Halo Video Game Phenomenon and the Effect on the Entertainment Medium Historic Relevance of Bungie, 343i and Microsoft on Halo Video Game Series A science fiction video game named Halo is a multi-billion franchise developed by Bungie, published and owned by Microsoft Game Studios. The video game series is now being is managed by 343 Industries. Bungie is previously known as Bungie Software Products Corporation, established in 1881 in Chicago, Illinois as a company responsible for the creation of software games.
Bungie evolved as the largest Macintosh game developer whereas Halo was originally coined as Monkey Nuts and Blam with a story plot on a hollowed-out world identified as Solipsis. It is a planet that was originally identified with “Ringworld” until the word “Halo” was suggested by a Bungie artist. Halo is the title of the now famous science fiction video game. It was created as a real-time strategy video game for Mac and Windows operating systems in the year 1999 until it was decided as a third-person action game. Microsoft Game Studios purchased from Bungie the game “Halo: Combat Evolved”, launched at Xbox Live video game console in 2002. Bungie is also responsible in re-creating the video game engine presentation as a first-person shooter.
Halo was not expected to be the flagship of Xbox Live video game console because it is loaded with numerous internal concerns, criticisms and conflicts. It was after the success of Halo that Microsoft announced in the multimedia press that Xbox Live was chosen to carry a sequel of Halo video game series.
Halo 2 was released in 2004 with improved graphics, new weapons introduced and the availability of online multiplayer game mode on Xbox Live. Overwhelmed with Halo popularity, Microsoft announced at the Electronic Entertainment Expo in 2006 the making of Halo 3 as third-person game player with in-house graphics engine through advance graphics technologies. Bungie then switched to an independent limited liability company after the victorious release of Halo 3 in 2007. It compelled Microsoft Game Studio to set-up an internal division called 343 Industries to manage the Halo franchise. 343 Industries, commonly known as 343i is based in Kirkland, Washington. 343i was officially designated by Microsoft Game Studios Microsoft as a division mainly responsible for the expansion of the Halo science fiction media franchise which includes video games, novels, comics, and other multimedia content owned by Microsoft.
Bungie continues with the development of Halo games such as ODST and Reach but the Halo intellectual property rights and majority equity interest are owned by Microsoft Game Studios. Bungie is responsible for the development of Halo 3 ODST which was released in 2009 and Halo Reach released in 2010. Halo Reach is the last video game developed by Bungie for the Halo series thus 343i took over of all future video game projects. 343 Industries reported total of 250 employees as of March 2012, with the creative director position awarded to a former Bungie employee. Several Bungie staff transferred to 343i during the Hola transition, a huge number of staffs of Pandemic Studios also moved after it closed operation.
Although interactive entertainment, computer and video game development is the main business of 343i, it is also responsible for the creation of Halo novels and media related products. Microsoft hired Mega Blocks to work with 343i for the manufacture of toy lines and memorabilia for Halo video game promotions. The products are categorized as Halo Authentic Collectors Series which instantly became as a leading toy line of Mega Blocks. Halo Waypoint Exclusively on Xbox Live Microsoft Game Studios also designated Xbox Live as a central hub for Halo science fiction video game console called Halo Waypoint.
The Halo Waypoint is the first official Halo project of 343i wherein notable changes and developments was carried out. A second map pack called Defiant was also developed by 343i and other groups of developers for Halo Reach. Halo Legends also evolved as animated short film collection related to the Halo epic. Xbox 360 offered downloadable application and Windows Phone 7 features for the game players to monitor their game progress including updates on the latest Halo related news. Halo Waypoint emerged as a social hub for Halo video game fans who connect to share, compete and receive essential Halo related information. The path to the Halo Waypoint is from the Xbox 360 Dashboard wherein the Halo players may access multimedia content aside from monitoring their Halo game progress. Halo Waypoint as the first project of 343i included several role-playing game features for online players such as fast track to view and share the player’s game progress with other online players. It is a cloud based by storing a database of information that allows anytime and anywhere access for the Halo player. This is a method to protect the information from unexpected loss due to hard drive failure.
While Halo 4 is in progress, the Xbox Live players are rewarded with free recon armor while ongoing file transfer. The Impact of Halo to the Culture and Entertainment World Halo was established as habitable large-ringed structures. The main concept of the Halo series is the war of humanity and a group of aliens called the Covenant under the religious leadership of the Prophets for the worship of an ancient civilization of the Forerunners that died during the combat with the parasitic Flood. The game mostly covered the life and struggle of a cybernetically enhanced human super-soldier named Master Chief John who was helped by an artificial intelligence named Cortana. The Halo series received citation as the best first-person shooter available for video game console and called as the killer app of Microsoft Xbox Live leading to the other competitor game consoles to use this term to gain attention from game players.
