Fans of the Halo series are in luck, as it looks like some of the classic games could be set for a new home on the PC.
Since starting back in 2001 with Combat Evolved, Halo has become one of the best-known gaming franchises out there and easily a jewel in Microsoft's crown of exclusive titles. With last year's Halo Wars 2 showing there is plenty of gas left in the tank, new reports suggest that developers could be looking backwards as well as forwards as Master Chief suits up again.
Eurogamer reports that 343 Industries made a move against ElDewrito's popular Halo Online mod to protect its intellectual property. The company decided to scrub any Halo assets from the mod - which allowed gamers to play the canceled Russian-only Halo Online - but insists that it isn't completely shutting the project down. Making a mountain out of a molehill by slapping Twitch users with DMCA takedowns, the rumor mill started turning about what Microsoft could be up to. While all of this is pretty standard lawyer stuff, there was an interesting comment in Phil Spencer's statement about ElDewrito's Halo experience.
This point is important "As we look ahead, we’re very excited about the prospects of an official classic Halo experience making its way to PC and we hope to be able to partner with the ElDewrito team and broader mod and content creation community" https://t.co/KVJbH5PfJI— Phil Spencer (@XboxP3) April 25, 2018
The mention of "official classic Halo experience" should be enough to have players mashing their keyboards in anticipation already. The fact that Microsoft has taken such an aggressive approach to ElDewrito suggests that developers are ready to officially work together on a PC project. Given the popularity of Halo Online, it makes perfect sense that Spencer and his team would cash in on the community vibe while also making some money on the side.
Despite the first game being ported to PC in 2003 and Halo 2 launching 2007's Games for Windows Live, there has always been a disconnect between Halo's console efforts and its shelf life on PC. As Microsoft releases its Xbox titles alongside PC counterparts, this will undoubtedly be helped by Microsoft's Play Anywhere initiative (another lightbulb moment). There is no news on exactly which of Halo's older titles 343 could bring to the PC, but replicating 2014's Master Chief Collection is a likely candidate. Halo 5 might be a little too recent to get a PC port, but Spencer is still remaining tight-lipped on what his plans are for resurrecting the franchise's past anyway.
Fans of the long-running series know that Halo 6 will refocus efforts on Master Chief, but if Spencer's words are to be believed, Microsoft and 343 could be heading back to the golden age of Halo. Even with Halo 6 coming to Windows 10 PC, the ability to bridge the gap between old and new by offering a "classic" Halo experience on PC is a shrewd marketing campaign.