You've soaked up the pressure, assembled the team and shipped a game critically worthy of the Halo legacy. As far as your new trilogy is concerned, is the hardest part over?
Definitely one of the hardest parts, and it's not like we didn't go through gaining and losing people along the way - and we'll go through more of that. It's an incredibly talented team. I think we came in to it as a set of very talented individuals and came out of it as a very strong team and that is worth its weight in gold - that is the most valuable asset you can have.
Do you think the critical and potential sales success of Halo 4 will give the team confidence creatively going forward?
Yeah. I think it has definitely earned us a little more credibility in pushing things some different ways if we decide to. I think the fans and the community needed to understand that we cared about Halo as much as they did, and that we cared about giving them something great. I feel like we have that confidence and I think that always gives you a little bit more flexibility in the future.
Of course launch day isn't the end of 343's work on Halo 4. I get the impression with Spartan Ops and title updates you'll be treating post-launch support as more of a service?
Spartan Ops we refer to as a 'season' and we're really intrigued by the idea of being able to deliver content and story together, the idea of tuning in with your friends to have an experience. Moving beyond Halo 4 we look at all sorts of different experiences but the heart of Halo is still the game - we'll never go away from that.
But we do look at different ways of telling story and maybe a different way of experiencing the game. The service end of Halo has always been there. As our platform extends beyond 360 it's allowed us to really explore some different formats.
The studio obviously helped with Halo: Anniversary, but otherwise this is the first big project out the door for 343. What does that mean for the studio and its plans going forward?
We've always had a big vision for Halo and the universe and we look at ourselves as not just a games studio but an IP studio. There are all sorts of stories we want to tell and the universe is so rich, right? The first-person shooter is the best place to tell one kind of story but as you can see from Forward Unto Dawn and stuff like that, there are other parts of the story that are interesting to tell in different ways.
Forward Unto Dawn allowed us to explore characters a little bit differently and tell a different kind of story - and that is interesting to us. We want Halo as a universe to grow and evolve and be a Star Wars... all the good parts about Star Wars! (Laughs)
Would you consider exploring different genres?
Yeah. I think we'd look at what the most interesting genre, medium, delivery mechanism is to tell a certain story, and if it moves the IP forward in an interesting way we'll do it.