Microsoft has often been accused of depending on the Halo franchise perhaps a little too much. In the early days of the Xbox, that accusation rang very true; an Xbox 360 wouldn't exist if Bungie hadn't rescued its predecessor from the brink. However, the company has since amassed a strong roster of first and third party talent, from Gears of War to Forza; even the likes of Call of Duty do better on Microsoft's platform. However, vice-president Phil Spencer has announced the Xbox brand lives and dies with Halo.
"I think it's important that our AAA first party titles do help craft and shape how the platform evolves," Spencer told OXM. Microsoft is prepping an all new Halo trilogy, starting with 343's first venture, Halo 4, due for release next year. Before then, their bringing Combat Evolved back on HD terms, with the Anniversary Edition expected this year. "Halo just by its sheer nature of size, of user base - as well as how important the FPS is in today's gaming world - has to play that role."
"If we lose our way with Halo, we lose our way with Xbox," Spencer boldly declared, "because Halo and the importance of games like Call of Duty 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 moved to reassure fans Halo was in safe hands at custodians 343 Industries. The new outfit, assembled from past Halo talent and all new staff, has - according to Spencer - spent time "getting to know" Halo with the recent Reach map packs they had a hand in. Spencer claims 343 is in good shape to take the Halo franchise forward "without missing a beat". [OXM]