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Celebrating 20 Years of Halo

20 years of Halo commemorative painting

On the 20th anniversary of Halo, I want to take a moment to celebrate and acknowledge that the reason that both Xbox and Halo have been able to thrive and hit this momentous milestone is thanks to the passion, emotion, energy, creativity, and dedication of each of you, our fans.

Unlike other forms of entertainment, the uniqueness of gaming is its interactivity with the player. While game creators may design the initial experience, the players ultimately take the lead role and make the story their own, whether that is through an individual experience, or one shared with friends.  

Our games are the foundation of the franchise, and thanks to your feedback across myriad touchpoints – such as flighting, our Halo Waypoint forums, reddit and more – you’ve helped us make our games better. But over the past two decades, Halo fans have absolutely amazed me with how they’ve taken our sci-fi universe and blazed their own path within it. You have created amazing fan art, weaved compelling fan fiction, crafted spectacular creations in Forge, been pioneers in esports, formed a global costume and prop community in 405th Infantry Division, and yes, we’ve had many Halo weddings throughout the years.

I remember our first Make-A-Wish visit and thinking this child could choose any wish in the world and they chose to spend their time with Halo. When he came to 343, his parents said that during times of his illness, where he couldn’t go to school or have friends over, that Halo was the only thing that made him feel normal and enabled him to still be himself and connect with his friends. He knew every piece of fiction, and to him, this universe was real. It makes you realize that this universe transcends fiction and blends into what defines our lives, our dreams, and who we are.

How this franchise brings people together is what I’m most proud of, because after all, that is what really matters. This isn’t “our” franchise, Halo belongs to us all and will always remain crucial that fans help guide our future journeys. This is your Halo…thank you.
- Bonnie Ross, Head of 343 Industries

Today, twenty years after the release of Halo: Combat Evolved, there's never been a better time to be Halo fan! From games to books to collectibles and more - there are more ways to experience the Halo franchise than ever before - with even more still to come. Keep reading to learn more about special commemorative in-game activities and updates on products, partnerships, and promotions around the globe.

Halo Infinite

The Halo Infinite multiplayer beta is officially underway beginning today! We are thrilled to commemorate this 20th anniversary by inviting fans around the world to begin their Halo Infinite Spartan journey with the start of Season 1: Heroes of Reach. While we can't really top a surprise of this magnitude, it just wouldn't be a proper birthday celebration without a few more gifts. The Halo Infinite Live Team has a few more goodies in store for all players who log in this week. Here's the scoop directly from them:

Greetings from the Halo Infinite Live Team! We touch almost every aspect of the game, pulling together the hard work of amazingly talented developers across 343 to bring you regular drops of Halo goodness. One of the most exciting parts of our job, of course, are Events, and we are starting with a big one.

20 Years of Halo is among the first Events we ever discussed, but as our actual launch date shifted and took shape, it was also one of our biggest frustrations about launching in December. Thankfully this MP Beta has provided us the opportunity to spend this monumental milestone with our community, and of course, we brought presents.

Players who log in to the Halo Infinite MP Beta between Nov. 15-22 will receive free in-game 20th Anniversary cosmetic items.

Any player that logs in during the first week of the MP Beta (Nov. 15 - Nov. 22) will find a handful of goodies awaiting them; no redemption required:

  • Platinum Anniversary Coatings- Color your Spartan, AR, and Warthog (including its variants) in nostalgic shades of Green.
  • I Love Bees Emblems- From a website glimpsed in an early trailer for Halo 2, it lead eagle-eyed players on an adventure: puzzling through webpages, emails, and actor encounters before culminating in an opportunity to play Halo 2 on the big screen before launch.
  • "Assembled" Emblems
  • Blue Team Weapon Charm- John-117’s own fireteam: those he trained with, battled the Covenant with, and who stood by him even when the UNSC did not.
  • Heart Emblem Set- One of our artists took Escharum’s challenge in the Halo Infinite trailer quite literally…

We look forward to sharing all the fun beats we have planned with you in the coming weeks. Now go check out the MP Beta - we’ll see you in the Arena!

Halo: The Master Chief Collection

In honor of the franchise's 20th Anniversary, the MCC team at 343 Industries has put together a plethora of throwback cosmetics and collectibles that players can obtain with season points in the exchange. The festivities began earlier this month but there's still plenty to look forward to on the horizon (and another chance to grab the Orion armor if you missed out initially). For more insights, let's hear directly from our colleagues on the MCC Team...

