Microsoft denies "milking" Halo

Remake "a project of passion not business".

There used to be breathing space between Halo games (Halo 1 2001, Halo 2 2004, Halo 3 2007), but in recent years Microsoft has been flinging the IP at us: Halo Wars 2009, Halo 3: ODST 2009 and Halo: Reach 2010.

With the E3 announcements of Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary (Halo 1 remake) coming this year and Halo 4 in autumn 2012, has Microsoft adopted an annual rhythm?

Microsoft Game Studios head Phil Spencer dismissed the proximity as coincidence, not master plan.

"People shouldn't look at Anniversary as part of an annualised franchise," Spencer told IGN. "I love the fact we're doing the Anniversary edition because I loved Halo 1. We just looked at it and thought it needed to be refreshed. It wasn't part of us trying to get into an annualised rhythm with the franchise.

"It will be done in time for this holiday. That is the 10th Anniversary for Halo. It felt like a good time to celebrate it."

"We had discussions about 'will people look at this as us milking it'," he added, "but we figured with Achievements, Xbox Live, and 'up-res-ing' the game it was a project out of passion not a project out of business."

Does a Halo 1 remake beget a Halo 2 remake? "I'm not putting it in or out of bounds right now," answered Spencer.

The Halo 4 revelation was Microsoft's big reveal at E3. Better still, Halo 4 will begin a whole new Halo trilogy, which means Halo 5 and 6 are part of the plan (but on which console?).

The Halo 4 trailer - lest we all get carried away a la the Halo 1 reveal - was "all CGI", according to Spencer. The game's engine "isn't 100 per cent new", he elaborated, "but a ton of work has gone into it by 343 [Industries]".

Microsoft shone a lot of light on Kinect at E3. Has the beam shining on top-tier non-Kinect Xbox 360 exclusives petered out?

"I believe our top four first-party franchises are bigger than Sony's top 11 in sales," he said.

"I don't get into the comparison thing too much, but I think it's about shipping things that people resonate to and go buy.

"Core gamers seem to be showing up."

The Halo 1 remake.

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