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Congratulations, Halo 5, you're (probably) getting a brother. 343 Industries is hiring for a new line of games set in the Halo universe.
"343 Industries is looking for a Senior Producer to help develop a new project line in the Halo universe," reads the job listing for a senior producer (via AGB) posted on June 26th. "This is your chance to work on one of the most exciting and creative intellectual properties in the industry with one of the industry’s most talented teams."
While 343 Industries is responsible for all Halo products, including novels and films, the job listing clearly states that this is a game development position. The new senior producer must "ensure the game hits the quality expected of a title within the Halo Franchise."
The job also mentions that the ideal candidate needs "current gen video game knowledge." That suggests that the game will be an Xbox One project. No shock there. Microsoft wants people to buy their new console and few things can do that quite like new Halo games.
The Halo series has had its share of spin-offs over the years. Halo: Reach and Halo 3: ODST were first-person shooters starring characters other than Master Chief. Halo 4 received a post-launch DLC campaign starring the crew of the UNSC Infinity.
Microsoft has used spin-offs to explore other genres as well. Halo Wars was a real-time strategy game developed by Age of Empires creators Ensemble Studios. The most recent spin-off was Halo: Spartan Assault, a twin-stick shooter released for Xbox One, Xbox 360 and PC.
This job listing sounds like something different, though. "Project line" seems to suggest multiple games. To use a regrettable example: this could be the Modern Warfare to Halo's Call of Duty.
It seems inevitable that 343 would produce another Halo game outside of the main series. It's the flagship franchise for Xbox One. New chapters in Master Chief's journey only come once every few years so it's natural that Microsoft would want other Halo titles to fill in those gaps and keep building the franchise.
There are plenty of potential spin-offs that Microsoft could pursue within the Halo universe. They have an entire galaxy of other characters to work with. Maybe some side character from a previous game will step into a starring role? Or we could meet some entirely new faces.
We'll probably get some indication of this new branch in the Halo series from Halo 5 when it launches next fall. The game could set up some plot thread or character to be explored in a new game.
Should Microsoft make a Halo spin-off game?