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Halo Can Last as Long as Star Wars and Spider-Man, Says Xbox Boss

Phil Spencer also talks about the idea of yearly Halo titles and avoiding burn out.


Phil Spencer, head of Microsoft's Xbox division, has addressed the idea of annualising Halo, indicating that yearly entries in the hugely-popular first-person shooter franchise are unlikely.

Speaking in an interview with GameSpot, Spencer said that, unlike many other shooters, Halo fans have an attachment to the story and key characters, and suggested this is something that precludes rushing out games.

"Halo is somewhat unique to [other shooters] that we were talking about in that it has such a heavy character and story base to it. I think it's one of the real strengths of the franchise. People know the characters' names in the franchise," he said.

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"They know who Master Chief is. They know who Cortana is. It's not always true of other shooting franchises that you have that same connection to the characters in the story, and that there's a consistency and a connective tissue between the games."

Spencer went on to say he believes Halo has the same staying power as properties such entertainment Star Wars and Spider-Man, but for it to live out a full lifecycle, Microsoft needs to ensure it doesn't overexpose Halo and cause it to burn out.

"I don't want to overplay or overuse the franchise. It's a franchise and an IP I expect to be around 20 years from now, much the same way Star Wars and Spider-Man and other things are.

"I think it has the weight that it can support that, but I think that the franchise then needs to be managed in a way that doesn't burn it out."

The Xbox exec drew a comparison to other fields of entertainment, in particular TV shows, which are forced into a weekly release schedule and suffer because of this.

"With television series, if you look at it, they're on a weekly cadence, and they have to do that. Other than some anomalies like The Simpsons, things usually wear out. Not because the stories or characters are bad, but eventually people have kind of ... they've seen enough of it, and they're done with Happy Days, and they want to move on to the next thing."

He continued: "I think that's fine in that kind of space, but for what we're doing with our franchise and service ambitions with the Xbox and Xbox Live, having something that has the diversity of Halo and the characters and both the complexity but ease of game play is a unique asset for us. I want to make sure that we're cultivating it and growing it the right way."

The Halo 5 release date is set for October 27 exclusively on Xbox One. Read GameSpot's full interview with Phil Spencer here.

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