Amid the seemingly relentless shutdown of fan projects by big publishers, here's one game that's not just thriving but has the blessing of its IP-owning overlord.
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The original Xbox turns 15 in Europe today.
Every so often a game comes along that changes everything. Games like Doom, Super Mario Brothers and Half-Life aren't just incredible games in their own right - they helped shape the gaming industry as a whole. Halo: Combat Evolved is one such title. As a game, Halo evolved and refined the first person shooter, making it work on a console like never before. As a product, it helped define the first generation Xbox and help Microsoft become the juggernaut of today and, as a project, it lifted its creator, Bungie, into the history books as one of the most revered developers of all time.
Bungie president Harold Ryan has exited the company.
It took three-and-a-half years and $7000, but, finally, we have a huge Halo spaceship made out of Lego.
Marty O'Donnell's battle with former employer Bungie continues. Now a judge has ordered the Halo and Destiny developer must return shares to the celebrated composer.
Halo and Destiny developer Bungie must pay $95,019 (around £56k) to former composer Marty O'Donnell, a US court has decided.
Microsoft will release Halo: The Master Chief collection for Xbox One later this year, according to a new report.
The speed running world record for completing the original Halo on its hardest difficult, Legendary, has just been set by 26-year old Canadian Andrew "goatrope" Halabourda who wrapped up the game in a tidy 1:38:57.
We've already taken a look at some of the less impressive games to debut alongside consoles past in our Five Terrible Launch Titles video. But of course, they weren't all terrible (in fact some of them weren't that bad at all, eh, vociferous Kameo fans?), so here's our guide to five of the best.
Plus, coming soon: Five Launch Titles You've Probably Forgotten About That Were Quite Good Actually, Come To Think Of It. We're just trying to remember what they are.
Veteran Bungie developer Joe Staten has announced his departure from the company.
Sci-fi author and former writer and story consultant for Microsoft Game Studios, Eric Nylund, has joined up with Amazon Game Studios as its new director of narrative design.
In the days of yore i.e. circa 1999, the Marathon devs at Bungie were working on a game codenamed "Project Phoenix," before the studio was acquired by Microsoft and shifted all its efforts toward Halo, leaving the abandoned Phoenix unable to rise from the ashes.
District 9 director Neill Blomkamp is still keen on making a movie based on Halo - but only if given control over it.
Microsoft has poured cold water on reports that suggested Halo 3 will be released on PC.
Update: It looks like Halo isn't coming after all.
Bungie's new game, Destiny, is still quite like Halo, according to someone who's apparently seen it in action.
343 Industries, the developer charged with continuing the Halo franchise now Bungie has left it behind, isn't ready to show the world Master Chief's face.
Former Beatle Paul McCartney is writing music with former Halo developer Bungie, he's confirmed.
There have been 67 million Xbox 360s sold around the world, and 19 million Kinects, Microsoft has revealed.
PlayStation 3 has sold 63.9 million units worldwide.
Microsoft's chief Xbox marketing officer Yusuf Mehdi revealed the numbers in a company blog post.
UPDATE: The BBC has responded to its broadcast of a Halo logo during Thursday's News at One, admitting its mistake and apologising to viewers.
Bungie has closed its support for Halo stats and released a new infographic that shows just how popular the first-person shooter series has been.
Update: The official Xbox website has been updated with a timeline to celebrate today's anniversary.
The Xbox is ten years old today.
Halo: Combat Evolved's beloved Magnum pistol is coming to Halo: Reach multiplayer as part of an upcoming title update for the game, Microsoft has announced.
It's a big year for Bungie. Not only does it celebrate its 20th birthday but, with the impending release of Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary, it's also formally signing off custodianship of Master Chief to 343 Industries.
Microsoft has admitted losing its way with Halo following the release of Halo 3 in September 2007.
Bungie has bid an emotional farewell to the Halo universe it created ten years ago.
The team responsible for Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary is planning to modify a handful of original Xbox controllers to be 360-compatible so that a select few can experience the game exactly as it was back in 2001.
Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary, the forthcoming remake of the first game in Bungie's juggernaut FPS series, will have a RRP of £34.99 when it launches in the UK later this year.
Oopsy daisy! With just over two hours to go until its E3 press conference, Microsoft has – apparently by mistake - published a series of major announcements on Xbox.com – including news that "Halo 4 is on the way".
The information, images of which can be seen below, has since been removed, but in addition to Halo, Dance Central 2, Kinect Sports Season 2 and Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary were all outed. Surprise!
Xbox.com described Halo 4 as "the news millions of Halo fans have waited for", while the long-awaited Halo HD remake is described as: "The epic game that launched a universe, remastered for a new generation".
At least 10 non-sequel Kinect games will be announced at trade show E3 next month, Eurogamer can reveal.
Microsoft is marking the Halo franchise's 10th birthday with a lavish 192-page hardback art book.
