Canceled Halo MMOG "Was Going to Compete Against WoW"

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Canceled Halo MMOG "Was Going to Compete Against WoW"

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Former Ensemble Studios programmer and unrepentant optimist Dusty Monk says the Halo MMOG it was developing "was absolutely going to compete against WoW," if only it hadn't been canceled.

Monk joined Ensemble in 2000 and worked on the Age of Empires and Age of Mythology series as well as Halo Wars, the studio's last project before it was closed down by Microsoft. He also spent three years, from 2004 to 2007, working on a project codenamed Titan, which has since been revealed to be the Halo-based MMOG that was canceled in mid-2007, before its existence became public knowledge.

And, he said, it was going to be big. "It was going to be the Halo MMO, and it was absolutely going to compete against WoW [World of Warcraft]," he claimed in a recent interview.

"You have to remember that Ensemble came from a standpoint of being really good at competing against Blizzard Entertainment," he continued, putting his finger on the fact that both the Warcraft and Age of Empires RTS franchises had met with considerable success. "We had a pretty good history of knowing the types of stuff that Blizzard put into their games to make them really successful, and the kinds of things we'd need to put into an MMO to compete against Blizzard."

Some of the ideas Ensemble was working on for the Halo MMOG are turning up now in Star Wars: The Old Republic, currently being developed by BioWare, and Mythic's Warhammer Online. Unfortunately, despite being ahead of the curve, Monk said Ensemble and the game were caught in a "changing of the guard" at Microsoft. "They were looking really hard at the Nintendo Wii and they were really excited by the numbers that the Wii was turning," he explained. "This was about the time that Microsoft decided that its Xbox platform and XBLA really needed to go more in the direction of appealing to a more casual, broader audience."

But if not for that fateful intervention, Monk is certain that today's MMOG landscape would look a lot different than it does. "Even though a lot of people talk about how you just can't build a WoW killer, I absolutely believe that we could have built an MMO, if Microsoft had maintained their commitment, that if it hadn't been a WoW killer, it certainly would've competed," he said. Too bad we'll never know.

Source: IncGamers

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okay, I'm just gonna put it out there
I love Halo

but this...no no no thank goodness it's a no

Alright, i'll be honest:

I'm a big Halo fanboy, but i know bullshit when i hear it, and i'm pretty doubtful THIS would have been a WoW killer.

While Yes people play Halo for the online, I don't think the intelligent PC gamers would have liked it... you know, because it's console frat boys who mainly play Halo online (Bewilderingly).

Calumon: I can't play with bad guns... I shouldn't play with this

*rolls eyes*

Its easy to say it would have beat WoW it when it never came out. Every MMO has been called a WoW Killer recently, and they all failed. This one would have been no different.

I love Halo. As such, if this actually came out, I would RAAAAAAAEEEEEEEEGGGGGG like nothing you've ever seen before.

That screenshot looks like a reskin mod for WoW.

...

Wait. That's exactly what it is.

Sir Kemper:
Alright, i'll be honest:

I'm a big Halo fanboy, but i know bullshit when i hear it, and i'm pretty doubtful THIS would have been a WoW killer.

might not of been a WoW killer [lets face it, what HAS been one?], but it could of had potential.

Ill admit it, I dont like Halo, but I would of at least tired a Halo MMO, and from the screenshot it looks like it would of played like Tabula Rasa, which is an automatic +40 cool points form me.

Halo's not the sort of thing you can make an MMO from...the universe doesn't have nearly enough variety. I mean, you can include some new aliens, I guess, but if you go too far and start making up monsters and things, it's just going to be a science-fantasy MMO with 'Halo' on the front cover.

Heh, I'd bet everything the Halo MMOG would've won if it implemented one or two fresh idea's.

Baron Khaine:
*rolls eyes*

Its easy to say it would have beat WoW it when it never came out. Every MMO has been called a WoW Killer recently, and they all failed. This one would have been no different.

I'm actually quite happy that Blaine Christine (Producer at Bioware Austin) said in an interview that he 'Doesn't want TOR to be called a WoW-Killer, that he enjoys warcraft and wouldn't want something that he created to be labeled as such'

The idea of a WoW killer is laughable at best. It is too firmly entrenched with its gaming community to be toppled at this point. Besides that, I can't see Halo working as an MMO, it just lacks the character and world in which it would work.

Cmwissy:

Baron Khaine:
*rolls eyes*

Its easy to say it would have beat WoW it when it never came out. Every MMO has been called a WoW Killer recently, and they all failed. This one would have been no different.

