The head of 343 Industries admitted there were some “growing pains” in developing the Halo franchise after Bungie left Microsoft.
History lesson time! The original Halo trilogy was developed by Bungie while working under the yolk of Microsoft from 2000 to 2008. That’s Halo: Combat Evolved, the somewhat less colorfully named Halo 2, and the even less imaginative Halo 3, in case you were wondering.
After getting out from beneath the boot of one corporate overlord, Bungie immediately dove right into another abusive relationship with Activision after signing a 10-year publish deal in 2010. Bungie made Destiny, Destiny 2, and then finally realized they hated working for Activision and broke their contract in January of this year but made sure to take the Destiny intellectual property with them when they left.
But back in 2008, Bungie was still a young and naive company and so Microsoft walked away from that relationship owning Halo, arguably the best sci-fi first-person shooter franchise of our time. In order to keep developing Halo, Microsoft created 343 Industries, so named after the artificial intelligence 343 Guilty Spark who appears in the original Halo trilogy.
343 went on to make Halo 4, Halo 5, a bunch of Halo mobile games, a couple of Halo real-time strategy games, the Master Chief Collection for Xbox One, and are currently working on Halo Infinite.
And everything is pretty hunky-dory today, although getting there wasn’t exactly easy. Studio head Kiki Wolfkill (and really, who else could head a studio that makes Halo without a name like “Wolfkill”?) spoke to Wccftech at Reboot Develop Blue 2019 in Dubrovnik, Croatia, and admitted in an interview that it was a tough time getting to where they are today.
"I think as a studio, you know, we’ve kind of gone through our own growing pains over the years," she said.
Likely this refers to Halo 4, which although critically acclaimed and a financial success still managed to anger some of the Halo faithful for retconning some aspects of Halo lore.
Wolfkill also went on to reveal that the upcoming Halo Showtime series will likely also have more retcons in store, but they’ll be done in a similar way how the Game of Thrones books were retconned in order to make the television show a better experience. “I think we may end up considering it sort of a branch of the canon, because we want to acknowledge that we’ve deviated and also wanted to be clear why."
Halo Infinite as well as the Halo TV series still don’t have release dates, but we’ll be sure to keep you in the loop when we find out more.