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Halo Online — The Billion Dollar Game?

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A lot of sites dismissed the rumor that the next Bungie project is going to be a Halo game that isn’t Halo 3, but does exist in the Halo universe as more of a prequel. I know what you are thinking: sequels suck, but prequels are worse, and I agree. This project is being called Forerunner, a reference to the race of beings that created the Halo rings in the first place. Most sites are calling this pure rumor or speculation.

Now, being that I am The Mole and I love to banter about such rumors I have to put my two cents in on what is likely to happen. Okay, here goes:

The next game will be online. MMOFPS if you want to call it that. Let’s just call it Halo Online. Okay, so Halo Online will be all about being a huge multiplayer battleground. The battle will probably be for Earth and the player can pick a side and battle in huge battles — 100+ people trying to take over a base and 100+ people trying to hold the base. Instead of getting tons of XP to level a character as you would in a MMORPG, players will need to carry out missions to get better equipment, tanks, and just more bases.

The game will probably launch this fall, let’s say around November or at the very least will be announced at E3. Halo Online will be as big as World of Warcraft and will be Microsoft’s first “billion dollar game.” Don’t be surprised if this game gets 10 million subscribers paying $10-15 a month within the first three years. That would be over a billion dollars a year in revenue.

I know this all sounds a bit crazy, but here is the reasoning. Bungie originally promised huge multiplayer battles and epic battles for earth in Halo 2. That didn’t happen, but I’m sure Bungie tried to make it happen. At the same time, World of Warcraft has been making huge waves in the gaming world with its 6 million subscribers worldwide paying $15 a month just to play. A couple years ago those kinds of numbers would have been seen as pure insanity, but Blizzard’s near-perfect execution of the MMORPG genre in World of Warcraft made 6 million subscribers a reality.

Bungie is one of the few studios who could make the same thing happen to the MMOFPS on a console. After all, Sony and Nintendo pretty much wrote off online console gaming before Halo 2 came out and launched online console gaming into a viable business. Now even Sony is raving about how the PS3 games are going to be “Live” and online (just like Xbox games have been for the last couple years).

In short, Halo Online is just too big of an opportunity for Microsoft to pass up. It’s a billion dollar idea that if they don’t do they would be completely foolish. The Halo fan base would go crazy for it and it would be the biggest game of the next generation. If Bungie and Microsoft make Halo Online happen, the Xbox 360 would end the next-generation console war. Period. Not only that, but a version of Halo Online playable on Windows Vista would ensure that gamers who don’t have an Xbox 360 would still upgrade to Vista. It’s a win for Microsoft either way.

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  • Chris

    ok im not to angry but i dont have online for my 360 i wish i did but… hey what can i do, and ive also played blizzards World of Warcraft, but im Starcraft person… anyways if Bungie makes this i can never play agine becuse it a factor of money, and im not saying i hate the idea but what am saying is that ill prob never be able to play it becuse its cost money and bungie will prob loss me as a fan!…

  • http://halo.bungie.org gspawn

    The whole Bungie MMO thing was created as an April Fools joke over at halo.bungie.org.

    Sorry, “The Mole”, but you’ve been had.

  • http://www.the-mole.org/2006/03/16/halo-online-the-billion-dollar-game/ The Mole

    gspawn, sorry to disappoint you, but I originally wrote this nearly a month ago on my blog. It sparked a lot of reaction from the gaming community. I just joined blogcritics, so I decided to post it now as my first article. If anything I’d have to say that since I wrote this before April 1, the press release was fairly unoriginal ;). Also, I’m not the first one to blog on this. m3mnoch, a frequent commenter on Joystiq wrote about this before I did, although I didn’t realize it at the time I wrote the article. Even if this game doesn’t happen, I still think that Bungie is one of the few companies that could really pull this off.

  • http://www.breakingwindows.com/ Ken Edwards

    That and it has brought some good traffic here ;) And gspawn, he has put this under Opinion, which it clearly is. Anything is possible, I mean we now have a Spartan in DOA4…

  • Jason

    Didn’t the initial rumblings come from preparations being made for the gag weeks ahead of time?
    Regardless, it’s not happening. It’s a creative article, but ultimately not a great basis for a first offering.

  • http://hebert kyle

    okok you pepol suk at halo i bet you
    do you whant to batal me ok you just wat
    intil i get xbox liv look for haloman12

  • Chief

    Hey “The Mole” i was just wandering… If they make Halo Online wat will it be like? Halo 1 2 or 3? and will it let u use dual weaponz? plz give me sum info if u know… thanks “The Mole”

  • Chief

    Please “The Mole” Gimme some info please…

  • haha lol d

    gspawn, sorry to disappoint you, but I originally wrote this nearly a month ago on my blog. It sparked a lot of reaction from the gaming community. I just joined blogcritics, so I decided to post it now as my first article. If anything I’d have to say that since I wrote this before April 1, the press release was fairly unoriginal ;). Also, I’m not the first one to blog on this. m3mnoch, a frequent commenter on Joystiq wrote about this before I did, although I didn’t realize it at the time I wrote the article. Even if this game doesn’t happen, I still think that Bungie is one of the few companies that could really pull this off. yuppersz abd abd nand erhjbu di8o2h