Microsoft's Halo team readying 'immersive world'

[UPDATE] Publisher's recent job posting teases new cross-platform, community-oriented project that will unite console, Web, and mobile devices.


Halo 3
Halo 3: ODST

Although Halo creators Bungie split off after Halo 3's September 2007 launch, Microsoft has no intention of letting one of its best-selling franchises lie fallow. The Xbox 360 maker has already announced the Master Chief-free tactical shooter expansion Halo 3: ODST, due out this fall. During the weekend, Microsoft dropped another hint about the series' future by way of a new job listing.

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First posted on April 10, the job req is for a software development engineer that will work at Microsoft's Halo franchise studio in Redmond, Washington. According to the listing, the position pertains to a new, cross-platform online initiative focused on "taking the current Halo community and online gaming support system and bringing it to the next level."

"We're looking to blend console, Web, and mobile to create an immersive Halo world that follows the dedicated Halo fan wherever they go," the job req reads. "We need engineers that can build connected technology while working in a startup environment."

The listing goes on to note that the software development engineer will be primarily tasked with delivering "a great out-of-game interactive experience that takes the next step beyond the systems found in Halo 3." Specific duties assigned to the software development engineer include building "user-facing on-console features such as forums, tournament ladders, media libraries, and integrated minigames."

The new project appears to be in an early stage of development, given that Microsoft's job req notes that the team will primarily focus on infrastructure building "for this year." Eventually, the cross-platform project will scale to involve "millions of concurrent users on the service."

[UPDATE] Responding to a request for comment, Microsoft provided GameSpot with the following statement: "As the Halo franchise continues to flourish, Microsoft Game Studios is growing its internal team to develop future Halo projects. We have nothing more to announce at this time."

Microsoft has previously acknowledged several Halo-related projects in the pipe, including Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson's long-gestating game and a possible return of the Master Chief.

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