Halo finally shook off that ‘Mature’ rating with Halo 5: Guardians. But would 343 Industries ever approach a Halo game from a more kid-friendly perspective? Fast Company sat down with 343 Head Bonnie Ross to discuss the Halo franchise’s reach to the non-gaming side of things.
The topic of a more kid-friendly Halo game was discussed. “Whether or not we do a game, I think we need to be really deliberate on the right game, because we can’t alienate our core audience,” Ross says. “I would say that when we first started the franchise, the thought of doing, like, a LEGO Halo game was not something that our core fans thought was interesting, whereas now we’re getting requests for that.”
Makes sense. Fans who grew up playing Halo: Combat Evolved have families now and want to play their favorite games with their kids. And we’ve seen Halo’s reach spread to more kid friendly games. Take Minecraft for instance.
Publishers often underestimate how receptive their core fanbase is to more kid-friendly games. My nephew loves PvZ: Garden Warfare 2. It helps it’s also a damn good shooter. So not only is he having fun, I’m having a blast too. Hell, I would play a Halo game in the same vein as Garden Warfare. By myself.
Games just need to be fun. It doesn’t matter what core age group you are targeting with the aesthetic. If the gameplay loop is compelling, gamers of all ages will play. Minecraft proved that more than 100 million times.
Ross reiterated her stance about balancing the hardcore fan playing Halo for 15 years while pulling in new fans.
“The critical piece there is to never alienate the torch bearer. And the torch bearer, if you look at Marvel or whatever, is the kid that was so into that comic book character before that comic book character ever came to the masses,” she says. “How do you give a nod to him or her as you broaden the franchise? You have to be really careful, because if you alienate the torch bearer, you lose what the DNA is of your franchise.”
343 Industries can do whatever they want with spin-off games. Just make sure I’m playing as Master Chief more often than not when Halo 6 lands. That’s the DNA of your franchise.
Are you letting your kids play Halo already? Or, would you like 343 to tackle Lego Halo or some other kid friendly iteration?
Check out the rest of the Fast Company piece for more including how much the non-gaming side pulls in for the Halo franchise and more about 343’s approach to expanding the audience.
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