Halo: Reach Was Nearly Just Called Reach, But Microsoft Objected
But the name remains on the title screen.
Halo: Reach has just released on PC for the first time as part of the Master Chief Collection, bringing the beloved game to the system nine years after it released for Xbox 360. The game, which was brought to Xbox One as well and is available on both systems through Xbox Game Pass, was the final Halo game made by original developer Bungie before they moved onto Destiny. Many of the folks who worked on the game are reminiscing about it on Twitter using the hashtag #reachmemory, and some interesting information has come out about the game's name.
David Candland, who designed much of the game's user interface, says that the original intention was to just call the game "Reach", without a "Halo" attached to it. Microsoft objected, insisting that the game be called Halo: Reach, for "brand recognition." As Halo was and remains a major flagship of the Xbox brand, this makes sense--but as Candland's tweet points out, they retained their simpler name on the game's title screen.
We’d been calling the game “Reach” for a while before MS insisted we call it “Halo Reach” for brand recognition. I remember discussing the title screen with @game_fabricator. We concurred, let’s call it what we want. They’ve bought the game at this point. #REACHmemory pic.twitter.com/msCKV5IIR4— David Candland (@drcandland) December 4, 2019
As Candland told USGamer, this was probably, ultimately, the right decision. "I'll bet it did impact sales. It also made googling the game much easier." He also reveals that the cumbersome "Combat Evolved" subtitle on the original Halo was added by Microsoft, which is why it's not on the title screen of the original game.
You also may have noticed there’s no “combat evolved” on the original Halo title screen. That was tacked onto the box logo because the MS marketing team feared some people wouldn’t know “Halo” would be a combat game otherwise.— David Candland (@drcandland) December 4, 2019
Elsewhere on the hashtag, Bungie art director Jason Sussman revealed that the game's iconic finale (which we won't explain here to avoid spoilers) was nearly cut for time, but that "everyone knew it needed to be part of the game," and they managed to fit it in.
The original Halo is returning to PC soon too as The Master Chief Collection continues to roll out.
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