MS debating "a more persistent" Halo

To turn it into an "ongoing relationship".

Phil Spencer's Microsoft Game Studios is trying to figure out how to make Halo "a more persistent engagement" that doesn't go "dark" for a period while a new pillar release is developed.

"There's no explicit strategy that says we're to ship a Halo game every year. One Halo game every three years - which was kind of our old cadence is probably not frequent enough," Spencer told IGN.

"We're coming up on, what, next year is the 10th anniversary. You watch the change in gamers in 10 years; the percentage of players who are playing Reach that were not old enough to play Halo 1 at the time - 10 years is a long time between launches. 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."

"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," he added, "and they can entertain themselves more often. But it's not, hey, every 6th November or whatever we have to ship a game and build a production plan around that. We want to do things that make sense as a first party."

One solution would be a Halo MMO. Now defunct developer Ensemble had been working on a prototype of a Halo MMO for Microsoft that had been given the green light. Bungie, the creator of Halo, saw the concepts and thought aloud about how such a game would be "challenging" - "not that it couldn't be done," Brian Jarrard added.

Halo: Reach, which launched last week, was Bungie's last Halo game. From here, 343 Industries - lead by ex-Bungie man Frank O'Connor - will carry the torch.

Last year Microsoft introduced Halo Waypoint to Xbox Live. This is a Halo aggregation destination that covers community statistics as well as offers entertainment such as videos and animations.

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