Halo heads to mobile phones

In-Fusio, Microsoft, and Bungie announce multiyear content deal to bring blockbuster shooter to handsets.

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SAN FRANCISCO--Master Chief has already cleaned the Covenant's alien armies off a spaceship, a ring-world, and the entire planet Earth--and now it looks like cell phones will be next.

At the CTIA IT Wireless and Entertainment 2005 trade show today, mobile game publisher In-Fusio announced that it had secured a three-year agreement with Microsoft for the mobile rights to the Halo universe. The company has also announced that the first Halo-inspired applications for phones are due later this year on North American carriers, with other regions to follow.

Although In-Fusio would not officially confirm what kinds of Halo apps are in the offing, it did offer a few hints. According to the terms of the agreement, In-Fusio will be able to develop and publish "downloadable and embedded" mobile Halo products.

This suggests that the company is working on a number of different types of content, such as games of various degrees of complexity, ringtones, screensavers, and wallpaper.

In a telephone interview with In-Fusio vice president of business development and brand development Julian Corbett, he indicated that the mobile publisher is participating in ongoing discussions with Microsoft's Bungie Studios in order to decide exactly what sorts of applications will be most appropriate for mobile phones.

”We're working very closely with Bungie throughout the process," Corbett said, "and we're going to be combining our specialty in mobile entertainment with the Halo universe...obviously, we won't be putting the Xbox Halo on cell phones, but we see a number of compelling ways to expand the franchise to mobile."

Corbett went on to intimate that in-Fusio would take a holistic approach to the project, mentioning the community-driven product Neopets as an example of the company's basic methodology.

In-Fusio has had an existing publishing relationship with Microsoft since 2004. So far, the company has published mobile versions of Midtown Madness 3, Zoo Tycoon 2, Age of Empires 2, Banjo-Kazooie, Sabre Wulf, and It's Mr. Pants.

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