I'm actually quite happy that Blaine Christine (Producer at Bioware Austin) said in an interview that he 'Doesn't want TOR to be called a WoW-Killer, that he enjoys warcraft and wouldn't want something that he created to be labeled as such'

Yep, I remember reading that. But it's still being labelled as one as far as I can tell, which doesn't help on the hype-o-meter. The problem with most recent MMO's is that there hyped all to hell then disappoint and everyone quits through disappointment before they hit end game. I really hope this doesn't happen with TOR.

Oh yeah, he doesn't sound spiteful at all. He makes it sound like the company had been specifically competing with Blizzard from the very beginning. And then he blames the Wii for whatever reason.

axle 19:
The idea of a WoW killer is laughable at best. It is too firmly entrenched with its gaming community to be toppled at this point. Besides that, I can't see Halo working as an MMO, it just lacks the character and world in which it would work.

Well, an MMOFPS with the USMC (no spartans), versus the Covenant, could have worked, provided that you could have played both. Perhaps throw in the Flood as a 3rd faction if they could get it to work. But as an MMORPG, it could never have worked.

Go out bring me 10 Grunt Heads? That'd get a tad boring me think's.

Thyunda:
Halo's not the sort of thing you can make an MMO from...the universe doesn't have nearly enough variety. I mean, you can include some new aliens, I guess, but if you go too far and start making up monsters and things, it's just going to be a science-fantasy MMO with 'Halo' on the front cover.

Have you read the books? Seen the documentaries of the Halo beta?Now I'm not trying to say here, "If you knew everything about the Halo universe, you'd know this was obvious!!1!," but I admit that I have, and I think if handled carefully, it could have been possible.
Looking at that screenshot of generic marine, though, I somehow doubt it.

Still, I kinda wish it had existed for the sole purpose of seeing the environments; I really love the visual style of the Halo series.

Erana:

Thyunda:
Halo's not the sort of thing you can make an MMO from...the universe doesn't have nearly enough variety. I mean, you can include some new aliens, I guess, but if you go too far and start making up monsters and things, it's just going to be a science-fantasy MMO with 'Halo' on the front cover.

Have you read the books? Seen the documentaries of the Halo beta?Now I'm not trying to say here, "If you knew everything about the Halo universe, you'd know this was obvious!!1!," but I admit that I have, and I think if handled carefully, it could have been possible.
Looking at that screenshot of generic marine, though, I somehow doubt it.

Still, I kinda wish it had existed for the sole purpose of seeing the environments; I really love the visual style of the Halo series.

Did they have roaming heroes going on great adventures into completely random caves on completely random planets for glory or anything like that? I mean, that's the whole premise for an MMO, and the Halo universe really isn't something you can do that in...books or not.

Erana:

Thyunda:
Halo's not the sort of thing you can make an MMO from...the universe doesn't have nearly enough variety. I mean, you can include some new aliens, I guess, but if you go too far and start making up monsters and things, it's just going to be a science-fantasy MMO with 'Halo' on the front cover.

Have you read the books? Seen the documentaries of the Halo beta?Now I'm not trying to say here, "If you knew everything about the Halo universe, you'd know this was obvious!!1!," but I admit that I have, and I think if handled carefully, it could have been possible.
Looking at that screenshot of generic marine, though, I somehow doubt it.

Still, I kinda wish it had existed for the sole purpose of seeing the environments; I really love the visual style of the Halo series.

I was about to say that. darn you ninja!

Wow has about 70% of the MMO marketplace right now, and I only suspect that's going to grow when Cataclysm comes out. Halo is popular in a lot of formats, but I doubt they would have been able to jump into the MMO scene with WoW having such a huge head start and hardcore player base already.

Huge Halo fan, but the chances of that competing with WoW? I don't think it would have been able to. I would have tried it anyway.

am i the only one with the impression that NOTHING can kill WoW except time? it has a community of over 11 million players mostly investing time and money into it. their not gonna forget all that just because something is a bit better. and besides a barely made universe like halo can't compare with the age of the warcraft universe.

Forgive me for stereotyping, but how many Halo players are likely to play an MMO like WoW as well?

You can't kill a game if you imitate it. That's why 99% of mmos don't even come close to WoW, they all have almost the same hud and combat. It shouldn't be that hard to not use an outdated engine anyways.

Pah

That's like the kid who said "Yeah, I was gonna kick his ass, I wasn't scared" when the bully decides not to beat the everloving crap out of him

No. WoW had a transferable fanbase from the Diablo series, giving them a head start in numbers.

