Why The Halo MMO Was Cancelled

A few years ago, Microsoft-owned Ensemble Studios, the team behind Age of Empires, was working on a Halo massively-multiplayer online game, code-named Titan. That project ended up a bust, and was cancelled by Microsoft. Here's why.

"We had all this incredible talent, we had the right people, the right passion, we had a phenomenally successful IP - the Halo IP", says Dusty Monk, formerly of Ensemble.

"[But Microsoft]were looking really hard at the Nintendo Wii and they were really excited by the numbers that the Wii was turning. So part of this changing of the guard at Microsoft came along with the changing of the attitude to this very expensive, very long and very protacted $US90 million USD project we were working on. To cut a long story short, Titan was closed down."

And here I was thinking the problem was the fact Halo is known purely for its fast-paced combat and one-dimensional military factions, making a more social experience one largely unrelated to the franchise's core appeal. But hey, what do I know!

Cancelled Halo MMO Details [inc gamers]



    End of story.

    that looks absolutely crap... I'm glad it was cancelled.

      That would have been a pre-alpha shot of the game... it was no where near completion when it was cancelled.

      One tiny screenshot and you've come to the conclusion that it not only looks crap, but "absolutely crap"

      Judging a book by its cover much...?

        Actually, this is judging a book by the sketches of a cover.

        Also, I loved the Halo games' characters and stories even before I began reading further into the books and anime.

        That said, I think this could've worked.

        Different races and classes!
        Humans : Spartan I's, Spartan II's and Spartan III's
        Covenant: Brute Warrior, Jackal Sniper, Hunter
        Sangheili : Elite Ranger, Stealth Elite, Special Operations (Explosives) Elite

      Have you not heard of something called World of Warcraft??

    I woulnd't agree that Halo's factions are one-dimensional. The shooters alone outline the obvious disharmony within the Covenant that led to its ultimate downfall and the shared threat of the Flood. Even Guilty Spark shifts allegiance several times across the games.

    Halo's backstory details the moral grey area of the Spartans' origin, from their original purpose aiding the fascist Earth empire against the colonies, to the Spartan program itself.

    I don't see how it would work as an MMO, but to be dismissive of the backstory is one-dimensional behaviour itself.

    Really? I would have just gone with "because it was a dumb idea".

    That is a really strange idea, all the Halo fans I know and meet just want to "Pone" and "turkey slap" each other in the fastest FPS environment possible.

    I personally love the original Red vs Blue and own the Halo comics by Bendis and Maleev which considering coming from that team is not so great.

      I think you may be confused there, "“Pone” and “turkey slap” each other in the fastest FPS environment possible." there are of course people like that in Halo but I guarantee there are a lot more in CS and COD as they are significantly faster FPS environments than Halo.

      But getting back to the article, yeah this would have been a dumb idea. Few ideas actually work as an MMO and using an FPS as your base is going to take some work. Not to mention it seems like every day there's a new MMO being made and one going out of business. The market isn't that big but everyone thinks they can start the next big thing and cash in on it.

    I'll bet this is part of why ensemble studios collapsed.
    And it looks bad because it has halfway through it's development cycle.
    Good/bad idea or not, this may have been a way to expand the halo corridor into more of a mansion.

    and ensemble studios are capable of making such great gREAT GREAT GAMES!

    Umm ... people are commenting on the early screenshot, but isn't that just a photoshop of WOW???

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