So, the internet is abuzz again with rumors that Gearbox Software are lined up to make the next instalment in the Halo franchise (not the Peter Jackson mystery meat game or the rumored Bungie UNSC tactical squad shooter).
So why are we hoping to be able to say “TOLD YOU SO!” in a nerdy voice? Because we posted exclusively in February (beating all the big fish in the games journalism world) that a super-secret contact of ours at Microsoft was able to confirm this, pretty much. Now more details have come to light, that seem to back up our source. More details after the jump.
Way back in b, Randy Pitchford made an interesting post on the Gearbox forums:
“I’ve started a new project. It’s big. It’s, like, look-at-our-line-up-and-imagine-something-even-bigger kind of big. I’m Directing it myself. I can’t mention it publicly yet. When you find out what this is, you’ll likely agree that I can’t oversell this one.”
At the time we instantly thought Halo, and spoke to our contact at Microsoft, who indirectly suggested that Gearbox was in fact tagged to create the next game in the Halo franchise, and we posted this on dogsounds.com:
“My mind suddenly started ticking over a little. Something big. Something you can’t oversell. Half Life is out of the picture; Valve will do that themselves I would suspect. That wouldn’t make sense. Then I thought…Halo? Nah, MS has that now, they would just do it themseleves through MGS.
My gut feeling is, no, they wouldn’t. MGS are not really up to speed enough to pull of something that big all by themselves. But you can bet your absolute last bottom-dollar Microsoft will want to milk the Halo cash-cow. No doubt about that. So it would make sense to farm it out. And who better than the studio that already worked on Halo before?
I put out a few feelers, to see what I could find out. My little friend at Microsoft (who, for fucking blatantly obvious reasons, is remaining anonymous here) couldn’t confirm or deny anything, specifically, as very little information is generally available. But of my suspicions, she did say this:
‘…not that there is a lot to tell at the moment, and not that I want to stick my neck out too far, but what you think isn’t…beyond the realms of possibility. There has been a buzz here since the Bungie split that we want to go somewhere with the franchise, obviously. Once the other two are out the door, it would be prudent to have a break for a while before the next instalment. We don’t want to do a Final Fantasy on this franchise; it’s too important for that kind of crap. Too much, and folks get bored. And these games, you know, they take a few years to make. Take from all this what you will.’
The emphasis is hers. And “the other two” are Halo Wars and Peter Jackson’s mysterious project.
My little secret mole, bless her, has not always been on the money, but is good more often than not. And it makes so much sense…”
Now Kotaku and many other gaming sites are re-lighting the fire under this story. Rumors now suggest that Gearbox is set to make Halo 4 for the next-gen Xbox launch, whenever that may be. After this story on Kotaku.com earlier in the week, they have now “received” an internal mail from Corrinne Yu, Director of Technology over at Gearbox:
I am Corrinne Yu, Director of Technology of Gearbox Software.
I was offered and recruited to the position of Principle (Lead) Engine Architect of Halo Franchise Team at Microsoft. I accepted the offer to lead the team to build the engines and games for future Halo’s on Xbox’es and PC’s at Microsoft.
I am staying to simu-ship Brothers In Arms all versions. I will start Halo after BiA starts manufacturing. Aliens: Colonial Marines and Borderlands are more than mostly completed. I assure you I will continue to help Gearbox. I am starting on Halo Team at Microsoft after 09/15/2008. My email after that day will be XXXX@microsoft.com.
I would be glad to introduce my friendly helpful Corrinne replacements at Gearbox to you. I am stoked to program and design and build some awesome Halo’s.
Let’s stay in touch!
Principle Engine Architect
Halo Franchise Team
Director of Technology
As they rightly point out, the mail doesn’t directly confirm anything about Halo 4 or a Gearbox link. We know Microsoft Game Studios have the IP rights and intend to milk the Halo cash cow. But it does make it seem more plausible that Gearbox may have some special involvement. We wait to see what comes out in due course, but for now, dogsounds can take comfort in the fact that should it all pan out to be true, we got the official first bit of a concrete scoop before all the Kotakus, Gamespots, IGNs and everyone else 🙂
And, of course, we can say:
TOLD YOU SO!!