Eric Warner Staff Writer
It’s rare these days when a charitable, interpersonal, and definitively united community can be formed out of an entertainment outlet. While many communities are formed through common interests, work operations, or ideals, they often don’t form over the basis of a communication medium or, better yet, go on to help define that medium itself. This is, however, the case for the people involved with the video game franchise, Halo.
Halo was originally developed as a real-time strategy game set in the far future for MAC devices.Instead, when the game’s development company, Bungie, was acquired by Microsoft it was developed into a first-person shooter that would eventually become the original Xbox’s smash hit. Since the release of “Halo: Combat Evolved” in 2001, the video game franchise has gone on to shape the modern-day video game industry with “Halo 2” being the first game to fully support online multiplayer in a console, “Halo 3” allowing players to manipulate multiplayer maps (a first for the console platform), and so much more.
Halo is one of the most popular games of the past two console generations with the franchise overall selling more than 65 million copies. Fans of the games would go on to produce their own creations in the game by the genre of film making known as Machinima, a style of films that are made commonly through video game engines. In fact, the Halo games are used to produce the longest running web series, Red vs. Blue, which started it’s seventeenth season on March 9. Fans were even able to create their own forms of art by using the series’ map manipulator, Forge, but the series has begun to lose its sense of community ever since Bungie left Microsoft in 2010 and was replaced by 343 Industries.
On March 12, 343 Industries developer Brian Jarrard announced that “Halo: The Master Chief Collection” and “Halo: Reach” will be coming to Windows 10 and Steam later this year. The main series of Halo games have not been released on PC platforms since May of 2007 when Halo 2 was released for Windows Vista. This was a shocking announcement for those in the video game community since Halo was always known as the flagship title for Microsoft and Xbox consoles, and was always retailed as an Xbox console exclusive series. While spinoffs such as Halo Wars and Halo Assault have been released on PC platforms before, the main series of Halo games has never been released on PC.
Console exclusive games are common in the video game industry. Both Nintendo and Sony also host a multitude of exclusive titles on their respective platforms. Microsoft has arguably been failing to attract new gamers to purchase their newest generation of console systems. While PlayStation has been home to exclusive games such as “Horizon: Zero Dawn, God of War,” “Marvel’s Spider-Man,” and more to this console generation, Xbox has only had minor success with their exclusives. Series’ such as Forza, Gears of War, and Halo have had moderate success this generation but those have been the only profitable exclusive games on the Xbox One with Microsoft either cancelling or delaying the others.
Nevertheless, fans of the Halo series are happy to finally see their cherished games brought to the PC platform and are excited to see rejuvenated interest in the series. One fan on Reddit stated, “I will buy the first 343 employee that comments on this pizza if MCC for PC gets announced during the special announcement this month” (r/halo) and buy pizza he, as well as many others, did. In fact, so much pizza was sent to 343 that Jarrard had to go to Twitter and tell the community that they’re getting too much pizza.
It’ll be interesting to see if 343 Industries follows up this news at the upcoming Electronic Entertainment Expo this June since Microsoft is expected to have a thrilling presentation with neither Sony nor Electronic Arts being at E3 this year. Perhaps “Halo: Infinite” will be announced to release on both PC and the next Xbox console, currently codenamed Xbox Scarlett. Whatever happens, the Halo community and its drive of creativity may be reborn in the PC platform. People have always found a way to reunite whether it’s through nostalgia or a general interest to ensure the continuity of the glory days.