Halo's Untold Stories: 343 Industries Reveals 20-30 Rejected Ideas, Including the Return of ODST

In a rather disheartening development for Halo enthusiasts, it has been disclosed that 343 Industries encountered 20-30 unsuccessful pitches for Xbox's iconic sci-fi shooter franchise. These proposals included revisiting the popular Halo 3: ODST spin-off narrative. Despite a rocky start, Halo Infinite remains in progress and gained momentum with its latest season, Reckoning, injecting vitality into the player base.

Before Bungie's departure to pioneer the live service model with Destiny, their management of Xbox's paramount property, Halo, received widespread acclaim. The well-received title, Halo 3: ODST, offered a darker side story featuring Orbital Drop Shock Troopers exploring the ravaged city of New Mombasa. Many Halo fans, desiring more spin-off stories akin to ODST, have been expressing this sentiment since 343 Industries assumed control of the franchise.

Kevin Schmitt, a former lead designer at 343 Industries, took to Twitter to reveal that over 12 years at the studio, there were 20-30 pitched ideas for Halo that "would have totally worked in the Halo universe." Some of these proposals involved revisiting the cherished ODST side story, encompassing both single and multiplayer experiences. Schmitt also mentioned pitches focused on more intimate character stories, with one being a notably darker concept.

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It remains unclear whether the decisions to reject these intriguing Halo ideas were made by 343 studio heads or Xbox leadership. These pitches spanned 12 years, suggesting a time when Xbox might have been more cautious and risk-averse with its defining flagship franchise, Halo. With the significant undertaking of launching Halo Infinite and its new Slipspace engine, the studio may not have had the time or resources for another side project.

As Halo Infinite continues, 343 Industries has yet to announce future plans for the franchise. If the studio moves on from Halo Infinite as a 10-year platform, there may be potential for new, smaller, story-focused titles akin to ODST and Reach. Whatever 343 has in store, fans may need to wait several more years for details to emerge.