Maker Faire 2011 Roundup: Halo
Halo has a long and somewhat complex history. Most people would say that Halo started in 2001, with its release on the original Microsoft XBox platform. The XBox’s success is at least partially thanks to the extreme popularity of the Halo series, and Microsoft has treated the franchise well. So far six games have been released in the Halo series, including the main trilogy, two spinoff first-person shooters, and a real-time strategy game.
But Halo’s origins go deeper than the 2001 release. Halo’s developer, Bungie, is also known for the Marathon series, a Macintosh first-person shooter franchise. Before Halo became an XBox game, it was planned to be a Macintosh exclusive as well. Midway through the project they were purchased by Microsoft for XBox development. Today, Marathon is relatively unknown, but at the time it was a popular and exciting game franchise.A common publisher isn’t the only connection between Halo and Marathon. Halo contains many references to the Marathon universe. While officially the two franchises are unrelated, there is much evidence that Halo is actually a prequel to Marathon. The Marathon logo shows up frequently in the Halo games, weaponry and equipment have similar names, and many plot elements are shared or outright duplicated.
We received eleven votes for Halo franchise games and two more votes for Marathon. We decided not to combine the two, as they are officially different franchises, but it seems near-certain that the Marathon voters are aware of the Halo connection. Today, Halo is one of the largest and most well-known game franchises.
Halo 4 was announced less than a week ago, and is being eagerly awaited by gamers everywhere.