Gamasutra has discovered that a canceled project at Ensemble Studios
-- soon to be shuttered
by Microsoft -- was in fact a Halo
MMO. The game was supposedly in development in 2006 and part of 2007, which would jive with rumors
that were circulating at the time. Gamasutra managed to dig up some of Ensemble's concept art and mocked up screenshots of what the game would have looked like. Taking a look at the screenshot, it's clear that the game's interface would have borrowed heavily from World of Warcraft
, while the concept art shows off a dual sword wielding Spartan with what appears to be an AI companion standing (floating?) behind him. The 'magic' energy of the game was apparently refered to as Psion, so perhaps the AIs would have been part of the game's magic system.
Alas, the game is kaput, though it's unclear exactly why it was canceled. It could be that a similar game was also in the works, a likely possibility given how many teams
are currently working on Halo
projects. Then again, maybe it was canceled when Ensemble realized it would get pretty boring if everyone
picks Master Chief.
[Thanks to everyone that sent this in. Via Joystiq]
Reader Comments (Page 1 of 2)
9-23-2008 @ 11:59AM
Woo forgotten close of italics!
Although the Halo Universe is very interesting, it's all really focused on one character as opposed to WoW which is based on Warcraft that focused on different races, factions, etc.
9-23-2008 @ 12:00PM
Aww, Richard fixed it. First line of my last comment needs a strikeout, stat!
9-23-2008 @ 12:01PM
It might have been good, and we're not exactly spoilt for choice when it comes to MMO's on the 360.
Looks like we'll never know now.
9-23-2008 @ 12:14PM
Perhaps it's just me, but this is the type of 'whoring out' of the franchise that I worry about.
Halo = FPS
That's not to say that other shooter style games can be made (such as the 3rd person squad based game) but to introduce a MMO with 'magic' would be just be stupid and deviate so far from Halo CE, Halo 2, or Halo 3. People can tell the difference between a company (Bungie) creating games to preserve what it originally started out as vs companies whoring out a name in attempts to make money.
Keep Halo what it was/is.
9-23-2008 @ 12:27PM
Right on. Kudos to Microsoft for recognizing quality over quanity (game consoles notwithstanding).
9-23-2008 @ 12:28PM
oh man, i can't wait for screens of canceled Halo Cooking, Halo Kart and Halo Xxxtreme Volleyball!
9-23-2008 @ 12:35PM
Would of sucked. The backgrounds do seriously look ripped straight out of WOW. XD That's uh..yeah.
Sorry it would of blown, the ONLY way i could see a Halo MMOG being good would be to make it like PlanetSide , that I would pay for.
9-23-2008 @ 8:19PM
agree, if you want a precedent look at Star Wars Galaxies and what happened when they let everyone become a Jedi.
9-23-2008 @ 9:41PM
Don't you mean "would HAVE?" What the hell does "would of" even mean?
9-23-2008 @ 12:44PM
Microsoft just realized how terrible it would be and decided to ask. I mean really, who would wanna be anyone besides Master Chief or the Elites?
9-23-2008 @ 12:45PM
*decided to axe it
9-23-2008 @ 12:45PM
Thank god, based on those screenshots. It's like one big "WTF" whenever you like Halo or not!
9-23-2008 @ 12:50PM
Looks fine to me, it might have been the first MMO I wanted to play. The only thing I had a problem with was the guy dual wielding swords. That for some reason just stood out the most amongst all of the deviations from what we know to be Halo. That Spartan just looks like he belongs in a fantasy game. Art style looks a little too much like WOW, couldn't they have came up with something a little more unique?
9-23-2008 @ 12:57PM
The screenshots seriously look like photoshopped World of Warcraft screenshots.
9-23-2008 @ 1:12PM
Wow... that looks terrible. I mean seriously, why would you want a Halo MMO? Halo Wars at least fits within the Halo universe, but this... no wonder the studio was canned.
*I'm not saying ensemble came up with the idea, but dang... lay off the crack pipe...
9-23-2008 @ 1:48PM
It clearly was very early. It's kind of hard to rag on it for graphics issues.
9-23-2008 @ 2:08PM
SO GLAD this was never finished.
9-23-2008 @ 2:28PM
You can see all the images here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/sets/72157607452469273/
I don't think that character is an AI from the concept art on the link it looks like a human wearing some Psionic equipment.
9-23-2008 @ 3:16PM
See what I mean?
It's horrible, that game looks simply awful. Not graphically, as it was only in development, but the game play, the 'story', everything.
I'm sure they could make a similar game in an MMO setting and do pretty good, but remember, there is no magic in halo...
9-23-2008 @ 2:58PM
This looks like a freakin april fool's joke! I bet it was photoshoped from WoW...