Halo reaches for the stars

After revolutionizing the video game industry for over 20 years, the Halo franchise is trying to transcend it.

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Halo reaches for the stars


Future. After revolutionizing the video game industry for over 20 years, the Halo franchise is trying to transcend it — with a leap into film and television. The games have weathered a change in ownership, due in part to Halo’s deep, compelling universe… but can it compete with the likes of Marvel? Jury’s still out on that — but if Halo’s new TV show on Paramount+ takes off, the franchise may be able to net new fans while retaining old ones.

¿Por qué no los tres?

Because it’s hard. With its sights set on Hollywood, the Halo franchise has to wage war on many fronts:

    • After a tortuous development cycle, 343 (the developer behind Halo) stuck the landing by releasing Infinite’s multiplayer earlier than expected – and for free.
    • But competing with the likes of Fortnite requires a constant stream of DLC and updates that 343 has so far neglected in favor of tending to urgent gameplay issues.
    • The Halo universe is huge, and its rich lore is still almost completely untapped. New stories involving alien races like the Forerunners and Precursors could give audiences ample food for thought.

It’s a balancing act. Halo is a big enough IP that it has real potential to expand into an empire, so long as the games can keep the core audience happy. The real question is whether Master Chief has enough charisma to drive a show.

Wouldn’t be the first
Not many video games have (successfully) made the jump to the big screen, but it’s not unheard of. And with the streaming wars making big content producers hungrier than ever for new IPs, there’s never been a better time to try.

  • Historically, the IPs to nail this transition have been targeted towards children, like Netflix’s Castlevania and The Cuphead Show! And the Sonic the Hedgehog movie, which was actually… pretty good?
  • That’s not to say that M-rated titles can’t make it, though. Amazon Prime’s got a God of War show in the works and HBO’s adapting The Last of Us.
  • Plus, big-name directors want to make this stuff. Guillermo del Toro has long fantasized about a “Bioshock” film, and Steven Spielberg has played godfather to the current Halo show for the past ten years.

There are hurdles. But no matter the odds, Master Chief never seems to die. Perhaps there’s hope for him yet.

Luke Perrotta


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