The release schedule for Halo: The Master Chief Collection on PC seems plain unstrategic. Sure, content is slowly trickling down to PC gamers, but that doesn’t make it a great decision by any means. Frankly, it’s just one big mistake.
The plan goes like this: Five years after the game’s original, broken release on Xbox One, Microsoft is releasing the remastered/remade Halo games on PC on a schedule in chronological order that follows the timeline of the core franchise. Starting with Halo: Reach‘s release in early December on Xbox One and PC, Microsoft will later be releasing the rest of the games in chronological order throughout 2020. This means that the first Halo, the remake of Halo 2, Halo 3, Halo: ODST, and Halo 4 will be released separately throughout 2020.
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Plainly put, this is a bizarre decision. Not only are they mimicking a game over five years old in Halo: The Master Chief Collection but they are ultimately releasing remastered games up to almost two decades old on separate occasions. In a way, this is unacceptable, and Microsoft is mistaken in its strategy.
As mentioned previously, what makes the situation worse is that Halo: The Master Chief Collection has been out for more than five years. The fact the game is heading to PC now suggests that Microsoft is struggling to maintain coherent control of the franchise–not unlike other Microsoft franchises like Banjo-Kazooie and Fable, which have both seen rumor after rumor to no avail. Halo isn’t quite as bad but the PC release schedule represents lackluster strategy on Microsoft’s part and their lack of control over the franchise.
The Halo brand is still quite strong and remains one of Microsoft’s flagship Xbox franchises. Halo: The Master Chief Collection‘s release on PC is proof that Microsoft is never leaving it behind and shows the willingness of the company to maintain its franchises’ relevance. The strategy is seemingly thin, but the obvious hope is that all will work in Microsoft’s favor and keep up the popularity of the Halo franchise among PC gamers who are longtime fans of the franchise. Although unlikely, it’d be nice to see Microsoft reverse course and release the remaining Halo titles in one lump Halo sum.
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