When Microsoft announced that Halo Forge was being released on Windows 10 PCs, a lot of fans got excited; if Forge was coming to Windows, that meant that Halo 5 would follow, right? Unfortunately, the answer to that question seemed to be "no." This led some to speculate that the Halo series and other high-profile franchises would remain Xbox exclusives to help drive console sales and improve competition with the PlayStation 4.
Xbox head Phil Spencer says that isn't the case, though, and that the company had a good reason for not porting Halo 5 to PC. His explanation also gives hope to seeing Halo 6 released on PC alongside the Xbox version, possibly even at the same time as part of Microsoft's new "Play Anywhere" initiative.
Speaking with PC Gamer at E3, Spencer confirmed that there weren't any ideological reasons for confining the Halo series to the Xbox console. He admits that while there are differences in the console and PC experiences, there was nothing inherent in Halo 5 or its gameplay that wouldn't work on both Windows PCs and Xbox consoles:
"The reason somebody wants to go buy an Xbox—or I’ll just say a game console, yes I’d love if they bought an Xbox—is they want to sit 10 feet from their television screen with a controller in their lap looking at a television playing a videogame. It’s a different experience from playing on PC. I’m not saying it’s better or worse, it’s just different. Halo 5 absolutely could be played on a PC. There’s nothing about that gameplay mechanic that doesn’t work."
Instead, the decision to not release Halo 5 on the PC had more to do with when the game was released and how it would be a better use of resources to think about dual console/PC releases in future installments from the very start of production. As Spencer put it:
"Honestly the answer with Halo 5 is, I can go take last year’s game, rework it to go on PC, or I can have 343 look forward in what they’re going to go do."
While this certainly seems to suggest that future Halo games might come to PC, his next statement seemed much more clear on the subject. While he didn't mention Halo 6 specifically, he did use a very similar example: Forza. Like Halo 5 did with Halo Forge, Forza Motorsport 6 received a cut-down free-to-play Windows 10 game in the form of Forza: Apex. Future Forza games will be part of the "Play Anywhere" initiative and feature cross-platform play along with buy-one-get-both digital copies in both the Xbox and Windows stores. Using this example, Spencer explained:
"You could say I’m cheating a little bit by doing a half thing with putting Forge on PC, because we kind of have the tools working on PC to see what happens, but this is what we did with Forza, with Apex. I said, 'This isn’t a full Forza game. Going forward, we’re going to bring our Forza games to PC complete.'"
The use of Forza to explain the Halo/Halo Forge situation suggests Halo 6 will be a "Play Anywhere" game, which means players will be able to not only buy it on Windows 10 but will also be able to switch back and forth between the Xbox and Windows versions without losing their progress. It's likely the reason Spencer didn't state this explicitly is that Halo 6 hasn't actually been announced yet; we likely won't hear anything official on the subject until Halo 6 is confirmed as being on the way, which may not happen until next year's E3 (if then). Given that every first-party Xbox game announced this year was confirmed as a "Play Anywhere" title, though, there's nothing at this point to suggest that Halo 6 will be any different.
Source: PC Gamer