Halo is coming to Xbox One in a big way, starting this year with the Master Chief Collection, then flanked by live-action TV shows and Halo 5: Guardians. Fans of Spartans and Scorpions have plenty to look forward to.
However, it appears that Microsoft Studios are working on yet another Halo-related project, this time a collaboration between 343 Industries and another as-yet-unknown company. What could it be?
Hold onto your helmets and HUD, because it's time for some wild theorising.
"343 Industries is looking for a Senior Producer to help develop a new project line in the Halo universe," read a highly suggestive Microsoft careers ad [swiftly yanked, via AGB]. "This is your chance to work on one of the most exciting and creative intellectual properties in the industry with one of the industry’s most talented teams.
“As a Publishing Senior Producer, you are core to aiding the productivity of your development partner and ensure you remove any roadblocks for them whilst driving forward and representing the project’s needs internally. The ideal candidate will be able to gracefully shift between different teams (internal and external) aiding them were necessary and contributing to overall smooth running of the project/projects.”
Before you ask, the word "game" is mentioned countless times. Click to embiggen:
The job posting has since been pulled, whether due to unwarranted media attention or the perfect candidate sending in a resume, but the take-home message is clear: we should expect more Halo. The mention of 343 Industries working alongside "external teams" is interesting, suggesting that a third-party could well be involved with development.
So just what is this new "project line?"
I feel we can probably discount Halo: Kovenant Kartz for the time being, but we reckon that there are probably five likely contenders for the mystery project.
- New Halo Wars. Halo Wars may have been a mixed bag, but it was still one of the best attempts at adapting RTS mechanics onto console controllers. The lore, too, was interesting, since the Spirit Of Fire is long overdue a triumphant return. Can we expect a retooled continuation of the series, perhaps tuned for optinal Kinect voice and gesture commands?
- More Spartan Assault. Halo's iconic weaponry and shield-recharging combat loop works surprisingly well as a twinstick shooter. The original Spartan Assault showed promise despite being held back by its mobile roots. We'd actually rather like some more of it, so long as a sequel is designed with console quality and value in mind.
- Halo ODST & Reach remasters. Halo: The Not Involving Master Chief Collection?
- That Halo MMO. Remember this? Ensemble Studios actually prototyped a Halo-themed MMORPG, sinking a huge amount of time and effort into the project before Microsoft brass put the kibosh on the whole thing. And then the studio closed down. Could the concept be making a comeback?
- A mobile/Surface spin-off. Microsoft has their own range of first-party Windows 8 tablets, not to mention plenty of third party mobile devices using the OS. Games are still at a premium - so getting more Halo-branded titles onto the app store probably couldn't hurt.
Or, of course, we could be in store for something completely new, perhaps flirting with new genres.
What would you like to see from a new Halo tie-in?