Most Halo fans aren't going to migrate to an MMO. And RPG fans aren't going to a Halo MMO.

Well, they weren't.

Woodsey:
Forgive me for stereotyping, but how many Halo players are likely to play an MMO like WoW as well?

My thoughts exactly.

How many people would be willing to pay monthly for a game on the PC, which they probably don't even use for games.

It would have succeeded, due to Halo's massive popularity, but it wouldn't have killed anything.

"We're going to kill wow by... looking and feeling exactly like wow, except with a few minor differences."

I just don't understand. WoW became what it is by taking lineage and everquest and removing as much of the "shit" as possible. The only shit thats left in WoW is stuck there until someone figures out how to break the telecommunications "light barrier." You can wiggle the game mechanics a little, or use a different skin, but the game itself isn't going to be anything special, because it simply can't be.

It looks just like wow. Yeah that'll compete, along with every other mmo that is against wow but just looks like it by coincidence.

It would've competed for all of about 10 minutes, then everyone would realize a Halo MMO was a REALLY FUCKING STUPID IDEA. Possibly even more stupid than a Twilight MMO that, I'm dead serious about this, is supposedly in development.

suuuure it would.

You make a different game completely, you don't copy paste WoW to beat it, which judging by the screen shot is exactly what they did.

Also Halo Market =/= MMO market

Onyx Oblivion:
No. WoW had a transferable fanbase from the Diablo series, giving them a head start in numbers.

Halo fans aren't going to migrate to an MMO. And RPG fans aren't going to a Halo MMO.

Well, they weren't].

Not everyone is the same, I'm a Halo Fan(boy...Okay, IDK, maybe) and I would TRY an MMO...Only if I got to play as an Elite, though.

IDK, I think it might have worked, there making a 40k MMO, and that isn't very MMO-ish (well, not the setting they seem to be using) yet it might work, as long as something is fresh, fun, and possibly innovative it has a chance to succeed.

Dyp100:

Onyx Oblivion:
No. WoW had a transferable fanbase from the Diablo series, giving them a head start in numbers.

Halo fans aren't going to migrate to an MMO. And RPG fans aren't going to a Halo MMO.

Well, they weren't].

Not everyone is the same, I'm a Halo Fan(boy...Okay, IDK, maybe) and I would TRY an MMO...Only if I got to play as an Elite, though.

It's not an across-the-board statement, you know. Just that the majority of the general Halo population wouldn't bother.

If it was worth playing, I would play it. Few Sci-fi MMO's are out there.

Onyx Oblivion:

Dyp100:

Onyx Oblivion:
No. WoW had a transferable fanbase from the Diablo series, giving them a head start in numbers.

Halo fans aren't going to migrate to an MMO. And RPG fans aren't going to a Halo MMO.

Well, they weren't].

Not everyone is the same, I'm a Halo Fan(boy...Okay, IDK, maybe) and I would TRY an MMO...Only if I got to play as an Elite, though.

It's not an across-the-board statement, you know. Just that the majority of the general Halo population wouldn't bother.

Alright, I see ya point, I do imagine the average Halo players is the average CoD player, aka, the person to lazy to use the Internet beyond facebook.

Though, I could never see it being a WoW killer, because no one would want to move from WoW with everything they've collected.

To kill WoW you need to have a budget equalling the current value of what it took to develop the game and all of it's expansions at a minumum, and probably more. You need to basically create more content than the competition has at the time you release to keep people playing. Too many games fall into the trap of having decent gameplay, but not enough stuff to do, which is why people quit and go back to other games. The justification that "we have as much content as WoW did when it launched" doesn't work because you aren't competing with WoW (or other games) when they launched, but what they are right now. To get people to pay to grind your endgame, there needs to be decent endgame content, and it needs to be entertaining to get there. Plus you need to have stuff to keep players who aren't interested in endgame type behavior (raids, PVP) entertained and playing.

The Halo MMORPG would not have killed WoW simply because had enough resources been invested in it, it would not have been cancelled since too much would have been riding on it.

That said I'm not surprised it got killed, the very idea of a "Halo MMORPG" is very similar to what Richard Garriot tried to do with "Tabula Rasa". Basically a military themed shooter MMORPG based around fighting an alien invasion. That game failed epically, basically showing (I believe) that a format/world based around shooter type conventions isn't going to work for long term, persistant play. Looking at what happened to a similar game, combined with things like "Old Republic" that have been in development for a while, yeah... I can see why they dropped the axe on this as an epic fail waiting to happen.

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