The fifth chapter in the Halo series will arrive this year on the Xbox One, Microsoft revealed today. A public relations manager for the company promised the return of Master Chief via Twitter.
A tweet from a spokesperson's personal account seems like a weird way to announce that news, isn't it? Halo is the flagship franchise for Xbox and Halo 5 is arguably the biggest Xbox One game of the year. So, why was this news reduced to a mere tweet? Well, here's what happened:
This morning, Microsoft announced that the Xbox One sold over 3 million copies by the end of 2013. They closed this announcement by mentioning some big games arriving in 2014.
"We’re excited for the year ahead and will be working hard to bring Xbox One to more fans and more markets around the globe," the company said. "2014 will be a promising year with many more great games on the way for Xbox One including Titanfall, Watch_Dogs, Project Spark, Sunset Overdrive, Tom Clancy’s The Division, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, Destiny, Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare, and The Elder Scrolls Online, among others. More games, more features, more content, more fun – all coming your way this year."
Gamers quickly noticed that Halo 5 wasn't on that list. This led some to believe that the game had been pushed to 2015. Microsoft wouldn't overlook mentioning such a big first-party title, would they? It turns out there's a simple reason why they didn't.
Halo 5 seems like the most logical title for the game. The E3 trailer featured a Promethean, suggesting that the game takes place right after Halo 4. An alternate version of the trailer also referred to the game as Halo 5. Maybe Microsoft thinks that removing the number from the title will make more approachable to new players. It's also plausible that this next chapter is more of a side-story than a proper sequel so they want to give it a subtitle (Halo: Queen of the Desert?) rather than a number.
If Microsoft is releasing the next Halo this year, I suspect we'll hear more about it very soon. An announcement could be a boon to Xbox One's sales. A lot of gamers are holding off on buying a next-gen console until the right game comes along to make the purchase worthwhile. Halo 5 could be that game for many Xbox fans.