Why it matters to you
Xbox fans hoping to see a Halo or Gears of War sequel in 2017 will have to wait until next year for the return of their favorite franchises, as Microsoft’s Xbox division head Phil Spencer confirmed that neither series will see a fully fledged sequel this year.
“It’s going to be an interesting year for us because we don’t have Gears, (and) we don’t have a Halo first-person shooter game,” Spencer said on IGN’s Unfiltered podcast this week, leaving fans to speculate regarding potential spinoffs that could be revealed in the months ahead.
More: ‘Halo Wars 2’ review
Halo and Gears of War have long remained cornerstones of Microsoft’s Xbox brand, and both franchises saw multiple sequels and spinoffs during the Xbox 360’s lifespan. Between both franchises, Microsoft appeals to both hardcore first-person shooter devotees and fans of cover-based third person shooters, ensuring a dedicated player base across multiple console generations.
The Halo series made its Xbox One debut in 2014 with the launch of Halo: The Master Chief Collection, a compilation that includes upgraded versions of Halo: Combat Evolved, Halo 2, Halo 3, and Halo 4. The long-awaited Halo 5: Guardians later shipped in 2015, offering a single-player campaign in addition to a bevy of series-standard competitive and co-op multiplayer modes.
More: ‘Gears of War 4’ sees return of two classic maps and hundreds of new cards
Gears of War fans, meanwhile, received an upgraded version of the first game in the series with 2015’s Gears of War: Ultimate Edition for the Xbox One. A sequel, Gears of War 4, launched for the Xbox One late last year, giving fans a new perspective on the series with a storyline that takes place 25 years after the events of Gears of War 3.
While the recently released RTS spinoff Halo Wars 2 may keep Halo fans occupied over the next several months, a full-fledged FPS sequel remains high in demand. Xbox head Spencer tempered expectations regarding Microsoft’s future plans for the Halo series during his appearance on IGN Unfiltered, noting that the publisher will instead focus on promoting upcoming Xbox One games like Sea of Thieves, State of Decay, and Crackdown 3 throughout 2017.
“Maybe there’s some things that we haven’t talked about yet,” Spencer added, suggesting that Gears of War and Halo fans might have sequel reveals and announcements to look forward to in the coming year.