The head of the Halo brand, Bonnie Ross, recently talked about all the crazy ideas 343 is working on and ruminating about, and one of the things that Microsoft and 343 are considering is a LEGO game based on Halo.
In an article by Fast Company, Bonnie Ross explained in the interview that they're looking to expand beyond just first-person shooters, action figures, web series and television shows (one of which is reportedly being developed for Showtime by Steven Spielberg), saying that a Halo property set within the LEGO universe could be possible...
I would say that when we first started the franchise, the thought of doing, like, a LEGO Halo game was not something that our core fans thought was interesting, whereas now we're getting requests for that.
Ross repeatedly mentions throughout the interview that they're looking at Star Wars and other large brands in which to try to build success for Halo as a consumer product and not just a successful video game series. This even includes having 343 Industries redesign weapons and vehicles so that they can be marketed easier as kids toys or possibly LEGO pieces. Any core fan of the series is probably cringing really hard right now, and I can't blame you.
Very few franchises have been able to make the crossover from one market sector to the next. In fact, in the interview with Fast Company, they talked to the head of the toy consulting firm, Klosters Trading Corporation, who mentioned that no video game comes up on their radar when it comes to toy merchandising. The toys just don't make that much money. I'm curious where Activision's Skylanders fits into all of this because it's another billion dollar franchise like Call of Duty, but that's beside the point.
Ross, however, really wants to grow Halo beyond just games. Instead of trying to mirror successful large brands like Star Wars or Harry Potter, they might want to first look at getting the Halo games back on track by looking at long-running, successful video game franchises like Super Mario Bros., Battlefield, Call of Duty, Resident Evil and The Legend of Zelda before trying to pursue toys, TV shows and a potential LEGO spinoff.
Microsoft has become way too bogged down in trying to make Halo relevant again instead of trying to make Halo fun again.
Ross even admits that the more recent Halo games have become lost in their own lore, and the focus on fun gameplay has been put on the back burner to tell stories that people just aren't all that interested in when they pick up the game. In the early days Bungie wrapped the Halo lore around compelling and innovative gameplay; these days 343 is trying to wrap mediocre gameplay around a story too big for them to tell in a comprehensive manner.
After the poor opening sales of Halo 5, they'll really need to get back on track with making sure they don't lose their gaming audience while chasing casuals, kids, and collectors. But who knows, maybe a LEGO game based on Halo could be the shot in the arm they need to reinvigorate the franchise.