In a surprise admission, the boss of Microsoft Game Studios Phil Spencer has claimed that the platform holder has “lost its way” with the smash hit Halo franchise.
The statement comes as Bungie makes an emotional farewell to fans, having officially stepped away from the series that it helped make into one of the most popular console IPs in the world.
As Microsoft’s own studio 343 Industries takes the helm of the next Halo trilogy, Spencer says that the anonymous stars of both Halo: Reach and Halo: ODST will be a thing of the past. The Master Chief is back.
“Playing as Master Chief, the ‘John Wayne character of the universe’, was a key part of what people loved about the franchise,” he said in the August 2011 issue of OXM.
“We really spent time thinking about the story arc that we want to tell, in the world, to get back to Master Chief. Make it simple. It’s not Halo-anything, it’s Halo 4. It’s the beginning of a new trilogy.
“That’s the role I want Halo to play. It’s not about re-enacting previous wars, it’s not the kind of comic-book pulp that Gears of War is which I obviously love. Halo is a very story-driven, immersive experience, centred around Master Chief.”