343 Industries development director Frank O’Connor spoke to some of the many rumors regarding the future of Halo franchise. Speaking with Official Xbox Magazine UK, O’Connor said that the studio “has nothing to announce right now,” but he did leave behind some clues, mostly to deny many popular rumors about their first Halo project.
As many of you probably know, After creating five Halo games over the past decade, series developer Bungie has ended their partnership with Microsoft, leaving the Halo franchise behind to develop a new as-yet-to-be-named IP for their new publisher, Activision. Since the Halo franchise is still one of Microsoft’s best exclusive franchises, they obviously did not intend to leave it dormant: Shortly after Bungie announced their plan Microsoft started a massive recruiting effort to build a new Halo-centric studio from scratch – 343 Industries.
O’Connor said up front that there will be no new Halo game in 2011; “There’ll certainly be more Halo fiction entering the universe, but we’ve no new games to announce right now.” Specifically, he said that there are currently no side-stories or alternative projects ( like Halo: ODST or Halo: Wars) in the works. He also said that 343 will be taking the Halo series in a “new direction,” specifically saying; “We would be lazy and very lacking in imagination if we didn’t inject lots of brand new questions into the universe, and enigma, mystery, and awe are at the heart of what drives the fiction.” The statement all but denies the possibility of Halo: Combat Evolved remake, another popular internet theory.
It’s not all bad news for fans of the Halo universe – O’Connor did imply that 343 may be making a Halo: Reach map pack after the release of Bungie’s second and final DLC for the game is released later this year. O’Connor said; “Of course we’ll be supporting Halo games via DLC, matchmaking, tournaments, and more. 2011 is the tenth anniversary of Halo, and we’ll make sure that the fanbase, the userbase, and the community is energised with cool new content and fiction.”
Bottom line: Fans are gonna have to wait for a new game, but make no mistake: You have not seen the last of the Halo franchise.