The upcoming Halo TV show in production at Xbox Entertainment Studios and produced by film veteran Steven Spielberg will be done "the right way," and won't be "filler," Microsoft Studios corporate vice president Phil Spencer has said.
"I think there's a story in the Halo games that's noteworthy," Spencer told OXM in a new interview. "And that we can introduce more people to the IP by putting the franchise, stories, and characters in more accessible mediums than a first person shooter. That's a good thing for Halo, a good thing for the platform, and a good thing for the IP owners.
Microsoft has gone down this road before. In a bid to promote Halo 4, Microsoft launched the web series Forward Unto Dawn, which Spencer said has now reached around 70 million views. Microsoft tapped actors including Anna Popplewell (Chronicles of Narnia) for the program, but has not announced any actors for the new Halo show.
Speaking about the upcoming Halo TV show, Spencer made clear that Microsoft's intent with the program is not to expand the sci-fi franchise to new media just for the sake of doing so.
"I definitely don't think of it as filler. Halo, you could argue, is the most important entertainment IP that Microsoft owns," Spencer said. "I can't use the word filler anywhere near Halo, it just won't work. If we're going to do a television series with Halo, we're going to do it the right way, and we're going to do it because we think it really matters."
Finally, and perhaps most interestingly, Spencer said he found it intriguing the way the Walking Dead series has grown over time, suggesting the same could happen for Halo.
"I'm a big Walking Dead fan. I've read the comics and graphic novels; the IP has grown and became more accessible as it hit TV, then went to video games where it did incredibly well, and I think that strategy of growing and deepening what the franchise and IP is about is a good strategy for an IP holder," Spencer said.
The first original Xbox Entertainment Studios program will be a documentary series that investigates the events surrounding the 1983 burial of millions of copies of Atari's famously unsuccessful E.T. movie tie-in. A show about the upcoming World Cup is also planned. Both are expected sometime in 2014.
Meanwhile, the new Halo game for Xbox One will launch this year for sure, Microsoft assured fans yesterday.