News this week: Halo 2 Anniversary?
A remake for Halo 2 on its ten-year anniversary is heavily rumoured to be in development. The rumours of a remake to the 2004 first-person shooter began on a forum thread on NeoGaf last week which also stated that Microsoft was planning to release a White Xbox One later in the year and that a third Crackdown game was in development. The thread reports that a Halo 2 remake is scheduled to release on November 11th, almost ten years to the day of the original game’s release date. Given the relatively baseless nature of these rumours and the complete lack of evidence to back up the wild speculation, it was initially difficult to take this story seriously. However a teaser image has surfaced that suggests that a Halo 2 remake may indeed be in development.
The rumoured remake would in theory be similar to Halo Combat Evolved: Anniversary, which was released in 2011. Anniversary was a graphical update of Halo: Combat Evolved to mark the ten year anniversary of the classic shooter title. It preserved the gameplay of the original and notably allowed the player to switch between to remade graphics and the original game at the press of a button.
Microsoft Game Studios hasn’t commented on most of the speculated rumors however IGN reached out to Microsoft and a spokesperson stated: “Other than confirming that your Halo journey on Xbox One begins in 2014, we have made no announcements related to specific titles. Any report or listing to the contrary is based solely on speculation and rumor.”
This statement about a Halo game in 2014 is supposedly referring to Halo 5, which is currently in development at 343 Studios and is scheduled to release sometime later this year. However the same NeoGaf post reports that Halo 5 will be delayed until next year. Regardless of whether the remake or the delay is true, it’s highly unlikely that Microsoft would confirm a Halo game for 2014 if there was even a slight possibility of it not being true.
Given how Microsoft was quick to reverse their massively controversial online-only infrastructure of the Xbox One, they clearly care about their customers but more importantly, their investors. It’s for this reason that Microsoft probably hasn’t denied this rumour. People are talking about Halo and practically doing Microsoft’s marketing for them. The would be little benefit to outright denying the existence of a Halo 2 remake.
Halo is massive franchise that brings in loads of revenue for Microsoft. According to an article by Gamespot, the series reached 50 million units sold worldwide in Dec. 2012. The latest installment Halo 4, was Microsoft Game Studios’ best selling game ever in the U.S. market according to Xbox Wire.
While a new Halo game is unlikely to surpass the 32.5 million units sold of Grand Theft Auto V, it’s still Microsoft Game Studios’ most profitable IP. Whether it’s Halo 5 or a Halo 2 remake, one thing is for certain; there will be a Halo game in 2014.