Roadmap of weekly in-game anniversary items for MCC

There's no better way to celebrate 20 years of Halo than to let players get their hands on the first Spartan armor that was ever seen when the game was first revealed in 1999. Master Chief's armor has since evolved, and the final product is now iconic across popular culture, but that striking prototype armor enamored fans (including us) for decades. That’s why we're all super stoked for the community to get their hands on the Orion armor set in MCC's Halo 2 Anniversary. Of course, it's very exciting to not only see that armor brought into MCC, but to see it through a modern-day lens. We tried to stay true to the spirit of the design, looking closely at original concept art, while aiming to execute it at a technical standard that could only be dreamed about back in the day.

We've also got another fan favorite that's never made it to our games before; a special version of the SPI armor can now be worn in Halo 3 multiplayer. Fans of Halo: Ghosts of Onyx will instantly recognize the iconic, stealthy design elements that can now be intermixed with all the other pieces in the Halo 3 armor ecosystem.

Additionally, we've created a number of Exchange items for Halo 3 that harken back to the release of the original Xbox console, including an actual Xbox Console that can be worn as a backpack in game, VGA cable and all! Plus, we're releasing a number of handsome Xbox-green/black/silver weapon skins that are as classy as they are nostalgic. We hope you enjoy, and thank you for all of the support you've shown the franchise, and MCC, over the years!

Roadmap of weekly 20th anniversary rewards coming to MCC

Celebrating 20 Years with Our Partners

Of course, Halo spans much more than video games at this point, and as a transmedia endeavor we’ve brought our favorite sci-fi universe to all sorts of media over the years. Here to shine a light on some of the special partners that helped us celebrate our 20th anniversary are some words from our Franchise, Partnership, and Consumer Products teams at 343 Industries.

One of the most fun elements we get to work on are partnerships and collaborations with other brands and IP—whether it be a product that’s tied to our various marketing efforts or team-ups with other first and third-party studios for game-related cross-over items and experiences. Because really, what’s better than having more Halo in more things? With all of our Halo partnership endeavors we try to find opportunities where we can not only create surprise and excitement within our existing community, but also expand Halo’s, well… reach (we’re so sorry for that one), introducing our favorite universe to brand new groups of awesome humans. Each partnership brings a variety of both opportunities and challenges and Halo’s 20th anniversary is a perfect example of just how wide-ranging and far-reaching these mash-ups can go. Here are just a few different examples:

Sea of Thieves x Halo

Image of Halo themed "Noble Spartan Sails" for Sea of Thieves

Back in 2019 we partnered with the talented team at Rare to create a unique UNSC ship livery within Sea of Thieves to celebrate the announce of Halo Infinite. With the 20th anniversary upon us, we figured it only made sense to make that theme available for players to grab in case they had missed it the first time around. Of course, that wasn’t all we wanted to do, so to raise the stakes a bit (or would that be sails?), we partnered up with the Sea of Thieves team once again to create a brand-new ‘Noble Spartan Sails’ featuring our Halo Legendary symbol to go alongside the original Spartan Ship set as part of our 20th anniversary celebration.

Waze x Halo

Promotional image of Halo x Waze crossover

While we’re as excited as many of you are about spending all our time playing games these days, eventually we all have to put the controllers down and go for an actual drive. Whether it’s a commute to work or an impromptu road trip, our friends at Waze have just the thing to make your drive time feel a little more like a trip through your favorite sci-fi universe. We partnered with Waze to create a dedicated Halo theme, which gives you access to some pretty awesome custom content to augment your navigation protocols. You can choose your side: UNSC or Banished. You can choose your vehicle and choose your navigator from different Halo characters that you’ll be getting to know even better in Halo Infinite. This was actually the first ever video game themed experience with a voice, mood, and car icons for Waze and we were proud to have Halo become part of their history just as they are now a part of ours!

Solitaire and Mahjong x Halo

Picture of Halo themed playing cards

In September, our friends over at Microsoft Casual Games created brand new Halo themes for the Halo 20th anniversary. These ridiculously cool cards feature original art with Halo characters and iconography, designed in-house by artists at 343 Industries - CJ Ramos, Pat Marko and Eddie Arriesgado.

Players can find the Halo themes in both Microsoft Solitaire (PC & Mobile) and Mahjong by Microsoft (mobile). And if that weren’t awesome enough, a physical version of the Solitaire cards is also available in the Xbox Gear Shop!

