Halo: Reach screenshot
Halo: Reach screenshot

In our modern climate, words like "passion" have become nebulous marketing terms, but among the Bungie community and its creators the dedication seems tangible: when you listen to the people involved in creating Halo talk about the series, you get a sense of empowerment and pride. Pete Stacker has lent his vocal talents to the franchise since the beginning, playing Sergeant Stacker and uttering the first game's opening line as Captain Keyes. Talking on the Halo Universe panel at Halo Fest - which, coincidentally, was the first time Master Chief and Cortana voice actors Steve Downes and Jen Taylor ever met in real life - Stacker reflects on the last decade with sincere nostalgia and a lump in his throat:

"I just think being part of something that is actually part of the crust of America... I know that sounds really cliché or whatever, but over 10 years to see the amount of people who are playing it, that's what's really cool. People from all over the world, man, in different languages. And everybody is playing the game. To be part of that is really unique. I've been part of a lot of cool things, I've been a very lucky guy, but this is especially cool because, beyond anything else, [the team at Bungie] are my friends. So for us to get to be able to play with you is especially cool. And the pictures and the art, and the amount of work that goes into this, by everyone involved... everybody is going to the extra level because we're into it and, when everything is all brought together, that makes it about the coolest damn thing I've ever been part of."

Halo is currently in a transitional period, with development and maintenance of the mammoth franchise being passed from Bungie - now working with Activision to create a multiplatform IP - to new studio 343 Industries.

Even if you think the big floaty jumps are silly and the guns a bit too weak, there's no denying that Halo has become a cultural phenomenon over the last ten years - I know more than a few people who refer to it as the Star Wars of our generation. Surely Bungie is finding it hard to say goodbye to Halo?

Halo 4 screenshot

"We leaned many years ago, not months ago, that it wasn't really ours anymore - it belonged to all of you guys," says Staten during another Halo Fest panel. "It hasn't been too hard to say goodbye because it has a home. It has people who care about it."

O'Donnell also takes a moment to reflect on what Bungie accomplished, but also to wonder about if they'll ever be able to make something that popular ever again. "I talk to Jason [Jones, Bungie co-founder] about how, wow, we really caught lightning a bottle here - what are the odds of being able to do this again? And he goes, 'Yeah, slim to none, but we're sure as hell going to try'. We have a bunch of people back at Bungie and our goal is to do this again."

One thing is clear: 343 Industries certainly has a tough task over the next few years, with the fledging studio now taking Master Chief forward into the Reclaimer trilogy. "We've got a big challenge ahead of us," says Ayoub. "We've got a franchise that has a huge legacy, a ton of very serious diehard fans, and I think that is really the key."

"As I say all the time," he adds, "the fans are the reason this franchise is here after 10 years, and the fans are the reason we're going to be here in another 10 years."

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Bloodstorm's Avatar

Bloodstorm

ABIT LIKE HALO!!!
Posted 21:22 on 11 September 2011
pblive's Avatar

pblive@ Bloodstorm

I found the story and characterisation in Unreal Tournament a bit lacking ;)
Posted 19:49 on 11 September 2011
Bloodstorm's Avatar

Bloodstorm

Yes you can, Unreal Tournament.
Posted 18:51 on 11 September 2011
Wido's Avatar

Wido

Can't beat a bit of Halo. :laugh:
Posted 18:05 on 11 September 2011
pblive's Avatar

pblive

I've kept my Halo 2, Halo 3, ODST and reach (which I need to go back and finish actually). It felt wrong getting rid of them.

I did give someone my original Halo though but have another on my old Xbox which currently sits gathering dust.
Posted 16:59 on 11 September 2011
Clockpunk's Avatar

Clockpunk

You should have heard Wido when I told him I had traded in Reach because Game were offering £15 credit - a very good deal, but... there was much anguish... :p
Posted 16:47 on 11 September 2011
squidman's Avatar

squidman

Ten years of Halo is ten years of Wido.
Posted 16:25 on 11 September 2011
Wido's Avatar

Wido@ FantasyMeister

haha!
Posted 22:38 on 09 September 2011
FantasyMeister's Avatar

FantasyMeister

I read the thread name as 10 years of Wido, that's a whole other article of course.
Posted 22:01 on 09 September 2011
Wido's Avatar

Wido

Halo is one my favourite franchise's or 'the' favourite franchise for me personally. I think Halo is the new Star Wars generation, especially for the videogaming platform. I cannot wait to play Halo: CEA in it's former glory and the lovely overhaul in the visuals department.

343i do indeed have a tough task with Halo 4 and the rest of the reclaimer trilogy. I have faith in them, that they will deliver, but, again, they do have a massive mountain to climb with the fans.
Posted 20:37 on 09 September 2011

Game Stats

Release Date: 27/02/2009
Developer: Ensemble Studios
Publisher: Microsoft
Genre: Real-time strategy
No. Players: 1-6
Rating: PEGI 16+
Site Rank: 1,180 17
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