“If we lose our way with Halo, we lose our way with Xbox,” says Spencer

Thursday, 4th August 2011 12:11 GMT By Johnny Cullen

Microsoft Game Studios boss Phil Spencer has admitted that the Xbox platform would lose its way if the same happened with the Halo IP.

“If we lose our way with Halo, we lose our way with Xbox, because Halo and the importance of games like CoD and other shooters, that state of the art needs to continue to move forward, and our team at 343 need to move forward with that. That’s always going to be one of our success criteria,” Spencer told OXM UK.

But don’t panic just yet: 343 Industries has garnered the time to learn the ins and outs of the series.

“The good thing about 343 is that they’ve had the time, through the dev of Reach, working on getting the map packs out, and getting to know the infrastructure and the build systems and everything about Halo.

“They’ve also brought in their own talent and their own view so that they can put their own stamp on the franchise,” he added. All in all, 343 are “in a position to take over the franchise without missing a beat.”

343 currently has Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary in development for the tenth anniversary of the series, as well as kick off a new trilogy with Halo 4 next holiday season.



  1. Razor

    You mean…you mean Halo hasn’t lost its way already? :)

    #1 3 years ago
  2. Blerk

    I really wish they wouldn’t rely so heavily on Halo. It’s ridiculously short-sighted, it’ll only take one ‘bad’ game to stuff up the whole thing.

    #2 3 years ago
  3. Freek

    It might also be over-estimating the imporatance of Halo. I mean, I like the franchise, but it’s not like I’m gonna burn my Xbox if they make a bad one. Plenty of other things to play.

    Or he might just be using Halo as an example of “the cutting edge” in Xbox games, rather then literly putting all his eggs in one basket.

    #3 3 years ago
  4. Moonwalker1982

    Jesus it’s not only about Halo MS…my god. Personally i’m not even that fond of it at all. When it comes to exclusives..MS seems to be getting less and less, and thats not good. It could mean i would choose a different console when the new ones start arriving.

    #4 3 years ago
  5. KAP

    And this is actually why i dont known an xbox anymore…

    Halo is their flagship game and i find it very very generic anyway.
    I just feel that they can do so much more then just backing Halo.. so much more.

    #5 3 years ago
  6. Suikoden Fan

    the saying about all eggs in one basket comes to mind

    #6 3 years ago
  7. N2O1990

    just like what Freek/Suikoden Fan said

    #7 3 years ago
  8. ManuOtaku

    I think he means that halo series is vital to xbox, and i agree with him, becuase if it wanst for halo the first xbox woulndt got the second place of last gen, or in other words we wouldnt get the xbox 360 on the market, i known now there is a bunch of new ips on the 360 that made the system more appealing, but the halo franchise for microsoft is like the mario franchise for nintendo they need to deliver good games base it on ,IMHO

    #8 3 years ago
  9. Erthazus

    “If we lose our way with Halo, we lose our way with Xbox, because Halo and the importance of games like CoD and other shooters, that state of the art needs to continue to move forward”

    Importance of COD and other “shooters”?

    So shooter is the main state of the art?

    Ok, does this mean that he confirmed that XBOX is a main console for shooters?

    Their importance with Halo is the importance of marketing campaign.

    #9 3 years ago
  10. DLTDawnlight

    “If we lose our way with Halo, we lose our way with Xbox, because Halo and the importance of games like CoD and other shooters, that state of the art needs to continue to move forward, and our team at 343 need to move forward with that. That’s always going to be one of our success criteria.”

    ^ This is why we have WAY too many shooters this generation. At least Sony and Nintendo have variety.

    #10 3 years ago
  11. ruckus

    Yep – and it’s a marketing campaign that they should just kill already. Hype Halo all you want but give up on the Xbox=Halo crap already.

    Though since you’ve expanded it to Xbox=Halo/CoD/Shooter I don’t think you’ve learned a thing. DAMNIT! X(

    #11 3 years ago
  12. DaMan

    While I think that Spencer needs to stfu ’cause generally he’s talking bs, people don’t spend hours a day playing a game they dislike, thus it has very little to do with marketing. Since shooters are what people play the most these days, and pretty much always did (perhaps apart from the jrpg craze in the late 90s and the point and click adventures at one point in time), placing the bet on them is nothing but smart. I don’t see him saying they won’t have other games.

    #12 3 years ago
  13. Fin


    wat. The two Xbox-exclusive shooters I can think of are Gears (coming up on three iterations for this gen) and Halo (three iterations this gen, so far). I don’t understand how that’s WAY too many shooters.

    Sony really turn up the variety with their Singstar iterations, and Nintendo with their Super Mario 64 3D Galaxy World Party Bros Kart 9.

