At this point, the Halo franchise is old news. The companies behind it have already produced a trilogy and three spin-offs. On top of this, they have confirmed they will be creating another trilogy. If you weren’t keeping count, that’s a total of nine games. NINE GAMES! At what point is enough enough? Why do the producers insist on continuing to “beat a dead horse”?
The answer, obviously, is money. They keep making Halo games because their consumers keep buying them. Sure, the original trilogy (Halo, Halo 2, and Halo 3) were amazing games and deserved all the credence they received. The story was totally original and one of the most memorable and entertaining narratives in video game history. Not to mention, Halo 2 defined online multiplayer. It was the most widely played online console game of its time, and its multiplayer set the stage for what was expected from other shooters like Call of Duty and Gears of War.
However, the game creators weren’t satisfied with just being known for this epic trilogy. They insisted on making spin-offs. Halo 3: ODST presents a story from a perspective other than that of the trilogy’s main character (Master Chief), and the story takes place at the same time as the story from Halo 3. Halo Reach serves as a prequel to the original Halo trilogy. And lastly, Halo Wars takes the Halo universe and incorporates it into a real time strategy game. The fact that the producers totally shifted genres and turned a first person shooter into a real time strategy game shows that they will stop at nothing to keep making Halo games, and to build on their profits.
This idea can be further seen in how they have recently confirmed that they will be making another Halo trilogy, which continues the story from where Halo 3 left off. The issue I have with this is that the ending to Halo 3 does everything in its power to make players think the Master Chief has died. It would have been a fitting ending to the trilogy if it happened this way, but the producers were not satisfied. Instead, they chose to “resurrect” the Master Chief and completely alter how Halo 3 seemed to have ended in order to make another trilogy.
It is a shame that people continue to buy Halo games. If they did not, the producers would certainly not keep making them, and the “dead horse” would finally be left alone. For me, my biggest issue with them continuing to make Halo games is the fact that the novelty and creativity has totally disappeared. Outside of the RTS, the game’s mechanics have changed a minimal amount. Not to mention, the weapons and characters have also been the same throughout. As they continue to churn out games, it appears as if the designers no longer care or try. This makes me think they only keep making Halo games because of greed.
I sincerely hope that other game designers learn a lesson from the Halo franchise and know their limits in regards to making sequels. The companies behind video games need to have a better understanding of when their game’s novelty wears off. If they follow Halo’s lead and continue to make sequels and spin-offs, then all they are doing is taking advantage of their customers. The gaming industry should value and appreciate their customers, not take advantage of them due to their greed.