Ten Years Ago: "Halo Is The Name Of This Game."

In 1999, Bungie was probably the best-known studio developing specifically for Macintosh, having delivered titles like Marathon, Myth, and Pathways Into Darkness. At Macworld 1999, Steve Jobs introduced the studio's next big Mac exclusive: Halo.

Within a year, Bungie would be bought out by Microsoft and Halo would become a launch title that, more than any other game, made the Xbox viable in its infancy. Although Jobs had sworn that Apple had "put an initiative in place to get games back to the Mac," the new console project and Microsoft's commitment to it seemed a much more stable environment than remaining the lone standard bearer of gaming on the Mac.

People argue the Halo franchise's innovation and significance, or lack thereof, all the time. What isn't disputable is its place in history to these two companies, as the catalyst for the fortunes of one and the persistent listlessness of another, at least in gaming. I often wonder if Macintosh really could have evolved into a serious gaming platform, using OpenGL, with Halo as a leadership title. And I wonder what would have happened with the Xbox - if anything could have matched the impact of Halo on that console, or if Microsoft would have simply developed another multiplayer FPS with which to stake its claim in the market.

Above is Steve Jobs' keynote introduction of Halo on July 21, 1999 at Macworld Expo in New York. The game had been given a closed-door screening at E3 earlier that year. This is its public debut.

Eventually, Halo would make it to the Mac. In 2003.

Halo ... On the Mac? [YouTube]


Comments

    Was it really 10 years ago this was announced for the Mac? I remember mates who ran a Mac store back then who were lording this "Halo" game over us Windows people, saying that it'll be the best FPS ever etc etc.

    Then Microsoft bought Bungie and announced Halo was an XB1 exclusive.

    I'm surprised I wasn't locked up for excessive smug-ness after that. Still, one does wonder what might've been if Microsoft didn't steal it afterall....

    I think Bungie would have had the idea that Halo was something spectacular. I mean, towards the end of their development stages they surely had the impression that what they have created is pretty advanced & the potential to be a massive hit.

    On the other hand, MS did indeed put a lot of trust in Halo but i don't think they expected it to become the flagship title of their console and end up being the main thing people identify with the Xbox & go on to break many records along the way.

    Halo wasn't even a launch title for the Xbox. But either way, so glad it is where it is.

    About the Macintosh thing, i personally don't believe it would have made it so popular that it become the must-have thing to get because of Halo. If Halo was on any other console, it wouldn't have been the same. Xbox was the most 'powerful' console on release & I don't think any other console would have offered the experience the Xbox version did. Even the PC port isn't that great.

    I recall this being a PC title prior to moving to the Xbox as well, and in particular, I remember being very disappointed when I heard the news.
    It wasn't until years later that I found out it was originally going to be a Mac title.

    god what alternative universe is this....Jesus....mac still sucks

    Oh the irony.Yet another thing that M$ stole off Mac and turned into a multi million dollar franchise. Halo would have failed on macs anyway, but still, i find this hilarious.

    that was the gayest nerd thing i have ever seen maybe it is time for me to quit playing games once and for all.

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