The massive marketing campaigns of Microsoft as owner and publisher of Halo video game series franchise resulted in breakthrough sales record. It recorded more than US$170 worth of copies sold in a matter of 24 hours on release of Halo 3. While Halo 2 Reach surpassed Halo 3 by gaining UD$200 million worth of copies on the first day of the release of the video game. It was revealed that the Halo merchandise gained with almost US$3 billion. The craze on Halo video game series with a group consisting of fans club named Halo Nation is being compared with the popularity of the Star Wars The original main character named Master Chief has a wax replica in Las Vegas. Some review made for Halo compared the video game as modern epic tradition with a political and religious touch; in fact Americans treated every Halo video game series launch as a major cultural event. The Time Magazine wrote that their research team found out that a large number of video game players patronize the from the Halo franchise, consumed a total of 91 million hours playing an online video game. A news section at The New York Times credited the success of Halo 3 for Microsoft’s business gain as it requires the online video game players to purchase the Xbox 360 video game console, raising its share to 1.7% due to sales growth.
The Halo franchise added other saleable mediums of licensed products such as graphic novels. Originally planned as a video game series of Halo trilogy, it gave birth to other Halo types such as Halo Wars, Halo 3 ODST, a prequel titled Halo Reach. The Halo 3 ODST exceeded the popularity of Master Chief, the original main character of the Halo series after the game fanatics were hooked with human heroic soldiers belonging to the group of Orbital Drop Shock Trooper.
A Decade of Halo In November 2011, Halo Combat Evolved Anniversary was released as a high definition recreation of the first video game released by Halo franchise. It is an anniversary offering in celebration of Halo’s 10th year after Microsoft acquired the franchise. The remake of the first Halo series included fresh story elements and high definition graphics under the joint effort of 343i, Certain Affinity, and Saber Interactive.
Halo 4 is under development which will be categorized as the second installment of the trilogy of Halo video game. Halo marked a historic impact of recreating a genre that no one thought would succeed the popularity of the Halo trilogy and other Halo prequel inspired the other ambitious game developers and publishers to duplicate the record of the Halo franchise.
As the fans of the Halo video game immensely increased, it also raised the numerous video productions and other areas of entertainment medium in using real-time 3D computer graphics to give cinematic effect to the engines. Video games used computer animation such as the Halo trilogy productions made to appear outside of this world Halo canon effect.
The Halo 3 ODST used camera angles not seen on previous Halo series. The emotional aspect of the group of Orbital Drop Shock Troopers portrayed as human soldiers struggling from the cruelty of the aliens were captured by the high definition computer graphics. Virtual effects of the Halo games are most enjoyed during the multiplayer modes wherein a group of friends can play to help fight the aliens and find the missing soldiers which is the main concept in Halo 3 ODST. The Halo games resurrected the importance of real-time 3D computer graphics, Microsoft is obviously aware of it by restricting the illegal distribution of the phenomenal video game series.
Halo 3: ODST is a first person shooter video game, where gamers are battling for a war that takes place in the 26th century. The war is waged between humans and several alien races. The humans are under the command of the United Nations Space Command, while the aliens belong to, what is known as the Covenant. This Halo game is a continuance of the storyline from Halo 2 and was fashioned two years from the release of Halo 3. The term ODST stands for “Orbital Drop Shock Troopers”, which was originally introduced in Halo 2.
The main character in the game is known as the Rookie, is an ODST and has 5 team-members who assist him with the mission’s objectives. The game starts off with the human team entering their individual Human Entry Vehicles, also popularly known as HEVs. While dropping through the atmosphere towards the Covenant’s ship, one of the team members changes the trajectory coordinates of his HEV. In response to this, the Covenant ship to enter into slip space (also known as warp speed – or faster than the speed of light) The jump by the Alien ship starts a shockwave through the group of HEVs and causes the Rookie’s HEV to collide with another HEV. The collision knocks out Rookie unconscious for a total of six hours. The game then starts off upon the Rookie’s awakening from unconsciousness. Along the journey he starts looking for clues on where his squad-mates are. Finally, the Rookie comes across clues of the exploits of his squad. The game is packed with shooting action, rescues, bombings, missions, and a couple of new exciting characters are introduced along the way. ODST was a side project produced by Bungie on which the composer strayed from the earlier Halo themes and focused towards a softer jazz sounds for the game. This version of the game did not feature the Master Chief, like in previous Halo games, but instead written a story based on the ODSTs. The creative group at Bungie felt the ODST was not a huge part of any story. Although it was at first supposed to be a small project, surprisingly, it ended up becoming a full-sized game and became a top seller worldwide among Xbox 360 games. Positive feedback was given all around, even for the music style, overall atmosphere of the game, and how the entire story line of this game was approached. The scenery may be similar to the previous Halo games, but almost everything else is new with a fresh approach. With one being a trooper in Halo 3: ODST, the gamer is permitted to have access to arsenal that are considered to be restricted. Also, the flashback effect in this game enables the gamer to assume the role of another teammate. Even though the player is not a super-soldier in this game, the role of the UNSC soldier is also no less exhilarating. One can certainly lose themselves with the thrill of action in halo 3!