Microsoft Game Studios head Phil Spencer has said, in a frank admission, that the company “lost our way” over recent releases in the Halo IP, such as ODST and Reach.
“The key question for me in managing the studio and the creatives is ‘what is Halo?’, making sure Halo lives up to what I think gamers fell in love with [playing Combat Evolved],” Spencer told OXM UK at E3, referring to Halo 4 and the next trilogy in the series from 343 Industries, as well as the upcoming HD reboot of Halo 1.
“What does that mean? Playing Master Chief. We kind of lost our way a little bit, I’ll say. And that’s why I wanted to make sure that at the unveiling of Halo 4, you knew you were playing Master Chief, that John was back. Because Master Chief is the John Wayne character of that universe, and that’s who you want to play.”
Spencer continued: “If you were a Halo fan for Halo 1, 2 and 3, Reach made sense to you, but fundamentally there are a ton of players on our box right now that didn’t start with Halo 1.
“What we said was: ‘let’s get back to what Halo is about’.
“I loved Reach as a game – as a fan of the fiction, I totally love the story in Reach, Reach is one of the best stories in the Halo universe. But it made more sense to you if you were a Halo fan.
“If you were new to Xbox 360, 360’s where you started playing on Xbox, you understood what Halo 3 was. ODST and Reach, maybe you weren’t as centred.”
Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary Edition will launch this November. Halo 4 will release in holiday 2012.