Microsoft will mark Halo's 10th anniversary with Halo Fest, a three day event taking place during the annual Penny Arcade Expo in Seattle this August.
Billed as "the largest and most expansive live Halo experience ever" over on Halo Waypoint, you can expect tournaments, exclusive panels and prizes.
Could it also see a new Halo title announced? Perhaps that rumoured remake of Combat Evolved?
Microsoft will release Halo motion comic The Mona Lisa through Waypoint and the internet next Saturday, 23rd April.
It retells a story from the Halo Evolution anthology, set shortly after the events of Xbox launch title Halo: Combat Evolved.
"Sent on a highly-classified mission in the debris field of the Halo artefact, the crew of the UNSC Red Horse discover a derelict prison ship – the Mona Lisa – adrift in space," reads the official blurb.
For millions of Halo fans the series' iconic monk chant introduction music is instantly recognisable – but it almost didn't happen.
It is a little-known US developer, but it is behind the downloadable content of some of the biggest videogames of this generation.
The heavily rumoured Halo: Combat Evolved HD remake is being created by TimeShift developer Saber Interactive, according to a new report.
Bungie deliberately made Halo star Master Chief a man of few words so players would feel more like him.
The first rumblings of a Halo game for Kinect have been heard.
Microsoft has responded to the exciting rumour that it is set to release a high definition remake of Xbox classic Halo: Combat Evolved with a statement that will do nothing to quell current speculation.
Microsoft's Halo studio 343 Industries is remaking Halo: Combat Evolved using the Halo: Reach engine, Games Master magazine claims.
In this new series of opinion pieces, some of Eurogamer's favourite writers reveal how they really feel about some of the world's most renowned, or most reviled, videogames.
Microsoft remains adamant that a Halo movie will be made at some point – and it may even fund production itself.
A former Bungie developer has claimed that Apple was on the verge of buying the Halo developer just before Microsoft did back in the late nineties.
Microsoft's purchase of Bungie back in 2000 made Steve Jobs so angry that a special deal had to be brokered to appease the aggrieved Apple despot.
Bungie has revealed that Microsoft's marketing department originally didn't like the name Halo, and insisted on tagging the Combat Evolved subtitle - which Bungie "hated" - to the first release in the legendary sci-fi series.
Activision has signed Bungie in a mammoth 10-year publishing deal. The publisher will have worldwide rights to "bring Bungie's next big action game universe to market".
Around 2.5 million people have snapped up Halo 3: ODST in the two weeks since it was released.
That's according to USA Today, which also reports the expansion pack has generated over $125 million in sales and brought the total number of Halo games sold to 27 million.
But what about the rest of the Halo franchise? Any sign of that movie? "We're being very careful to pick the right time and the right partner," said creative director Frank O'Connor. No, then.
Steven Spielberg is in negotiations to develop a Halo movie, according to a report by IESB.
Microsoft has said Peter Jackson's Halo project isn't in the bin after all - it's just "on hold".
Peter Jackson has confirmed the Halo project he first announced nearly three years ago is in the bin.
Good news, Halo buffs - Microsoft is launching a new "destination" on Xbox Live especially for you.
Microsoft is working on a series of seven short anime films titled Halo Legends.
Microsoft has coughed up an undisclosed amount of money to tech firm PalTalk, settling a lawsuit over the Halo games.
Sumthing Else Music Works and Microsoft have decided stuff all of the Halo music onto a massive compilation soundtrack.
Speculation is mounting that the new trailer for Bungie's next Halo project features a reference to missing five year-old Madeleine McCann.
The trailer, released yesterday, has since been the subject of widespread analysis on the internet, as reported by Videogaming247.
Apparently the message "MADDIE, WHERE ARE YOU?" appears in three frames of the video. A debate has now kicked off over whether this is a reference to the missing girl, who disappeared in May 2007.
Brothers in Arms developer Gearbox Software is in discussions about the next instalment in the Halo series, according to a post on the Variety blog.
Most big, modern games are, of necessity, a team effort - so much so that it's often hard to ascribe any particular part of the experience to one person. In the Halo series, for instance, all manner of people contributed to the games, and for the most part, you'd be hard pressed to pick out a great moment and say, "this person made this". It's a team effort. Everyone's fingers are in all sorts of pies, and every pie has all sorts of fingers in it.
Bungie's lead AI programmer, Damian Isla, has said he's keen to take a few tips from Infinity Ward and Call of Duty 4.
More than three months after the first job ad appeared, Microsoft is still seeking a creative director for a new Halo project.
The next big step for artificial intelligence in games will be making a character walk up to a table and pick up a pencil.
Mexican film director Guillermo Del Toro has been getting himself all worked up about a Halo film.
In December 2007, Microsoft launched the Xbox Originals platform. Part of Xbox Live Marketplace, it allows you to download Xbox 1 games for 1200 Microsoft Points (GBP 10.20 / EUR 12.00) apiece, with the likes of Halo, Psychonauts and Fahrenheit among the launch titles.