MAC x Halo

MAC Cosmetics, one of the biggest names in beauty, partnered up with Xbox for Halloween to bring their talent and passion to create looks crafted in celebration of 20 years of Xbox. And because Halo’s legacy is so much part of Xbox (and vice-versa) it was fitting to have one of MAC’s top Senior Artists create a shimmery Halo-inspired eyeshadow look that evoked the moody tones of the rings and past Halo games, and a blue-hued Cortana-inspired full-face look as part of the line-up. Be sure to check out the article for more information, or MAC’s Instagram page to see all the looks. Art comes in many forms, and we know there are many creative Halo fans who have a talent and passion for makeup. We hope we’ve opened some doors, paved some roads, and sparked some ideas with this collaboration, and we’d love you all to share your own Halo-inspired looks with us when Halo Infinite arrives on December 8. We’d love to see them!

20th Anniversary Hardware

Halo Infinite themed Xbox Elite Series 2 controller

Created to celebrate Halo’s 20th anniversary, this partnership between Halo and Xbox Hardware is as much part of an enduring tradition as it is a love letter to all the fans who have been playing since the original console. And while getting your hands on an Xbox Series X Halo Infinite Limited Edition Bundle has proven to be a challenge, fans have continued to rise to the occasion, showing that even after all these years, the fires still burn bright in the hearts of Spartans everywhere.

Halo 20th Anniversary Cortana "Duke" Controller

The limited-edition Cortana Hyperkin Duke controller is a tribute to the powerful AI and the Master Chief’s partner in action, the design is bold with an image of Cortana and a montage from Halo: Combat Evolved that plays directly inside the Xbox button! You can pre-order the controller now and it ships in mid-December.

Master Chief and Cortana Halo: CE Controller Holder

This exclusive two-pack, by Cable Guys, features Master Chief and Cortana from Halo: Combat Evolved, is perfect to show your love for Halo. Available now at Target.

Halo Anniversary Gear

Halo 20th Anniversary mug and hat

You can still grab Halo anniversary gear exclusively in the Xbox Gear Shop including commemorative card decks, apparel, and accessories adorned with the Halo 20th anniversary logo.

Halo Encyclopedia

The Halo Encyclopedia, presented by Dark Horse Books and 343 Industries, encompasses two decades of epic storytelling with stunning, never-before-seen art and the most comprehensive and detailed exploration yet of Halo's myriad characters, mysterious worlds, and incredible technologies. It is available for pre-order now on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and at your local comic shop or bookstore. The Halo Encyclopedia will be available beginning March 29, 2022.

Cortana & Master Chief Collectible Coins

New Zealand Mint is honoring Halo’s 20th anniversary with unique collectible coins - one featuring Cortana from Halo: Combat Evolved in Chibi form and the other is Master Chief’s iconic helmet, each coin is made of 1 oz. pure silver and include a certificate of authenticity. Both coins are available worldwide now!

Halo Covenant Needler

The Covenant Needler is arguably one of the most iconic weapons in the Halo franchise, build your very own Needler with this incredible set from our friends at Mega Construx. Available now at Target.

Reflecting on 20 Years of Halo

The 343 Industries team is comprised of folks who are just as passionate about Halo as all of you. These games and this franchise have touched our lives - forming friendships, creating families, bringing laughter and joy, inspiring our crafts and careers - Halo has brought us to where we are today. Read on to hear from members of our team as they share stories and reflect on what Halo means to them.

I genuinely can’t believe it’s been 20 years since that first moment I picked up a Duke controller and truly experienced Halo for the first time. I had played the Halo build at E3 earlier in the year (I was working on Project Gotham Racing at the time) but that wasn’t a representative experience… it was frame-y and gave just a hint of what was to come. My REAL introduction to Halo was an all-nighter on November 15th, 2001 as I played through a game campaign that would change my life. I can’t say what struck me first. Was it the magic of this new world that at first felt so familiar but then opened up into something beautifully alien? Or the sense of strength and responsibility and power I felt peering through the Master Chief’s visor? Maybe it was that sense of heroism and wonder that resonated most with me. All I know is that I was transported. I crawled into work the next morning bleary-eyed and hungry for more Halo. I loved games and now I loved this game more than all others.

