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Microsoft explains Halo launch absence

"There was no way we were going to turn around with 343 a full Halo game in a year"

Phil Spencer, corporate vice president of Microsoft Studios, has explained why the Xbox One launch title line up is missing its quota of Master Chief.

"A couple of years ago we had the discussion of: 'Should we do Halo at launch and not do Halo 4 last year?'" Spencer told Kotaku.

"But I was committed to getting Halo 4 done last year, and there was no way we were going to turn around with 343 a full Halo game in a year. So that was the plan we set on. I feel good about that."

Halo 4 launched in November last year and grossed a record breaking $220 million on launch day and $300 million in its opening week, according to Microsoft figures.

Spencer said that creating a new Halo title in time for Xbox One would have meant starting in 2010, and the bigger priority was letting 343 Industries ship their first internal project.

"Unlike some franchises that manage through 1,000 people, Halo is 343 and that team obviously has tight control.They are our Halo team," he explained.

"A discussion around having a Halo game at launch-a true Halo at launch, meaning like a Halo 4 or 5-size game-would have been something we'd have had to start two or three years ago. We had the discussion, and we thought having Halo 4 come out when it came out from 343 and having them really land their first full version of Halo that they developed internally would be great for the 360 customers, great for 343 in shipping something."

No one can doubt Microsoft's commitment to the Halo franchise though, it was a major part of the Xbox One announce with the reveal of a new, live action Halo TV series directed by Steven Spielberg. Top-down third-person shooter Halo: Spartan Assault is due for release on Xbox 360 and Xbox One next month, and Xbox has confirmed that a new Halo title is in development for Xbox One.

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Rachel Weber avatar
Rachel Weber: Rachel Weber has been with GamesIndustry since 2011 and specialises in news-writing and investigative journalism. She has more than five years of consumer experience, having previously worked for Future Publishing in the UK.
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