The Halo film has been postponed, Wingnut Films has admitted, following a number of setbacks including Universal and Fox's decision to ditch their interest in the adaptation over money issues.
Microsoft's ambition to get a big-budget Halo movie into cinemas has taken a knock this week, with film studios Universal and Fox pulling out of the deal they had struck with the software giant after a last-ditch attempt to renegotiate terms was rebuffed.
Film maker Peter Jackson says that preliminary work and script doctoring on the Halo film he's executive-producing is going well, and he's got nothing but admiration for young director Neill Blomkamp, despite his relative lack of feature experience.
Newly announced Halo film director Neill Blomkamp has spoken out about how he's approaching the film's coveted source material, and about his views on Halo in general.
Halo will hit the silver screen in summer 2008, not 2007, Microsoft announced this week - and relative unknown Neill Blomkamp will direct.
At the Comic-Con held in San Diego last week, Marvel and Bungie announced plans to launch a new monthly comic titled Halo Ongoing.
As you might have guessed, it'll be based around the hit Xbox shooter, but that's all there is to report so far - there's no word on the comic's plotline, or on which artists and writers have been signed up to produce it.
Halo Ongoing is set to appear in shops later this year, following the release of the Halo Graphic Novel. As previously announced, the 128-page book will go on sale in the US this July, and its storyline will focus on the battles between the Covenant and the Flood.
Anyone looking forward to the Halo graphic novel might like to head over to Marvel.com right now.
That's because you can now enjoy a preview of the graphic novel - or "comic", as they used to be called in our day - online. You have to register for the site, but it's free and doesn't take too long.
As reported back in March, the Halo comic will weigh in at 128 pages and is set to feature a host of characters and weapons familiar to fans. It's being worked on by French comic book artist Moebius, along with the likes of Phil Hale, Ed Lee, Tsutomo Nihei and Jay Faerber, plus Bungie's own art team.
Marvel has signed a deal with Halo developer Bungie to produce a graphic novel based on the blockbuster first-person shooter.
Halo may never appear in 2d officially, but in its absence some enterprising Frenchmen have come up with a freebie version instead. Based on the Halo novel The Fall of Reach, Halo Zero is a 21MB download.
Guillermo del Toro has confirmed that he's in talks with various parties including executive producer Peter Jackson about directing the Halo film, but that he'd ideally like to do a Hellboy sequel first.
Peter Jackson's revealed his lofty ambition as executive producer of the new Halo film, which begins shooting next year. "Hopefully it won't suck," he told film site Dark Horizons during a recent New York interview.
Bungie's confirmed suspicions that Halo and Halo 2 will be slightly shinier than the average Xbox game running on Xbox 360 - if indeed the average Xbox game does run on Xbox 360, although that's a separate issue.
Halo developer Bungie has hinted that the hit shooter and its sequel are going to look even better on the Xbox 360.
First of all, we've resisted the temptation to do, "Halo for Xbox 360 launch", so how about some biscuits? Second, according to numerous reports based on Microsoft's recent show-and-tell tour of the American tech-and-games-press circuit, Xbox 360 will launch with legacy support for Xbox titles Halo and Halo 2.
Microsoft has revealed that Lord of the Rings and King Kong director Peter Jackson and his partner Fran Walsh will be acting as executive producers on the Halo film.
IN-FUSIO has signed the rights to produce mobile games based on Microsoft's Halo series, the company announced today.
Game and movie fans alike can breathe a sigh of relief at the news that notorious director Uwe Boll isn't helming the new Halo film after all.
The film translation of Microsoft's somewhat-popular sci-fi based first-person shooter franchise Halo has been given an official 2007 launch target by Universal and 20th Century Fox, according to a report in entertainment publication Variety.
Microsoft's tough demands for the proposed Halo movie may have turned off many large Hollywood studios, but the firm's gamble may still have paid off - with Universal and Fox reported to be nearing agreement on a deal to make the film.
Plans for a high-budget Halo movie are being pushed ahead by Microsoft, which delivered copies of the Alex Garland-penned script to Hollywood studios earlier this week - with a high price tag and tough conditions attached.
Eurogamer turned 15 this week (happy birthday to us, etc!) and Bungie's latest game, Destiny, is due out on Tuesday, so when we were considering which article to drag out of the archive this weekend there really was only one choice. Eurogamer's launch editor John "Gestalt" Bye (we all had nicknames back then) penned this famous critique of Halo: Combat Evolved way back in the day, which left us with a legacy of "Better than Halo?" comments directed at any other review with a high score forever after. Always with the wit.
Read on to see what John made of Halo when he published this review on 13th March 2002, the eve of the original Xbox's European launch. Having worked with John in the early days of the site, I'd like to apologise to him should he happen upon this relic for going through and adding a few more hyphens than he would have liked, but I will preserve his strange love of incomplete ellipses floating in space. -Tom B