One new Halo game every three years is not frequent enough for the Halo franchise, corporate vice president for Microsoft Game Studios Phil Spencer has told IGN.
That was the old way, with long gaps between releases, but in recent times we’ve seen a new Halo title released each year: Halo Wars, Halo 3: ODST, Halo: Reach. This regular conveyor belt of new Halo games is something fans should get used to.
“There’s no explicit strategy that says we’re to ship a Halo game every year,” explained Spencer. “I will say I think one Halo game every three years – which was kind of our old cadence – is probably not frequent enough.”
He added: “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.”
Spencer also pointed to Activision’s Call of Duty franchise as a shining example of how to annualise a non-sports franchise.
“I used to look at annual releases of non-sports games as people just trying to milk me. I figured nobody had enough time to do a good job, and all of the negatives that we would associate with those kinds of scenarios,” Spencer explained. “Kudos to Activision because they’ve done a good job building a good game, continuing to release each year and I think the fans feel like it’s a good thing that they do that. I think there are some things to learn, some positives and some opportunities, in what they do with that. Obviously they’ve kept the quality extremely high, which I think is important.”
Spencer is, however, well aware that the Halo franchise is a little different to Call of Duty and presents different challenges.
“We have some unique challenges and opportunities with Halo because it is a story based game built around a certain set of characters, which is a bit different than what they do with Call of Duty. Not better or worse, it’s just different.”