LOS ANGELES--For Halo fans, the high point of Microsoft's E3 Press Conference on Tuesday was the announcement of Halo Reach, an all-new game from Bungie Studios. Staffers from the now-independent developer said that the game had been a top-secret project for some time and that it would arrive sometime in 2010.
Though Bungie did not divulge any further details at the time, many followers of the Halo series assumed that it would be based on the novel Halo: The Fall of Reach, a prequel to the game trilogy. The brief trailer (below) seemed to mimic the Eric Nylund-penned book's plot, which follows the brutal conquest of the UNSC fortress world by the multiracial religious-fanatic alliance known as the Covenant. Its final title card, "Falls 2010" (emphasis added), seemed further indication that it would re-create Fall of Reach's vicious and bleak storyline.
Now it appears that the trailer's final words were actually a hint about the game's release date. During a Halo 3: ODST demo on GameSpot's stage show on the E3 show floor, Bungie staffers took a viewer question about when the multiplayer beta for the game--set to begin sometime in 2010--would start. Their response confirmed the game itself would stick to the September to November launch window of prior Halo games.
"We don’t have an actual firm date for it yet, but I don't anticipate it being day and date with the game," one Bungie staffer said. "I can say you will need the Halo 3: ODST disc to access the beta when it does become available. I can confirm that that beta will go live sometime between the release of Halo 3: ODST on September 22 and the release of Halo: Reach next fall."