    #13 3 years ago
  14. HeavyD-Love

    Microsoft’s Xbox IS Halo, Gears, and Forza. I’m afraid that’s really all they’ve got that the competition does not.

    #14 3 years ago
  15. Fin


    True true.
    Then again Sony’s PlayStation IS Killzone, LBP and Gran Turismo.
    And Nintendo’s Wii/3DS IS Mario, Zelda and…uh…Metroid?

    #15 3 years ago
  16. vampiresennsnit

    Ratchet & Clank, InFamous, Ico/Shadow etc…, resistance, Twisted Metal
    I think the Sony list is longer tbh.

    #16 3 years ago
  17. Moonwalker1982

    Don’t forget about Uncharted, very good games too. It’s quite clear that Sony BY FAR has much more exclusives. Not all of them being that great in my opinion. Personally i don’t give a damn about Twisted Metal and Resistance. The new Ratchet game is not something i’m looking forward to neither, not feeling that whole co-op concept of it.

    #17 3 years ago
  18. TVs Everywhere

    I don’t think anyone in their right mind would dispute that Sony’s exclusives are by far the most varied.

    What’s more detrimental to the XBox brand isn’t Halo “losing its way”, it’s the fact that Halo losing its way means death for the brand. It means their portfolio of games is so un-diversified that should one of their franchises go under they’re suddenly in big trouble. And the fact that they’re milking the series for all its worth shows this. Eventually they’ll start using the Halo brand as a crutch (if they already aren’t), they’ll eventually pull a Guitar Hero where they rely on that brand WAY too much and saturate the market with meaningless sequels, and the brand will go down.

    Not to mention the fact that the exclusives library is horribly thin as a result. Halo, Halo, Halo, Halo, Gears, Gears, Gears, Forza, Forza. I hate shooters on consoles so there goes 2/3rds of the library right there for me.

    #18 3 years ago
  19. DaMan

    At this time, Sony definetely have a more varied first party line-up.

    MS aren’t milking anything Halo any more than any other publisher, including Uncharted or Gears or GoW. That’s complete hyperbole. If you look at say, the GoW franchise that’s the one which is probably being abused uncomparably more.

    #19 3 years ago
  20. Erthazus

    You can’t saturate the market with the First Person shooter because it’s the most popular genre for gaming period.

    Guitar hero was just an innovative gimmick that WORKED for Activision.

    #20 3 years ago
  21. TVs Everywhere


    When I see Uncharted, Gears, and GoW getting $20 DLC being released as a full-priced game instead, seeing their respective devs announce three games at once, and when I see those games getting an RTS spinoff for no reason I’ll agree with you.

    There’s a big difference between a famous series with several sequels and a series that’s just being milked.

    #21 3 years ago
  22. HeavyD-Love

    @15. Not quite. More like…

    Sony’s PlayStation IS Uncharted, God of War, Killzone, Metal Gear, LBP, Gran Turismo, inFamous, Twisted Metal and Resistance.

    Love both systems. I’m just saying. Love to see some more Microsoft exclusives (Shadow Complex 2!!!!!).

    #22 3 years ago
  23. DaMan

    @21 One time affair (Odst) is hardly grounds for those kind of statements. Besides, the rts one wasn’t about milking, that’s just a sly way of masking your bias tbh. Why not make an rts with a universe that holds enough potential in terms of backstory and setting. I take it making Waypoint which is a comfortable app for many things accessible from your 360 is milking in your book too.

    Funny really, I might as well state that the psp Uncharted spin-off has no reason. Why not make something new instead? Because it’s easier with an established brand. I fail to see anything wrong with that, everyone wants to eat.

    And, when was it that they announced three games at once. The notion about 4 being a start of a trilogy? Well, I suppose ND commenting on the third game not being the end of Drake falls under that too.

    #23 3 years ago
  24. TVs Everywhere


    It’s very much possible to saturate the market with any product. Market saturation simply means too much of a certain type of product that exceeds the demand. You seem to think that just because FPSs are the most popular, the demand is infinite, and the market can’t possibly be saturated. Not true.

    Also, in case you haven’t noticed, the Guitar Hero brand has crashed and burned. It only “worked” for a few years until Activision released several full-priced games and overpriced plastic peripherals to a market that didn’t want them. Hence, the market was saturated, because there were far more GH games than people wanted, even considering the fact that GH was a popular brand.

    ODST was orginally planned as DLC, then moved over to a $60 release for absolutely no reason. That’s milking the series, I’m sorry to say. It doesn’t matter if you think it isn’t, it is. Period.

