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Is “Halo: The Television Series” the Start of a New Digital Genre?

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Since the release of “Halo: Combat Evolved” in 2001, the first-person shooter game has generated a life of its own. Just the game and its sequels alone have earned $3.4 billion. There’s also comics, graphic novels and licensing deals for everything you can think of, even socks. Now with a TV series on the horizan, it might be responsible with taking gaming content and digital media to a new place.

Years ago, comic writer Brian Bendis said that Halo was “this generation’s Star Wars.” To Xbox and the fans, also known as the “Halo Nation,” it’s far more than that. Xbox and Microsoft’s Xbox Live online service wasn’t doing so great before Halo with the later being essentially saved by of Halo 2.

While there’s been some failures; projects stopped long periods of development like Halo: Chronicles, the news that the much hyped Halo movie fell through was very disappointing. Delivery of the script to the Hollywood big shots was made into a huge production, so fans really expected success. The best explanation of how and why it fell through is on Wired.com.

On May 21, 2013, Microsoft announced there would be a new Halo game and a “Halo” TV series that would coinside with the release of their next generation gaming system, Xbox One. Originally slated for release in early 2014, Bonnie Ross, general manager of 343 Industries supplied a new date in May.

“I’m happy to reveal that “Halo 5: Guardians,” the next installment in the legendary saga of the Master Chief, will launch on Xbox One in fall of 2015,” Ross said.

Steven Spielberg was hired to produce the Halo TV series. While gamers are probably more excited about the game itself, the series might end up starting a new division for Microsoft.

“[Halo is] a series that will stand alone, as well as complement and enrich the game experience,” Ross said. “We’ll have more to share on the “Halo” television series as we near its projected fall 2015 release. There’s a lot of buzz discussing if the series will only be available on Xbox One.

Last year, Microsoft entertainment and digital media president Nancy Tellum said something that made it seem like Xbox One (or Xbox Live, Microsofts online multiplayer gaming and digital media delivery service) was the only place you’d find what they’re calling “Halo: The Television Series.”

“TV on Xbox will immerse you, enabling you to virtually jump into the action whenever you desire,” Tellum said. “For the first time ever, TV will be truly personalized to your tastes and your needs.”

Forbes and other media outlets seem to confirm the idea that the series will only be available on Xbox One/Live while pointing out movies based on video games haven’t done so well in the past. However, with the success of TV shows on new media outlets like Netflix, Xbox One/Live could end up being the next great thing. What better place to bring a TV series based on a video game than a video game provider service? Their audience is already there. Plus, Xbox Live already makes an amazing amount of digital content available to its members. YouTube, Netflix, Hulu and many other new media outlets have contracts with them.


Photo: XBox
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