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Phil Spencer Talks Halo & Gears of War

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Phil Spencer discusses Halo 4 & 5 and Gears of War for Xbox One along with what the future holds for the new console over on Kotaku:

“A couple of years ago we had the discussion of: ‘Should we do Halo at launch and not do Halo 4 last year?'” Spencer said, “But I was committed to getting Halo 4 done last year, and there was no way we were going to turn around with 343 a full Halo game in a year. So that was the plan we set on. I feel good about that.”

I agree that Halo 4 should not have been an Xbox One launch title. I think the people over at 343 really took advantage of every piece of processing power they could out of a system architecture from 2005. Efforts like that show me the potential of a great team and what developers will be able to do with the Xbox One years down the road.

Spencer says time was the biggest issue. “A discussion around having a Halo game at launch—a true Halo at launch, meaning like a Halo 4 or 5-size game—would have been something we’d have had to start two or three years ago.”

When asked about the lack of a Gears of War announcement, Spencer stated he was a fan of the franchise but realizes the developer has changed in the last years with top talent leaving for other projects. “I want to continue to work with Gears. I think there’s a lot of life left in that franchise. We had an internal discussion on it even yesterday. It’s something that’s active in discussion about what we can do with Gears. Obviously, I know Tim Sweeney, Mark Rein, Jay Wilbur incredibly well, so nothing to announce yet and I’d say, yes, there’s nothing even pending that I’m holding to announce, but I understand the importance of the franchise to the Xbox platform and to gamers—I’d say gamers first. It’d be great to do something forward with that franchise.”

It seems like they’re trying to figure out if Gears of War is going to be a promising exclusive franchise on the console considering the changing market and development team. I think a Gears of War would look great on the Xbox One, but I’d like for them to take a few years to take their time and spark something new for the franchise. As much as I love Gears of War, I feel like it was starting to get stale (even with the new features) with the most recent Gears of War: Judgement.

We’ll see what the future holds for the Xbox One and Microsofts grip on some of its exclusive franchises.