Microsoft Was Ready To Retire Halo Franchise Before Bonnie Ross Takeover; Phil Spencer Bigs Up Importance Of Guardians


October 27 has been a day long pegged on the calendar for Xbox One fans, as it marks the long-anticipated arrival of 343 Industries’ Halo 5: Guardians. It’s a launch that marks an “important milestone” in the console’s lifecycle, according to Xbox Boss Phil Spencer, though had Bonnie Ross not taken the reins of the decorated sci-fi franchise, things could have been very different indeed.

In the wake of Bungie parting ways with the IP – when the studio would go on to create Destiny – the general attitude at Microsoft was negative, with Ross noting that the Redmond-based giant saw an end in sight for the shooter series after one or two more entires. Speaking in an interview with Bloomberg, the current Studio Head at 343 recalled her efforts to reinvigorate the Halo franchise, along with her George Lucas-like approach to managing the property.

“People felt like, Let’s get another Halo or two out, and it’s the end of the franchise. The thing I asked for was: If I take it over, I want to be George Lucas. I want to own everything, and I want to do things differently.”

It’s interesting to note that in the time between Halo 4 and GuardiansSpartan Assault and the Master Chief Collection notwithstanding – Microsoft had considered winding down production on the seemingly evergreen shooter series. Alas, the launch of the latest installment has offered a new lease of life for the IP, and Phil Spencer welcomed Guardians with open arms.

“It’s easy to say that an Xbox generation never really starts until you have a purpose-built Halo game, and this is Halo 5 from the ground up for Xbox One launching,” Spencer said, as reported by DualShockers. “It’s an important milestone for us with Xbox One. The game looks great, feels great, 60 frames per second and it feels for smooth when I’m playing.”

Halo 5: Guardians, meanwhile, releases today exclusively for Xbox One, and you can get the jump on 343’s blockbuster sequel via our review.