Announced back at E3 2013, Microsoft's upcoming televised adaptation of Halo (to be produced by Steven Spielberg) is going to be the lynchpin for the company's proprietary entertainment studio. As such, there's concern that expanding beyond the games might dilute the series. Fortunately, Microsoft's Phil Spencer said 'Halo' will not be a meaningless effort, and will serve to continue pushing the company's "most important" IP in a positive manner.
Speaking with OXM UK, Spender had quite a bit to offer on Microsoft's intentions and hopes for 'Halo.' "I think there's a story in the Halo games that's noteworthy," Spencer said. "And that we can introduce more people to the IP by putting the franchise, stories, and characters in more accessible mediums than a first person shooter. That's a good thing for Halo, a good thing for the platform, and a good thing for the IP owners."
After the relative success of 'Halo: Forward Unto Dawn,' Microsoft learned a tie-in like that mini-series was a great way to drum up interest in the actual game. However, if you're worried 'Halo' is just going to be filler designed to get you to buy games, you can stop. "I definitely don't think of it as filler," Spencer said. "Halo, you could argue, is the most important entertainment IP that Microsoft owns. I can't use the word filler anywhere near Halo, it just won't work. If we're going to do a television series with Halo, we're going to do it the right way, and we're going to do it because we think it really matters."
Spencer cited the recent success of The Walking Dead as an example of how to succeed across various brands without watering down the IP, and by generating more interest in the complete universe. "I'm a big Walking Dead fan," Spencer said. "I've read the comics and graphic novels; the IP has grown and became more accessible as it hit TV, then went to videogames where it did incredibly well, and I think that strategy of growing and deepening what the franchise and IP is about is a good strategy for an IP holder."
It's still going to be some time until 'Halo' is ready for its debut through Xbox' Entertainment Studio, but the early talk from Microsoft is certainly encouraging. With a luminary like Spielberg attached, there's a chance we could have a 'Band of Brothers' type phenomenon set in the Halo universe. We could also have a 'Falling Skies' scenario, which would be less optimal, but the promise and potential are definitely there. Now we just have to cross our fingers and hope its fulfilled.