“There are just hundreds of stories to tell,” Bonnie Ross says about the larger Halo fiction.
Microsoft still has “hundreds of stories to tell” in the Halo universe, according to Bonnie Ross, who heads up the Halo team at developer 343 Industries. These stories could unfold across not only games, but also books, live-action, and other mediums, she says.
“For us, as we think about the Halo universe and how large it is, there are just hundreds of stories to tell,” Ross said during the latest Gamer Girls Gone Wild podcast. “So we use our fiction and our novels to kind of broaden the universe so that we have more locations to go in the future with whatever we want to do; whether it’s games, comics, live-action, wherever we want to go.”
Expanding the Halo universe beyond games is a “pretty core part” of what 343 hopes to do with the Halo franchise, Ross explained.
Growing the Halo franchise in this way was a necessary move, she said, because the first three Halo games “had a tendency to kill a lot of characters,” meaning the wider story was somewhat limited. Ross also pointed out that “you can only tell so much story” through the lens of a first-person shooter, so it was essential to move Halo into new storytelling areas.
Microsoft has experimented with a variety of non-gaming Halo stories, though these efforts haven’t always worked out. The Peter Jackson Halo movie famously fell apart years ago, with director Neil Blomkamp creating District 9 out of the ashes of that film.
More recently, Microsoft’s live-action Halo efforts have included Halo 4 tie-in Forward Unto Dawn and Ridley Scott’s Halo: Nightfall, which is a direct prequel to this fall’s Halo 5: Guardians. In addition to those, acclaimed director Steven Spielberg is producing a live-action Halo series, though Microsoft has kept this project under wraps since its announcement.
Microsoft has also commissioned a series of Halo novels, the most recent of which–Halo: New Blood, focusing on Halo 3: ODST hero Edward Buck–was announced in January.
As for Halo games, Microsoft has at least two new titles based on the series due out this year. Halo: Spartan Strike (early 2015) and Halo 5: Guardians (fall). Ross also teased that 343 will talk more about Halo 5: Guardians at E3 2015, offering new details about its story campaign, multiplayer mode, and more.
Halo 4 was supposed to the be the first of three games in The Reclaimer Trilogy that would have spanned Halo 4-6. However, Microsoft later clarified that this story was no longer a trilogy, but a “saga” that could extend beyond Halo 5 and Halo 6. Looking ahead, Ross said previously that she wants to get away from numbered Halo sequels.