Halo Wars, the strategy spin-off from the Master Chief action and shooter series, has been described as the weakest game associated with the franchise, but one of the leading developers who worked on it believes that it still represents a good game that failed to get the recognition it deserved.
Tony Goodman, who is one of the founders of Ensemble Studios, has stated for GamesIndustry that, “Microsoft was pretty risk averse and they said, ‘I don’t know if we want to take the risk of creating strategy games on a console. We’d feel better if Halo were attached to it.’ The difficult part of that was it took the game back about a year in development, and I think it never quite turned out the same.”
Late during the development cycle the team was asked to add a Halo theme to the game, but the concept never really came together.
Goodman also commented on the relations between Ensemble and Bungie, saying, “Another problem was that Bungie was never up for it. Bungie was kind of sore about the idea. What they called it was ‘the [expletive] out of our franchise’ or something. Yeah, that didn’t create a great relationship between us and Bungie; they viewed us as someone infringing.”
Halo Wars was launched exclusively on the Xbox 360 home console during March 2009.
The game uses core strategy elements like resource collection and base building and allows players to control the units of the United Nations Space Command in their battle against the Covenant.
The game offers both a single-player campaign and a set of multiplayer modes.
Microsoft only confirmed that the game had gone over the 1 million sales mark in March 2009.
At the moment, 343 Industries and Microsoft are getting ready to launch Halo 4
on November 6, a new game in the series which will have Master Chief as a core character.