    Halo Wars might have been warranted if the game was actually worthwhile. As an RTS it was generally mediocre. This is the exact same thing as those “Kart racing” spinoffs. Using a well-known brand to make a completely unrelated game, banking on the series’ popularity to make sales that otherwise wouldn’t have been there. Again, that’s the definition of milking. Doesn’t matter if you don’t think it is. That’s what it is.

    The PSP Uncharted Spinoff is that. A spinoff made by a different company, for a different platform. Sony’s starting to saturate the market with Uncharted games for this very reason, and unless they can make that game different in any meaningful way it’ll also be considered a series they’re starting to milk. But again, until they make an RTS spinoff and announce three games at once (yes, that’s what happened on the announcement of Halo 4), they haven’t reached that point quite yet. Not that it doesn’t mean that they’re not on the road of doing that.

    And masking my “bias”? What “bias”? I bet you think I’m some sort of Sony fanboy.

    #24 3 years ago
  25. DaMan

    I would like to add that the GH outcome is a massively different ballpark. Those kind of games ending up the way they did says a lot about the genre being a fad. Hardly a case with shooters, there’s a ridiculous amount of demand for them.


    The Odst release was milking in a way, I’ll give you that much. However, as I said that was one time only, the game started off similarly to the second L4D but they similarly felt it warrants a full game price tag. Although, you do know that with the campaign it contained the H3 multiplayer alongside all of the released DLC maps? Not that much of a milking now is it.

    No buddy, excuse me but it doesn’t matter if you think Halo Wars was a mediocre game, when lots of people did enjoy it. So, instead I say no it doesn’t matter if you think it’s milking, because simply put it wasn’t. It ‘s a fun rts made with a rich universe in mind.

    Announcing 4 as the start of a trilogy was a no-brainer, I fail to see any reason why i shouldn’t be playing Halo multiplayer for another several years. Not saying you should, see.

    I have no grounds to think you’re a Sony fanboy, I do have some to think of a bias against certain franchises, regardless.

    Oh, and Halo Wars was made by Ensemble.

    #25 3 years ago
  26. HeavyD-Love

    I’m looking forward to Halo 4. They know what’s at stake and I’m sure it’ll be kick ass. That Anniversary edition is looking awesome!

    #26 3 years ago
  27. AJacks92

    @23 Just because a game has a good enough backstory and a “unique” setting doesn’t mean they should make an RTS out of it. They’re plenty of games with good enough backstory and setting to make an RTS out of it…it doesn’t mean they should. Halo’s milked and Spencer confessed it. Indirectly of course.

    #27 3 years ago
  28. DaMan

    @27 To that I would say that there’s no reason not to make one, since there was never a similar game released for the Xbox back then. Similar successful sci fi rts that is.

    Besides, it hardly changes anything. Just because you can make a game with other universe in mind doesn’t mean you shouldn’t make another with a different but well established one.

    PR quotes should be taken with a grain of salt, and they’re often silly. Besides, if anything he’s saying it’s their flagship title, and that they currently don’t have anything similarly huge, no two ways around that.

    #28 3 years ago
  29. JonFE


    Will Sony be “milking” Uncharted if the PSV spin-off is released as a HD PS3 game at some point in the future, like the two God of War PSP games?

    #29 3 years ago
  30. manamana

    @5 Good god! Gears3 is all I can think of this year, wouldn’t BF3 come along. ;-)

    #30 3 years ago
  31. TVs Everywhere


    The DLC maps being included didn’t really make it all the much more worthwhile. It was still a short add-on campaign and a handful of maps being charged for full price.

    My main beef with Halo Wars was the fact that it was simply unnecessary. No, I don’t think the Halo universe is terrible but it really doesn’t warrant an RTS spinoff, especially considering how it didn’t feel like it was expanding the universe all that much. It was, all in all, a completely unnecessary spinoff. Games like Mass Effect have a tremendously huge universe by comparison but we’re not seeing RTS spinoffs made out of that.

    Announcing 4 as the start of a trilogy cheapens the experience. They only thing they’re showing the consumer now is a short CG teaser yet they’re already rubbing their hands and wetting their appetites at the thought of THREE more Halos? They’re not even giving the market time to take a breather now that Bungie has stepped down. IMO, they’re not giving the series or Bungie the respect they deserve by letting the series rest on the backburner for at least ONE year before pimping out the IP again with a different developer. And it’s not just one more game that’s being pimped out, it’s three. It simply cheapens the brand when you announce a bunch of games at once, just like it cheapened the Guitar Hero franchise seeing all kinds of stupid, unnecessary band-specific versions.

    #31 3 years ago

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