar+. My love of gaming sprang from successfully defeating that first Goomba in Super Mario Bros on the NES. These days, PlayStation is my jam. When not gaming or writing, I can usually be found scouring the internet for anything Tomb Raider related to add to my out of control memorabilia collection.