Microsoft Plans More Halo Releases - InformationWeek

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Microsoft Plans More Halo Releases

Software maker says it wants fans to have "ongoing relationship" with the blockbuster action game.

Microsoft intends to up the frequency for new releases of its top-selling Halo video game franchise, according to a company official.

Halo Reach
(click image for larger view)
Halo Reach

One possibility is that Microsoft could release Halo updates through its Xbox Live online gaming service. "We definitely think about a more persistent Halo engagement for customers and not going dark for two years, and Live helps obviously with multiplayer to keep people engaged" said Microsoft Game Studios VP Phil Spence, in an interview with gaming blog IGN.

Halo was originally produced by design studio Bungie, but Microsoft has assumed creative control and assigned it to a new, internal group called 343 industries.

"343 industries is thinking a lot about how to take this franchise and turn it into something that people feel like they have an ongoing relationship with and they can entertain themselves more often," said Spence.

Halo Reach appears to be the latest blockbuster in the franchise. The $59 basic version is the top selling video game on Amazon.com. There's also a $79 Limited edition and a $149 The Legendary edition, which includes 10" character figurines designed by graphics superstar Todd McFarlane.

Halo Reach, an Xbox 360 exclusive that was produced by Bungie, is billed as a prequel to the original version of Halo. "Halo Reach follows the story of Noble Team, a squad of heroic Spartan soldiers as they make their final stand on planet Reach, humanity's last line of defense between the terrifying Covenant and Earth," according to Microsoft.

The game features a new graphics and audio engine that offers enhanced visuals and sounds over its predecessors, Microsoft said.

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