Master Chief Isn't "Retiring" Anytime Soon, Microsoft Assures Fans After Rumors

"Chief is the main character and hero" in Halo 5, franchise director says.

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Though a new character--Agent Locke--will play a major role in Halo 5: Guardians, you shouldn't see this as Microsoft "testing the waters" about potentially replacing Master Chief as the franchise's main hero. Writing on NeoGAF, Halo franchise development director Frank O'Connor put the recent rumors to rest, saying that Locke is only "a" primary character for Halo 5.

"Chief is the main character and hero" in the game, O'Connor added.

Further, O'Connor responded to the suggestion that Microsoft might be looking to "retire" Master Chief. He succinctly stated: "NO. The end."

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Rumors that suggested Master Chief might not be the hero of Halo 5 originated from a recent interview with Mike Colter, the actor who plays Agent Locke in Ridley Scott's Halo: Nightfall. In the interview, he confirmed that Agent Locke would be a playable character in Halo 5 and that "you're basically going to be playing a game with me as the primary character."

Microsoft quickly responded to the report, issuing a statement that said: "As we've said before, Locke plays a primary role in Halo 5: Guardians. The Master Chief remains an integral part of the game's story and as a playable character."

The nature of the Locke/Chief relationship remains unclear, though it certainly sounds interesting. Colter mentioned previously that he "can't confirm whether he's a friend or foe of Master Chief," but he also offered up some more clues about that relationship. Locke is on a manhunt for Master Chief, however, " won't know what the purpose of finding Master Chief is [right away]. Or what will happen if we do find him, what condition he will be in, and where he's at mentally. But I'm sure that'll be a plot twist in Halo 5."

Halo 5 launches in fall 2015 for Xbox One, but you can play the game this year through a beta that kicks off right after Christmas. You can guarantee yourself a spot in the beta by buying a copy of November's Halo: The Master Chief Collection for Xbox One.

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