“But we have over 20 studios now”: Phil Spencer’s Comment On Halo Has Us Convinced Xbox Has Forgotten The Franchise Amid Fallout Success

Now that Microsoft owns enormous IPs like Call of Duty and Fallout, has Halo's significance diminished?

Phil Spencer Halo and Fallout


  • Microsoft's recent publisher acquisitions have made Xbox a major player with 36 studios and ownership of huge IPs like Fallout and Call of Duty.
  • Halo's future is uncertain due to Microsoft's focus on new IPs and lukewarm reception of Halo Infinite's campaign.
  • Despite Microsoft's reassurances, the lack of a roadmap and studio downsizing leave fans with doubts about Master Chief's next adventure.
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After Microsoft’s closure of the Activision Blizzard merger last year, Xbox is now one of the biggest publishers in the gaming industry, a far cry from just 10 years ago, when it had a paltry five studios developing mostly Halo, Gears, and Forza games.


However, things have massively changed now, as the brand has 36 game development studios under its umbrella, as well as ownership of legendary IPs like Call of Duty, Elder Scrolls, Fallout, Diablo, and many more. With names like these representing Xbox in the future, where does Halo -the trendsetter that kickstarted the platform in 2002 – fit in?

Xbox Still Finds Halo Important, But May Have Other Priorities

Even though Halo Infinite accrued positive reviews, fans were divided on the campaign's direction.
Even though Halo Infinite accrued positive reviews, fans were divided on the campaign’s direction.

In a June 2023 interview with The Guardian, Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer assured fans that the keystone Halo franchise will remain important to Xbox among all their consolidation:


I wouldn’t say Halo is of lesser importance, but we have over 20 studios now. I’ll go back to the years where I had basically four games – Fable, Forza, Halo, Gears, the four horseman of the apocalypse. We have a lot more games now.

Spencer’s noncommittal response is a bit suspect. While Halo isn’t explicitly abandoned, Microsoft’s focus on their recently-purchased IPs like Starfield, Fallout, and Call of Duty brings to light a crucial question: is there still a place for Master Chief in Xbox’s rapidly growing roster of IPs, and if so, when can we expect his next epic adventure?

Halo Infinite‘s launch, despite its impressive free-to-play multiplayer component, received mixed reception from fans, particularly regarding the campaign. Developer 343 also suffered major layoffs last year within the campaign development team, further clouding the future of the series.

While Infinite‘s multiplayer continues to receive seasonal updates, the initial vision of a robust “10 year game” seems to be fading. More importantly, the lack of a concrete roadmap for the next mainline Halo title is also concerning. 343 did issue a statement confirming that they will “continue to develop Halo now and in the future,” but with severe job cuts at the studio, it all looks a bit shaky.


Xbox Might Be Focusing More On The Bigger IPs They Own

Fallout's popularity has skyrocketed in the past few weeks, so Xbox may focus on it more.
Fallout‘s popularity has skyrocketed in the past few weeks, so Xbox may divert more of their focus to it.

Spencer’s remark about Microsoft’s expansive portfolio of development studios may offer an explanation for this uncertainty. With 36 studios and several blockbuster cash-cow IPs under their wing, Xbox’s focus simply could have shifted to those, even more so after Halo Infinite‘s lukewarm reception.

This diversification is undeniably exciting for future Xbox games, but it could also mean the Halo series may not be worth similarly large investments. Going back to 343’s aforementioned statement, they mention that they’ll continue to develop Halo games, but in what capacity? The IP could be handed off to another studio, with 343 collaborating on its development.

It’s entirely possible that the current Xbox console generation might not even witness the return of Master Chief in a full-fledged campaign. The Paramount+ show appears to be taking the reins in narrative exploration for the foreseeable future, leaving a void for longstanding fans who crave a traditional Halo campaign experience – one that’s defined the series for over two decades.


It’s crucial to remember that Microsoft hasn’t explicitly sidelined Halo, and that the series may still be high up on their list of priorities. But with a focus on new IP development and a growing number of studios under their belt, Microsoft might be taking a much more deliberate approach with the next chapter in Master Chief’s saga.

Fans can only turn to the Paramount series to scratch their Halo itch for the next several years.
Fans can only turn to the Paramount series to scratch their Halo itch for the next several years.

For the dedicated Halo fanbase, the lack of a clear roadmap and the hazy certainty of a future mainline title can no doubt be disheartening. However, considering the popularity of the Halo name, it’d be naive to assume that the IP has been put to rest forever.

It’s tough to say what the future holds for Master Chief, but for now, he seems to be on a hiatus. While Xbox may not have forgotten Halo, fans will likely have to wait a significant amount of time before they can once again step into the boots of the iconic Spartan.


Written by Viraaj Bhatnagar

Articles Published: 247

A lifelong gamer, lover of cars, and Master's student of Automotive Journalism, Viraaj Bhatnagar is a gaming writer at FandomWire who aims to be one of the greats. When he's not hunched over on his laptop typing out copy, he can be found lapping circuits in Gran Turismo or slaying draugr in God of War.