Halo 5: E3 2014 May Announce Episodic Gaming, Halo TV Show Hybrid

At E3 2014, Halo 5, or at least something related to the Halo universe of the Reclaimer Saga, will be revealed to the world. But what if, instead of releasing a standalone game, Microsoft plans to surprise the world with a Halo TV show series that coincides with regular episodic gaming content?

In a related report by The Inquisitr, a Halo 5 2014 release date was both confirmed and denied within one day, with the voice actor for Master Chief publicly saying things Microsoft probably did not want the public to know. So even if Halo 5 is delayed until 2015 it’s possible our Halo journey could begin another manner in 2014 based upon Microsoft’s official stance:

“We can confirm your next Halo journey will begin in 2014, but beyond that we don’t have any details to share at this time.”

So while the Halo 5 release date hasn’t been officially confirmed (other than the Microsoft store referring to 2014) it’s possible this “journey” refers to a Halo TV series. Microsoft already revealed at least two more live action Halo movies will come out after Halo: Forward Unto Dawn and will involve Steven Spielberg. But there’s several reasons to think that Halo episodes and a Halo TV show might be combined into a new type of gaming hybrid.

Before Halo 4 was even released it was called a part of the Reclaimer Trilogy, but Microsoft Studios Corporate Vice President Phil Spencer clarified this statement by saying they meant a Reclaimer Saga. This could either mean this portion of the Halo story may take more or less than three games, but it could also be a hint that they’re planning shorter downloadable Halo episodes spread out over the long term.

As we all know by now, Microsoft is positioning the Xbox One as an all-in-one entertainment system which includes interactive television. The first game to introduce this new type of hybrid entertainment is called Quantum Break, which is kind of like a SciFi CSI show following a TV series by allowing gamers to explore crime scenes in-game. So it’s possible this is the type of Halo journey Microsoft is referring to.

This would also make sense since the first trailer for the game simply said “Halo” and not “Halo 5.” Even though the names of Halo: ODST and Halo: Reach also indicated departures from the normal routine this could also mean Microsoft hasn’t come up with a name yet.

Still, my theory is supported by the fact that the Halo developer 343 Studios posted a job position asking for someone with experience in developing episodic content. It’s possible they simply plan on having something similar to Spartan Ops in Halo 5, which would make sense since the leaked Halo 5 artwork showed the UNSC Infinity, but I believe it’s a hint at something more.

E3 2014

As might be expected, the trade show will be used to announce something important about Halo:

Notice how, once again, Spencer is careful to avoid using Halo 5. But what 343 executive producer Josh Holmes had to say seems to support my theory even more:

“We’re proud of what we accomplished with our first release in Halo 4 and now we’re focused on something much more transformative as we make the leap to the next generation of Xbox.”

The usage of the word “transformative” may be incidental or marketing hype, but it’s also possible they plan on doing something with the Halo game series that’s beyond the norm.

Assuming I’m correct, the real question is how will gamers pay for all this content. Would a Halo TV show simply be part of Xbox Live or would we have to buy each episode? Spartan Ops was referred to as a “season” so it’s possible that Halo episodes could be sold as season passes, as well, in addition to single episode purchases. There’s also the possibility they might try for a subscription-based model or include micro-transactions.

If E3 2014 confirms my theory for Halo 5 and a Halo TV show would you enlist?