Halo 6 Is Undergoing "Serious, Real Planning," Microsoft Says

Plus, Microsoft teases, "We kind of know what's going to happen to the Master Chief ultimately."

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Microsoft is doing "serious, real planning" for the sequel to Halo 5: Guardians, and, on a longer timeline, knows how Master Chief's story will end. This is according to Halo franchise development director Frank O'Connor, who talked about Halo 6--or whatever the sequel to Halo 5 will be called--in a new interview.

"We do kind of know what's going to happen in the next game pretty well at this point," O'Connor told GamesRadar. "We're doing serious, real planning and even some writing on the next game already, and that's a luxury--we've never been in that position before."

Microsoft revealed during PAX Prime in 2011 that Halo 4 was the beginning of The Reclaimer Trilogy, which would span Halo 5 and Halo 6. But this story has since been expanded to become a "saga."

"While we originally said trilogy, we've actually expanded this to more of a saga, so we don't want to limit the Reclaimer story within a trilogy," Microsoft confirmed back in 2013.

O'Connor went on to say that, looking beyond Halo 6, Microsoft knows, at a high level at least, what's going to happen in the Halo universe a decade from now. Recently, Xbox boss Phil Spencer said Halo has staying power similar to other juggernaut franchises such as Star Wars and Spider-Man. Spencer said he thinks Halo will still be popular 20 years from now in 2035, something that 343 studio head Bonnie Ross agreed with as part of the GamesRadar interview.

She said that the work done on the Halo franchise by Bungie with Halo 3: ODST and Halo: Reach laid "the fictional foundation for the next 20 years" of Halo.

"You can look at the ending of Halo 4--and where Master Chief is, and obviously we had to know where we were going to take Halo 5 and Halo 6 with that," she said. "You have an epic sci-fi universe and we have multiple ways that we can go with this story, but all the pieces are laying there. The canvas is there for us to paint."

O'Connor wasn't ready to commit to any specifics about Halo 6 or other future games, saying, "If you start making those stepping stones too rigid, then you're not being realistic about the game development process."

But O'Connor, who has worked on the Halo franchise for more than a decade, first at Bungie and now with Microsoft, said the story planning team already has a good idea where Master Chief's story will end.

"We know what’s going to happen in the next game, and we kind of know what's going to happen to the Master Chief ultimately," he explained.

That Microsoft would be planning more Halo games should come as no surprise. After all, with more than 65 million copies sold, Halo is Microsoft's crown jewel. "It's our biggest exclusive franchise," Spencer recently said. "There's no doubt about that."

The Halo 5 release date is set for October 27 on Xbox One. For more on the shooter, check out some recent stories through the links below.

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