The initial success of the Xbox one, not Xbox One, was in part due to Bungie’s first-person shooter Halo: Combat Evolved. Bungie’s shooter was responsible for moving more than a million units of Xbox.
Microsoft’s 343 Industries now carries the torch and released Halo 4 in 2012, their first solely developed title for the Xbox 360. However, that almost wasn’t the case according to Microsoft Studios’ head Phil Spencer:
“A couple of years ago we had the discussion of: ‘Should we do Halo at launch and not do Halo 4 last year?’ 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.”
“Unlike some franchises that manage through 1,000 people, Halo is 343 and that team obviously has tight control. They are our Halo team. 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.”
There you have it folks. Though Xbox One is missing Halo at launch, the wait for Halo 5 isn’t too far away with the studio announcing the title during this past E3 and is slated for a 2014 release.
And not to be outdone by Sony in the FPS genre, Microsoft has recently acquired exclusive rights for Respawn Entertainment’s highly anticipated sci-fi shooter, Titanfall. The move feels vaguely similar to how Microsoft acquired the Halo rights for the original Xbox and seem to have reused the strategy for the next generation.