It's certainly been a busy Friday here in the GameZone office. Yesterday afternoon we posted a snippet of an interview with Master Chief voice actor Steve Downes (the full interview has now been posted in full and can be read here) confirming the release of Halo 2 Anniversary later this year, with Halo 5 not arriving until 2015. As you can imagine, this sort of thing spread like crazy. And it didn't take long for Microsoft to contact us, asking us to retract the statement and post a new one — one that they claim is what Downes really said to us.
Of course, having the original email and interview on file, we know what Downes originally said. And it isn't the new statement that is being published today.
The new statement, which Microsoft is under the impression Downes told us, reads: "I think you're ahead of yourself on H5. I have read some things on line that you can look forward to a H2 anniversary edition maybe this year, but I have no official information one way or the other."
Keep in mind, that's not what was originally told to us. And we have the original emails to back it up. Needless to say, we're confident in the interview that we posted.
In a follow-up email containing his new response, Downes wrote to us, "It sounds like I was "confirming" [an] H2A edition, which I most certainly was not. I'm in no position to do that as I have no knowledge of it. I was only mentioning what I had seen on line about it."
So why are we saying all of this?
Because we stand by the original quote that was published. By issuing a new statement today, one that Downes is claiming he told us, it casts doubt and confusion among readers. I understand why he would backtrack in his statements — Microsoft has yet to actually announce anything and a leak like this is huge. So I get it; he's probably feeling the heat. Or maybe he really did misunderstand the question. But we also feel the need to defend ourselves, especially when new statements distort our image as being honest.
For what it's worth, we have spoken with Microsoft and have been going back-and-forth regarding the leak. They respect our decision to stand by the original quote and offered this statement:
"We can confirm your next “Halo” journey will begin in 2014, but beyond that we don’t have any details to share at this time.”
Based on the feedback we've heard and seen online, Microsoft would be smart to release Halo 2 Anniversary for Xbox One. A lot of people have claimed they'd actually go out and purchase an Xbox One just to get it.