When Halo Wars released in 2009 it completely shook the console RTS market – console RTS games to date were never that good, partially due to them being ported for the PC. The difference with Halo Wars was not only that it had Halo in its name, but that it was built from the ground-up for consoles, for controllers, and for console gamers. And did it ever succeed – selling 2.52 million copies globally and ranking an impressive 82 on Metacritic, with an overwhelming amount of positive reviews (80% or higher), with 81 out of 92 critic reviews and 53 out of 72 user reviews. It was a commercial and critical success… usually that is a positive thing and a sequel happens most of the time. There has been no sequel of anything Halo Wars to-date. Even Xbox Boss Phil Spencer said that Halo Wars 2 was under-appreciated, and that he would definitely like to see a sequel one day (see article here).
|Oh how we love you – Halo Wars|
Here are some reasons why no sequel has been announced – yet:
– Many fans, critics, and developers alike called Halo Wars “selling out” the Halo franchise. Bungie themselves, when they still owned Halo, said that Halo Wars was “whoring out the franchise” (see article here). Indeed, the game was not even supposed to be a Halo game until Microsoft made them ‘Halo-ize’ the project (see above article). Was it selling out?
– Ensemble Studios was disassembled into three smaller studios after Halo Wars, so the original developers of the game do not even work together anymore. Who would make the game?
– RTS games, despite this one’s success and re-imagining of one on a console, have never done well on a console. Was Halo Wars a one-off success, capitalizing on a juicy market at the time?
Here are the reasons why Halo Wars 2 should definitely be a thing:
1. Power of the Xbox One would allow for much, MUCH more room for game-space and mechanics. Halo Wars, while a great game, was relatively small scale with smaller overall armies and a max of 3vs3 on skirmish… Imagine a Halo Wars where armies were massive, maps were bigger, and game mechanics larger? Maybe even 4vs4 or 5vs5? It sounds amazing. Everything could be bigger and better.
2. Windows 10/Xbox One unity – Microsoft is making a big push at the PC market right now. Fable Legends was the first cross-play game announced… Maybe Halo Wars 2 could provide the same? Cross buy, at the least, would be great for gamers. Cross-play could allow for a PC advantage, but cross-buy would be great.
3. Tantalizing story – Halo Wars actually had a very well thought-out and delivered story, that expanded and respected the Halo universe. Halo Wars 2, if following the same formula, would have the opportunity to expand and explore even more of the Halo universe, something that everyone wants.
|Come on Phil Spencer – Make it happen!|
4. Exclusives exclusives exclusives – It is no secret that great exclusive games sell consoles, and while Halo Wars probably did not sell that many more new Xbox 360s, it would help to solidify the reason to upgrade from a 360 to the Xbox One. Right now, while there are certainly good reasons to switch, the more good games that come out for a console that aren’t on another one, the better the chance people will buy your console. I know it is only a matter of time, but Halo Wars 2 would be a great treat.
5. There is still an active online community – It is rare for console games to have an active online community many years after its release, and yet here is Halo Wars, still having a consistent 1000-5000 people online (depending on what day and what hour of day). There is a dedicated fan-base, and they would appreciate a new game.
6. At-least do an HD remake! – The game itself would be a fun one to do an HD remake of. It is the first truly great console RTS, why not put it on Xbox One (and even port it to PC while you’re at it!).
7. Help Asian-country sales of the Xbox One – There is no seeing around it, the Xbox One is selling terribly in Asian countries… it could even be the reason why the Xbox One is faring so poorly compared to the PS4 in sales. RTS games like Starcraft 2 and other strategy games are very popular in these countries… introducing Halo Wars 2 has the potential to re-invigorate the market (I know it’s a stretch, but hear me out). If whoever made the game tailored it for a competitive, MLG experience, who knows how well it would do in the professional scene? Other RTS’s like Starcraft 2 do incredibly well, why not Halo Wars 2? It could, in theory, be done.
I really hope that Phil Spencer reads this. If not, I have no idea how long it would take for a sequel to come out. It did well both commercially and critically, and has the potential to do so many great things that not many other games for the Xbox One could do…
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