On the eve of Halo 4

In what’s promising to be a huge season for gaming, the big daddy of the industry, Halo 4, is due on November 6.

There’s already been a blizzard of pre-release hype, including the trailer produced by David Fincher, the Forward Unto Dawn webisodes and the bold proclamation from Microsoft that Halo 4 will be even bigger than The Avengers.

Okay, let’s push aside the hyperbole and get down to reality here. Halo 4 isn’t going to cure cancer, end world poverty or overshadow the Presidential election, but there’s little doubt it’s going to be a big event for gaming, probably the biggest gaming event of the year.

Halo is Microsoft’s biggest franchise, a $3 billion dollar franchise actually, and they’ve got a lot invested in the fourth installment. As we’ve previously reported on TG, it’s been speculated Redmond could be putting over $100 million into Halo 4. According to MCV, the numbers for the Halo franchise are 46 million copies sold to date, while approximately 3.3 billion hours have been logged in for the games on Xbox Live. Microsoft also points out that Halo had the first ever red-carpet premiere for a video game.

Right on the verge of Halo 4’s release, Frank O’Connor, the game’s franchise director, was asked by the Seattle Times if Halo could conceivably go for another ten or twenty years. “In some ways, there’s no doubt whatsoever,” he said. “Obviously technology and the landscape will change, but the need for those stories and those characters, that universe, those discrete game play experiences, I don’t see it going away any time soon.”

Bonnie Ross, who is head of 343 Industries, the company that took over the Halo franchise, added, “I think that – I hope and I believe – we have some of the same DNO you do with Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, and that we have a universe in which you could tell hundreds of stories. It’s our job to make sure that each story is deliberate and good but I feel like there’s room – it’s a large universe; there are lots of stories to be told.”