Halo 4 will be released "worldwide" on November 6, Microsoft confirmed today. The game, recently suggested by Nielsen to be gamers' most anticipated title of 2012, was first revealed shortly before Microsoft's 2011 Electronic Entertainment Expo briefing.
Halo 4 will be a return to the series for longtime protagonist Master Chief, who was missing from 2011's Halo: Reach and 2009's Halo: ODST. It is the first title in the series to be developed by Microsoft's in-house studio 343 Industries, which took over the franchise's reins from Bungie after Reach.
The game represents "a new beginning" for the franchise, according to Microsoft, and is set four years after the events of Halo 3. It will see Master Chief "confront his destiny and face an ancient evil that threatens the fate of the entire universe."
To date, 40 million Halo-branded games have been sold, according to Microsoft. The first Halo title, Combat Evolved, launched alongside the original Xbox in November of 2001. A remastered version was released to celebrate the game's 10th anniversary in November 2011.