Halo 6 hasn’t even been announced, but gamers know it’s coming. The question is, will Halo 6 release in 2018 or 2019?
Halo has been the poster child for Microsoft since the Xbox’s inception. It spawned a revolution in games from not only a playing perspective but a playing together perspective as well. Halo 6 should be the next installment in the series, yet we are here in 2018, three years after Halo 5: Guardians and yet, gamers haven’t even heard a peep from Microsoft about Halo 6. This has sort of caused a debate on when Halo 6 will hit store shelves. There seem to be two camps. Most believe Halo 6 will release in either 2018 or the holiday season of 2019.
Halo 6 makes sense for Holiday 2018, but it also wouldn’t be too surprising if 2019 was the target.
I am on the 2018 side for a few reasons. The main reason being we haven’t heard a single title being announced for Xbox One beyond the Summer of 2018. That is if Crackdown 3 does actually make Summer 2018 and isn’t pushed yet again. Even if Crackdown 3 is pushed beyond Summer 2018, I feel there is no way Halo 6 doesn’t make it out in holiday 2018. You could make the argument that Microsoft lacked a huge game for Holiday 2017. Which is a totally true statement. Although, Microsoft is coming off the launch of the Xbox One X, which was supposed to launch with Crackdown 3. But the launch of the XBox One X could also be argued as their big holiday push.
With a lot of third party games looking best on the new hardware. The Xbox One X is also a factor in my argument. While the Xbox One X message was kind of confusing before it launched in 2017, the console has definitely given a boost to the Xbox One perception. The One X served as a sort of relaunch of the XBox One platform in many eyes, including my own. The One X so far has been a beast of a console. Offering a lot of native 4K games from their first party games like Gears of War 4, Forza Horizon 3 and even 2015’s Halo 5: Guardians.
The Xbox One X needs a killer app for 2018. Halo 6 seems like it could be Microsoft’s holiday 2018 title.
But 2018 needs to be the year Microsoft drops some big games to help push the platform forward. They already have some games that are looking stellar such as Sea of Thieves from Rare and State of Decay 2 form Undead Labs. Beyond that, the long-term of the Xbox One family looks empty. This paves the way for Microsoft to drop their biggest IP that helped create the Xbox, Halo, in 2018. The number 1 argument against Halo 6 being in 2018 usually breaks down to the fact we haven’t even seen so much as a teaser for the return of Master Chief. Which is honestly a totally good point and goes against the typical fashion Microsoft shows off a new Halo game.
Typically, gamers will get a teaser for the next installment a year or so before the next Halo game hits. My arguments to this point stem from how this generation has gone so far for Microsoft. The Xbox One has had a rough time to put it lightly. The history of the Xbox One is a rocky path filled with a ton of heartbreak and frustrations. Microsoft also got a ton of backlash for announcing games too early this generation. Games like Quantum Break and Crackdown 3 were announced an eternity before finally being released. With Crackdown 3 still not having a firm release date even though announced in 2014. Mix in the cancelation of games like Fable Legends and Scalebound, and you have a company that has even publically admitted that they sometimes announce games too early.
Gears of War 5 slated for 2019 also gives some weight to Halo 6 releasing in 2018.
There is another franchise that Microsoft has that typically is on a 3-year cycle, Gears of War. Gears of War 4 hit in 2016 to mostly positive reviews. You could even argue that Gears holds more weight as a star IP for Microsoft, but that’s an argument for another time. Microsoft has made it very that Gears and Halo are their big selling IP during the holiday period. With 2016 being the holiday season for Gears 4, that would put Gears of War 5 to release sometime in holiday 2019. I find it very hard to believe Microsoft would release Gears 5 and Halo 6 in the same year. This doesn’t make a lot of sense for Xbox. Unless Microsoft is going to give their two biggest franchises a 4-year development cycle, which many would argue is the right move, then Halo 6 almost has to release in 2018.
Anything is possible int he world of gaming though and Microsoft could be looking to pump a huge shot of adrenalin into the Xbox ecosystem in 2019. Over the years of this generation, more and more games are trying to release in Q1. Rather than trying to compete during the crowded holiday season. I could see Halo 6 possibly releasing early 2019 to get out of the way of the holiday rush.
