Microsoft is partnering with Saber Interactive and Innova Systems to develop a Halo Online for the PC, but right now, it's a closed beta only available to Russian players. There's no campaign mode in Halo Online, which uses a "heavily modified" version of the Halo 3 engine so it'll run on lower-end PCs.
Here's the setting, for those interested in the possible lore impact:
Halo Online is set on a secret UNSC space installation called Anvil, where Spartan-IV soldiers train together in war exercises to sharpen their battle skills and test experimental technology.
Official Halo Online Interactive Site. Viewed best in Chrome with Translation turned on:
As part of a Q&A, the company answered what are probably some of your first questions:
Could this come to America, Europe, and elsewhere?
Right now our focus is on learning as much as we can from the closed beta period in Russia. Theoretically, any expansion outside of Russia would have to go through region-specific changes to address player expectations.
Will it ever be playable on an Xbox One?
Halo Online was built from the ground up specifically for the PC. There are no plans to bring Halo Online to the Xbox One.
Is this supposed to represent the future of Halo on the PC?
Halo Online is a learning opportunity for us as we explore ways to welcome new fans to the "Halo" universe. We're excited to release a "Halo" multiplayer-only PC experience tailored for Russian gamers.
When might Halo Online actually be finished?
Halo Online is a learning opportunity for us as we explore ways to welcome new fans to the "Halo" universe. There is no definitive launch date at this time as we proceed in our closed beta period in Russia.
This is purely speculation but perhaps the game's regional exclusivity is a controlled experiment to examine the monetization system of the game. If Halo Online meets their return on investment projections via the micro transaction system then could potentially see a global release for this game. Essentially there are two beta trials occurring right now. One to make sure the game functions and is in a playable state. Second to monitor how profitable the game will be using a free-to-play model. If the game doesn't meet their profit expectations we could see Halo Online having a subscription fee or a possible one time retail cost.
A Halo PC game would lend itself to community modding more easily as hardware restrictions would be penetrable again. What would that mean for us? Possibly stripping up campaign assets and creating custom levels, game types and more. We shall see...
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