By ske7ch -
Today we’re extremely excited to share two big announcements that deliver on what are easily the most frequently requested asks from our community over the last few years: 1) Halo: Reach is being added to Halo: The Master Chief Collection and 2) the entire collection is coming to PC via the Microsoft Store and Steam!
The Great Journey
Before we jump into what all this means, let’s take a quick walk down memory lane. Halo: The Master Chief Collection (“MCC”) launched for Xbox One back in 2014 and offered four complete game experiences in one handy package. Soon thereafter, Halo 3: ODST’s campaign was added, rounding out the ultimate collection of classic Halo game content.
Over the past year, the team at 343 Industries has been working on updating and enhancing MCC in close partnership with the community. Through months of public flighting and player feedback, MCC has grown and evolved into an entirely different product with improved and modernized matchmaking and services, support for 4K/HDR, offline LAN, better controls and input customization, and more. Last September, the enhanced and improved MCC landed on Xbox Game Pass and gave a whole new audience a way to experience Master Chief’s saga (or for existing fans, a way to relive those classics like never before).
All of this work, along with the support of the community, was instrumental in not only reinvigorating MCC, but laying the foundation to take the next step and bring it all to PC in a way that honors both the Chief’s legendary journey — and the PC features and conventions that players wanted to see Halo take advantage of.
MCC FOR PC
Later this year, these classic Halo experiences will start to arrive on PC via the Microsoft Store and, for the first time in the series - on Steam. This is an incredibly exciting opportunity for us to bring the Halo Universe and Master Chief’s story to a new audience and to offer PC gamers a chance to step into the franchise on the PC platform of their choice.
The Master Chief’s arrival on PC will happen in stages with each title releasing one by one over time - giving the development teams the ability to ensure each one is right, while giving players a chance to jump in right away, rather than having to wait for the entire suite of games to be completed. Our current plan is for this journey to begin with the launch of Halo: Reach – the fictional beginnings of Master Chief’s saga – with the rest of the titles following in chronological order thereafter. Halo: Reach, Halo: Combat Evolved, Halo 2, Halo 3, Halo 3: ODST (Campaign), and Halo 4 will each be available for individual purchase within MCC as they become available. And each game will evolve and grow over time with community input.
For the team at 343 Industries, the most important and critical element of this project is ensuring that MCC delivers a true “first class” experience on PC. We’re embarking on a journey with our community to build a real PC experience that delivers on PC gamer expectations. The team is passionately committed to ensuring that all the features, bells, and whistles expected in a modern PC title are included with MCC. These features may vary somewhat by title, and we won’t get everything in there all at once – this is a product and an experience that will grow and evolve over time. We are laying the groundwork for PC native features such as excellent mouse and keyboard controls, support for multiple resolutions and aspect ratios, field-of-view sliders, and adjustable framerates, to name but a few. And yes, there will be support for Xbox gamepads and other PC controllers.
Along with “bring MCC to PC!” the next loudest refrain from Halo fans has been to “add Reach to MCC!” and we’re excited to make good on both requests later this year. As part of MCC, the prequel to Halo: Combat Evolved looks and plays better than ever and will arrive in slightly different ways depending on your platform of choice.
MCC’s “Intelligent Delivery” feature on Xbox One allows players to pick and choose to install campaign and/or multiplayer content and Reach will be offered in the same way. On Xbox One specifically, Halo: Reach’s multiplayer content (which includes Forge and the Theater) will be automatically included for everyone who owns MCC while Halo: Reach’s Campaign and Firefight experiences will be offered together as a premium digital add-on. Xbox Game Pass subscribers will have access to the entirety of Halo: Reach within MCC as part of their subscription. Just like the rest of the titles in MCC, Halo: Reach is silky-smooth at 60FPS and visually stunning in 4K/HDR on compatible hardware.
Halo: Reach will look and play just as great when it lands on the Microsoft Store and Steam and include PC-specific features and options. Campaign, Multiplayer, and Firefight will come packaged together for purchase as the first step in this PC journey.
Teamwork Makes the Dream Work
Bringing all these classic games together and integrating the huge matrix of features and experiences PC gamers and Halo fans deserve and expect is a monumental undertaking. It’s no secret that the bulk of the team of 343 Industries is hard at work realizing the future of the franchise with Halo Infinite so the same amazing Publishing Team who diligently brought all the recent improvements and updates to MCC over the last year has invited a few friends to help us achieve victory. The experienced and passionate folks at Splash Damage and Ruffian are partnering with us to help make this dream a reality.
Splash Damage co-founder and CEO Richard Jolly says, “For almost twenty years, Splash Damage has had multiplayer gaming at its very core. Being part of the team bringing this legendary franchise to PC for the very first time is a tremendous honor for everyone here at Splash Damage, and we’re excited for Halo fans around the world to play what we’re hard at work on!”
“We love Halo and are mindblown to help bring this franchise back to PC. 343 has assembled an amazing team who’re working hard to build the Halo PC experience fans deserve,” says the team at Scotland-based Ruffian Games. “It’s a privilege to be along for the ride.”
Last year we looked to the community to partner and help us update and improve the original MCC, and we’ll be doing the same again this year for this ambitious project. We'll be sharing more information on how players can get involved during the HCS Invitational broadcast this coming Sunday, March 17, live from SXSW. You can find more information about this unique three-day event and the full schedule HERE.
Additionally, we know many of you will have questions, so stay tuned to Halo Waypoint – we’ll have plenty more to say, share, and show on the road to release. The team at 343 Industries, along with our partners at Splash Damage and Ruffian, are already hard at work and we can’t wait to bring the community along on this journey.
On behalf of the entire 343 Industries team, thank you to everyone who’s continued to play and support Halo and MCC and for not giving up on the dream of one day enjoying these great experiences on a PC.