Microsoft launched the Xbox One last week without their biggest franchise, and according to their studio head, it’s because they just didn’t have the turnaround time following the release of Halo 4. So when should expect the launch of Halo 5? We know it’s coming, Microsoft showed us a brief glimpse of the game at E3 2013, and it’s common knowledge that Halo 4 marked the beginning of a new trilogy coming from 343 Industries.
According to a recent interview with Phil Spencer, 343 would have needed to begun development on the title in 2010 for it to be a launch title for the Xbox One.
“A discussion around having a Halo game at launch, a true Halo at launch, meaning like a Halo 4 or 5-size game, would have been something we’d have had to start two or three years ago. We had the discussion, and we thought having Halo 4 come out when it came out from 343 and having them really land their first full version of Halo that they developed internally would be great for the 360 customers, great for 343 in shipping something.”
So when should we expect the first Halo game to arrive on the Xbox One? It sounds like there’s at least a two-year turnaround time on the series. That means the 2012 release of Halo 4 could mark a return for Halo 5 in 2014. But Microsoft’s track record would demonstrate a different timetable with the release of Halo 3 on the Xbox 360. That game was released two years after the launch of the console, in 2007. It looks like either the fall of 2014 or the fall of 2015 will be the likely release of the next game. If it’s next year, Halo will have company in the sci-fi shooter space. Both EA and Activision will release shooters with a sci-fi theme in Titanfall and Destiny.
Two years out, it’s hard not to get excited about a release for Halo 5, considering just how good the first party games are looking on the Xbox One. Their most popular franchise will probably make an even bigger splash when its finally released.