Phil Spencer talks hypothetical Halo 2 Anniversary release

It may be the worst kept secret in gaming today; A Halo 2 Anniversary release is all but expected to happen sometime this year. But don’t tell that to Phil Spencer, the boss of Microsoft Game Studios. He spoke to IGN at the Game Developers Conference last week in San Francisco regarding the “hypothetical” release of an anniversary edition later this year. Here are Spencer’s comments on the most important feature the game would need:

“In this fictious world where the game existed,” he began, smiling, “it’s an easy answer: it has to be just the multiplayer experience that we all found in that first Halo 2 game. If you think about what happened in the franchise and what were the hallmark moments – when did duel wielding come in, when did anther playable character that wasn’t Master Chief come in?

“All the things that you and I know about the evolution of the franchise, if you’re going to say one thing about Halo 2, you’re going to talk about real multiplayer. I think you just have to nail that in just such a fundamentally core way. Frankly, [we’d have to do it] probably better than we did with Halo 1 Anniversary. I thought the multiplayer in Halo 1 Anniversary was good, but Halo 1 never had multiplaer in the truest sense, so it was always going to be something different.

“If there were something called Halo 2 Anniversary,” he concluded,” I think the multiplayer would have to be fantastic.”

It seems a bit odd that someone would talk about what would be needed to see a game succeed if the game flat out doesn’t exist, so we’ll continue to sit here quietly and pretend like Halo 2 Anniversary isn’t going to happen.

We should also note that in regards to the comments about Halo 1 Anniversary’s multiplayer, it’s important to remember that Halo: Combat Evolved didn’t have any online multiplayer. Halo 2, on the other hand, was touted as the premiere Xbox Live experience back when the service was still in its infancy. As they say, the rest is history.


Jake Valentine is a regular freelance contributor for GameZone. When he’s not writing about (or playing) video games, chances are he’s playing a board game, Magic: the Gathering, or obsessing over food. You can follow him on Twitter @hop3less.