Halo 5 wasn’t received by fans positively in many regards. It would make sense that Halo 6 would be kept hidden for as long as possible for this reason.
When you also take into account that Halo 5 Guardians was not received the best by critics and fans compared to previous installments, I believe it paints a picture for 343 and Microsoft to keep quiet on the future of the franchise. As someone who is definitely on the side of liking the direction 343 has gone with the franchise in terms of story. Such as diving deeper into Master Chief as a character and not a mindless bot, I like the direction 343 started in Halo 4. But was not even remotely happy with the direction of Halo 5.
I can 100 percent admit Halo 5’s story was a giant let down. I am still flabbergasted to how 343 made the same mistake as Bungee in Halo 2. Halo 5 from a gameplay perspective felt extremely satisfying. I still boot it up at least once a week to dive into multiplayer. But, I completed the campaign once and never had the desire to replay it. Something I have done with every previous installment. Halo 6 needs to be better than 5 in every aspect
343 has admitted a refocus was needed for Halo 6. That is good news for the future of Master Chief.
That being said, when you combine Microsoft admitting to announcing games early combined with the reception of Halo 5, I think it makes total sense for Microsoft to want the time from announcement to release, to be as short as possible. This will help Halo 6 in many aspects. The main being it leaves less time for people to speculate on what the game will be. This allows 343 the ability to simply show the game. Fans have become sort of split in regards to 343’s handling of the IP. You either love it or hate it. The sales of Halo 5 appearing to not even break the 5 million speaks volumes. Halo 4 almost hit the 10 million mark. Granted, that was at the end of the Xbox 360’s life, but the drop off is still staggering.
Halo 6 has to find a balance to please longtime fans but also evolve the franchise.
343 has to get it right with Halo 6. It’s entirely possible if Halo 6 isn’t a return to the IP’s former glory, it could spell bad things for the future. 343 already spoke out about the future of the franchise and promised that the future of the series will focus on Master Chief. A much needed refocus if you ask a fan of the series. This is a good move by 343. They seemed to of learned the hard way that trying to introduce new characters wasn’t the best idea. Fans sure let them know how they felt and 343 will likely never make that mistake again.
343 will likely never make every gamer happy. That doesn’t mean they can’t find a balance though. The multiplayer of Halo 5 was very good. It felt like a natural evolution compared to previous games, but it also still felt like Halo. I still play almost weekly just to get in some Super Fiesta. The campaign, on the other hand, felt nothing like that. For the franchise to evolve 343 has to stick with Master Chief. I appreciate the effort to make the universe feel more diverse. But not at the cost of sacrificing the ability the main character.
343 has told a decent story in their games. I feel like I am getting to know Master Chief but at the expense of epicness.
Just like how 343 started to dive deeper into Master Chief’s story, 343 needs to dive deeper into what makes a Halo game. Go back and play the original trilogy and you will notice 343’s games lack a lot of what made the franchise great. Open levels with a lot of different paths. Diverse locations mixed with vastly different set pieces. Moments like taking a Warthog off a huge jump or riding a Ghost into a Scarab, are nowhere to be seen in 343’s games. Halo 6 needs to up the ante and bring back some of those features but on a larger scale.
I enjoy diving deeper into the human elements of Master Chief but I don’t get that feeling of saving the world anymore. Make me feel like the hero.
Halo 6 will be at E3 2018. It doesn’t matter if its release date is in 2018 or 2019. Microsoft needs to show the next Halo game.
No matter what, gamers know Halo 6 will come to Xbox One at some point in the future. Wither or not the fans that have jumped off the franchise will come back is going to be based on what and how Microsoft presents the title. E3 2018 is still month’s away, but no matter if Halo 6 is coming in 2018 or 2019, the future of Halo will likely be shown off for the first time at Microsofts’ E3 2018 briefing. Do you think it’ll be in 2018 or are you in the 2019 camp? Let us know in the comments and on our Youtube channel.