Return of the Chief

Return of the Chief
Halo 3 was a massive success, but did it meet up with Microsoft’s expectations?
Halo 3 has exceeded expectations and on the anniversary of its release is still the best-selling title on Xbox 360.

Did you expect Halo 3 to still be in the Xbox 360 Top Ten a year after release?
We knew Halo 3 was big and would be an industry defining release. Its continued success is a great testament to the game itself, the range of DLC we’ve released over the last year, and the ongoing marketing, PR and community efforts that were aimed at ensuring it maintained its grip on the Xbox 360 top chart positions long after the launch.

Halo 3 has also been hugely popular on Live, regularly topping the multiplayer charts. Was that something Microsoft expected?
The Halo franchise has always been a top-performing title on Xbox Live, but even so the success of Halo 3 on Live has been truly phenomenal.

Bungie has done a great job in ensuring there is a constant flow of new content, such as the Heroic and Legendary map packs, to support Halo fans old and new.

And how do you feel Halo 3 performed compared to the earlier versions on Xbox?
The Halo franchise has done astoundingly well with each release. Halo 2 set entertainment records for day-one sales when it released and Halo 3 continued that tradition last fall when it again exceeded expectations and set day-one entertainment sales records with its release. It’s been very exciting to watch.

Can you comment on the rumours circulating about Halo 4?
No such project has been announced.

Moving on to the future of the franchise, has Microsoft got similarly high expectations for next year’s Halo Wars?
Any release in the Halo universe is sure to appeal to the millions of Halo fans around the globe. The original Halo revolutionised how first person shooters were played on a console and was the leading title in driving the success of that genre on the home console. We fully expect Halo Wars to do the same for real time strategy.

Halo Wars will be the first notable title in the franchise that Bungie hasn’t developed – how has it been working with a different studio on such a high profile Halo title?
Ensemble Studios has been great to work with. Working in collaboration with Bungie they have been able to combine their years of expertise in developing industry-leading RTS games, such as the Age of Empire series, with one of the greatest video game franchises of all time.  

Can we expect any more Halo spin-offs?

We have nothing to announce at this stage.

Finally, is there anything else you'd like to tell the trade about Halo Wars?

Be prepared to jump into the Halo universe early in 2009.

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