It’s not just about Halo; it’s about Master Chief and co.” “I’ve never really considered Halo as a franchise,” says author (and blogger) Jay Z. “I love the term ‘post-launch’, and that’s never been about Halo. I mean, there’s Master Chief and there were pre-release stories about Halo, but they were neither official nor official. I think there were a lot of stories that were fan fiction, but those were official stories that were factually wrong. I think everyone would agree that we had a few good experiences, but we had a ton of really bad ones. “I think whenever people see a game coming out, they always want to play the game. It’s like New Super Mario Bros. you’ve never played before, and you’ve never played Super Mario World. Everyone just wants to play the game. So to be honest, I think Master Chief and co would be better than Halo’s, if not better than new games that had the Halo name.” OXM: You’ve worked with Halo for so long… MI: It’s hard to do. It isn’t easy. Especially with the first series, it was a harder game to release. I think the Xbox 360 version of Halo was the hardest. It was a hard game to release from our software team. When we first announced it we had to have three separate teams working on it and then three teams on the PC. I think that’s probably the single biggest part of the reason for its success. OXM: Would you say that’s a fair statement to make? MI: I don’t know about you, but if I had to answer, then it would be, “Oh yeah, we’re good friends, and good friends that you are.” And it would be fair to say that we love doing what we do, and we love doing what we do. OXM: So if I were a fan of Halo, would you say that’s so different from being a fan of something else? MI: Well, there’s a lot of fans out there that love Halo, and a lot of fans out there that hate Halo, and they don’t really care, and they don’t know all that much about Halo, but they watch the show and hear the opinions and say, “Oh, man, what’s going on here?” So it’s not like they’re biased. They know the game, they know the Lord of the Rings, and they know the Halo movie, but they don’t know everything there is. You’re going to find out what we did, and then what they think, and then what they think needs to be fixed. So, it’s very different to Halo, and I think that’s part of its appeal is its uniqueness and that’s not a problem. But what we need to do to get back to the series’ roots – what it was – is having a game that is really awesome, and then let people know. OXM: What about you, the next-gen guys? Where are you getting the hardware? MI: So the 360’s started out with the power of the 360 that allows us to push the masters and the overall fidelity of the Halo franchise. We pushed the game to its limits on both the PC and the Xbox 360. For the first game we didn’t have any advantages on the PC, because we were already thinking about what the next-gen was going to be like on those platforms. And we were thinking it was going to be a lot more powerful than the PS3. We thought it was going to be more powerful like the PS2 was, so it was more powerful and more, well, powerful. And we thought it was going to be super powerful, because you can go out and fire in the first game and start hauling ass. But we didn’t realize the PC was more powerful. OXM: Final Fantasy Versus XIII was a big hit in the series, but did you consider taking a sequel? MI: No, not really. We were still working on the game and working on Versus, but we were going to have a couple of new experiences, so it wasn’t a sequel.