Microsoft reveals future plans for Halo universe

There will be new Halo products for at least another six years

Halo 3: ODST has already generated more than US$125 million in sales it's first two weeks, and with almost 2.5 million copies sold the Halo franchise is rapidly approaching the 30 million sales mark. Though Bungie may be getting tired of cranking out games featuring massive floating ringworlds, Microsoft's 343 Industries makes it clear in a recent interview with USA Today that there will be new Halo products for at least another six years.

Games

Bungie's final contribution to the series, Halo: Reach is the story of what happened when the Covenant first attacked humanity on the planet Reach. A prequel to the Halo trilogy, Reach is scheduled to release in fall of 2010.

Videos

No news yet on the stalled Halo feature film, though rumors of a new director have repeatedly popped up since Peter Jackson abandoned the project. "We're being very careful to pick the right time and the right partner,"said Frank O'Connor, creative director for 343 Industries (which manages the Halo franchise.)

In the meantime Halo Legends is coming to home theaters in 2010, collaboration between five Japanese animation studios to create a series of seven short anime films that flesh out the Halo universe (much as the Animatrix did for the Matrix trilogy.) The Halo Waypoint channel on XBL will begin offering previews of the films this fall.

Comics

The Halo universe already hosts two comic series (Halo: Uprising and the current ODST-focused Halo: Helljumper) and Marvel plans to bring a third to market this holiday season. Tentatively titled Halo: Blood Line, the newest comic line deals with Spartan team Black, the UNSC's " top-secret unconventional warfare unit."

Books

If comic books (sorry, graphic novels) aren't your thing keep an eye out for Halo: Evolutions, an anthology of short stories set in the Halo universe. The collection features fiction from previous Halo universe contributors like Tobias Buckell and Eric Nylund (who wrote the Halo: Fall of Reach novel) and is expected in stores November 24th. Another trilogy of prequel novels is planned that deal with the Forerunner civilization, though no release date is currently available.

Action figures

The release of ODST brings with it another slew of Halo toys from Todd McFarlane, including a model of Spartan Recon Armor and a painted plastic version of "the Rookie."

O'Connor makes it clear that the Halo series will continue even after Bungie releases their swan song next fall. "We do have a plan that goes out at least six years," he says. "Eventually, it will become very apparent that there is a plan for the way the canon all ties together and the way the comic books and the novels all tie together."

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Alex Wawro

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