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Microsoft cancelled Halo MMO because of Wii

Microsoft cancelled Halo MMO because of Wii

Ex-Ensemble Studios staff have revealed that the planned Halo MMO was cancelled as MS chose to compete with the Wii.

Ex-Ensemble Studios staff have recently revealed that they were working on a Halo MMO prior to the closure of the studio, but that the project was cancelled as Microsoft decided to refocus efforts on competing with the Nintendo Wii, rather than with World of Warcraft.

Speaking to IncGamers, ex-Ensemble developer Dusty Monk also revealed that the Halo MMO had had a budget of $90 million USD before it was cancelled.

"It was absolutely going to compete against WoW. You have to remember that Ensemble came from a standpoint of being really good at competing against Blizzard Entertainment," said Dusty, drawing comparisons between thee Age of Empires series Ensemble was known for and the earlier StarCraft and WarCraft games.

"Microsoft, from its gaming division, was really changing directions. They were looking really hard at the Nintendo Wii and they were really excited by the numbers that the Wii was turning. 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."

Thus, the Halo MMO - codenamed as 'Project Titan' - was ultimately binned, though he admits that the "very expensive, long and protracted" development of the game can't have helped either.

This isn't the first time we've heard of an MMO being cancelled lately though - we recently chatted to the designers behind a cancelled Eidos MMO which could have pipped WoW the post, so check the Fabled Lands MMO feature for more info on that and then let us know your thoughts in the forums.

10 Comments

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Artanix 13th April 2010, 11:56 Quote
Smart move by M$ tbh, regardless of whether your game is amazing or not, not much can compete with WoW. Even if the game is twice as good, most people don't want to have to invest however many hours to get to the equivalent they have in another game, until WoW starts to slow down, nothing else will get much of a marketshare.

except maybe farmville :P
javaman 13th April 2010, 11:58 Quote
wow's dominance hasn't been easy to break. Look at all the "failed" attempts and semi-successes.There will always be younger gamers and parents playing the wii, sony and microsoft would be stupid not to target that audence. MMO's, while a large market, surely can't be larger than the young/family market. After all, these young gamers aare your bread and butter gamers of the future.

On a side note it'll be interesting to see how FF14 does tho. I guess it'll mount the biggest challange yet.
Xir 13th April 2010, 12:13 Quote
WoW is still going? *ducksaway*
Unknownsock 13th April 2010, 12:30 Quote
I wish warhammer took off really, i love the leveling on that game.
Pity that server lag and lack of players ruined it for me completely.

WoW 5 years and counting tho ><
TWeaK 13th April 2010, 12:45 Quote
Tbh, if developers are comparing success to WoW they're always going to be disappointed. To take an example from the music industry, no artist has ever really managed the success of the Beatles, who were arguably the first band with mass international appeal, even to casual music listeners. There probably won't ever be another WoW (thank god), but that doesn't mean other MMO's can't be successful in their own right and at least turn a profit.
kingred 13th April 2010, 12:48 Quote
CCP Manage to keep 50k players interested with free updates etc... however its a harsh game either way you look at it.
Artanix 13th April 2010, 13:49 Quote
I loved eve, it just fully takes over your life, fuelling POS'es wasn't a game, it was a job :P

back on subject though, an MMO can be successful, without being WoW, City of Heroes/Villains, EVE, etc. Its the games/dev's that think they can topple WoW with stupid excessive budgets that fail. When EVE started, it was pretty terrible, and very difficult to play (still complicated, but at least theres help now), they started small and worked up, you can't just release a game and expect it to be WoW immediately, its just not going to happen.
rollo 13th April 2010, 14:45 Quote
Wow has a massive financial cash cow that develoers think they may get a look at but it's not happening

Star wars galaxies is still in top 3 played mmos behind lord of the rings

lord of the rings had a huge fan base so got to keep alot of it's players

star wars new republic stands a chance at getting the 1mil active subs

most mmo budgets these days need that level of commitment to survive

mmo market is now very much a casual gamers affair
metarinka 13th April 2010, 18:25 Quote
I think people also forget wow changed a lot over 5 years. If you re-released wow today next to WoW+ all the patches, no one would pick up the original wow. The leveling was slow and end game was limited (when it launched it had no formal pvp and dishonour kills for killing alternate faction)

The only thing I was sad they dropped over all the years was pvp ranking titles so that you knew how good the person was.

anyways. There's room for another MMO, but I think it will be another 2-3 years before wow has lost enough steam that something else can break through.
Star*Dagger 14th April 2010, 06:24 Quote
Another case of MBA's ruining gaming. People who wear suits and are into business administration should be kept away form gaming!!!
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