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Ex-343 dev says there were “20-30” pitched Halo games we’ll never see

A former 343 developer has revealed that mountains of Halo pitches failed to be approved, including a return to ODSTs and a push for more intimate, dark themes.

Halo 343 game pitches: An ODST aiming a pistol to the left, set against a blurred background of a Halo ring.

It’s fair to say that Xbox knows how to make a good Halo game, having used its tried and tested formula to win over millions of players for well over two decades. However, occasionally we get a Halo game that breaks free of its mold to bring us something truly different. The beloved Halo Wars, Spartan Assault, and Halo 3: ODST are all franchise outliers, but former 343 Industries developer Kevin Schmitt reveals that there were “20-30 game ideas” that could have taken Halo in a new, exciting direction

As a senior designer at 343 from 2011 to 2023, working on Halo 4, Halo 5, and Halo Infinite, Schmitt explains that these pitches to Xbox “would have totally worked in the Halo universe” but would have given a fresh perspective on one of the best FPS game series. These concepts covered both single-player and multiplayer experiences; “some galaxy-spanning, some more intimate… and one that was really dark”. In fact, there were even multiple Halo ODST-themed ideas to further expand on the black sheep of the franchise – one which we believe Xbox and Halo need to return to.

However, these ideas unfortunately never left the concept stage. Expanding on game pitches more widely, Schmitt explains: “There are thousands of reasons they don’t get made. It’s rarely corpo greed or some other nefarious reason. I find it’s a lot about timing.” As awesome as these ideas sound, the state of the franchise and the ever-changing landscape meant many of these promising ideas likely wouldn’t have caught on in the long term – at least in Microsoft’s eyes.

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Right now though, fans are eager for the Xbox-exclusive franchise to make some big changes to the formula – including a battle royale mode and other experimental features – so never say never. With recent changes in Microsoft’s strategy towards Xbox, there’s even an outside chance we could see Halo Infinite on PS5 at some point in the future.

Though it’s a shame to see such promising pitches fail to come to fruition, there is still a lot of potential for Halo Infinite in 2024 despite 343 moving on to work on new projects. With this news, we can only hope that the promising lineup of new Xbox games and the collection of best Xbox games will soon be joined by a fresh take on the iconic Xbox FPS game series.