Today, 343 along with Paramount +, Showtime, and Amblin, released a tiny tease of what is to come with our new television series in 2022. I cannot express what a gift it has been to work on this franchise for the last 13 years. To now be able to help bring this universe I love onto the small screen is something I never would have imagined I would have the opportunity to do.  While we have shown just a peek today, it’s the start of a new storytelling journey we hope will give you a whole new way to experience Halo and the Master Chief. There is more to come soon I promise but in the meantime, what a joy to be able to celebrate 20 years of Halo with all of you as a fellow fan. I can’t wait to see what we all build together over the next 20 years!

- Kiki Wolfkill, Head of Transmedia

Back in 2001 I was striving to begin my career in the gaming industry as an aspiring artist/animator who had, up to that point, been met with nothing but closed doors. While I had setbacks, my love of video games fueled me, and eventually led me to an opportunity to write for, a “fansite” blog dedicated to the fledging Xbox. Who knew that would catapult me into a dream career?

While I had kept up on the multitude of upcoming Xbox launch games, Halo: Combat Evolved was honestly far down my hot list. There was definitely a pre-release “buzz” about Halo, but honestly, I was more interested in games such as NFL Fever and Project Gotham Racing. So, come November 15, 2001, there I was waiting in a midnight madness line at the now defunct Circuit City, waiting to finally get my hands on final hardware and games. Circuit City was only offering the Xbox as a bundle, and you had to select three games. I selected NFL Fever, Project Gotham Raving and…well, I guess I’ll grab this Halo game to see what it’s all about.

I took my latest video game console home (up to that point, I don’t think I missed any video game console launch) and played each one in my order of preference: NFL Fever, Project Gotham Racing, and last, Halo: Combat Evolved. I had a ton of fun with the first two games, to be sure, but when I played Halo: CE, well…THAT WAS ALL SHE WROTE! I was so enthralled from the very start: the monks chant at the main menu, all the way until I saw the credits roll. I played on Normal, immediately followed again by Heroic and Legendary like it was my job. I could not get enough of this wonderous sci-fi epic. And that was just the Campaign! Once my friends and I starting playing Multiplayer, it quickly became our daily pastime.

Aside from maybe Star Wars, no other franchise has made such an indelible impact on my life, like that of Halo. And now to think that I’ve had the privilege of working within this amazing sci-fi universe for a decade – it blows my mind. This truly is a dream job, a dream team, and a dream universe to be part of. Here’s to 20 more years.

- Rob Semsey, Chief of Staff

I will never forget the first time that I met Thel’Vadam, the Arbiter, in Halo 2. Watching this Sangheili’s entire world turn upside down as he uncovers the truth about the Prophets always hurt me. Were it so easy to not feel for Arby and his cause, I just love his story so much

- Phantasia Mayner, User Research Specialist

Painting of Master Chief and Arbiter by Eddie Smith

One of my funny halo stories growing up is about my late friend Devin Landeen. It was shortly after Halo 2 release in the middle of a snowy winter and when the community made game mode Zombies just became popular. We were playing on Ivory Tower and keep in mind internet videos were barely happening at this point so finding stuff online for video games was kinda rough and slow. Anyways, Devin found out about the palm tree you can hide in. Well, only a couple of us know this spot because he shared it with us. He went up into the palm tree hiding when most of the players got converted to zombies. At this point there were only 3 of us left alive. Once I died Brett just screams out “He is in the palm tree you guys!!!!”  This way Brett could win the game because everyone was so busy swarming the palm tree in the courtyard. Right after Brett yells this out, Devin just starts cussing him out and then cussing all of us out and yelling over and over “GET OUT OF MY PALM TREE!!!!” After this he doesn’t say anything, the tension was thick in the room. He was so mad at Brett for ruining his secret plan to surprise everyone with this hiding spot. So, we load up another zombie game and my other friend Everett was the zombie and went straight for the palm tree and waited for Devin to return. Once Devin came trying to jump into the tree, Everett kills Devin and yells in his most cry baby voice “GET OUT OF MY PALM TREE YOU GUYS” we all lost it at this point and then Devin cussed us out and told us all where to go and how to get there. So, he packed up his Xbox and TV and headed for his car (it was like only 8pm and we usually played until 2-3 am) and we kept playing. After a few minutes Devin comes back down the stairs not saying anything and just sits on the chair behind us. The whole LAN party was quiet and finally someone asked him what he was doing back down, he replied in his most clam voice as possible, “my car is too cold to drive off and I have to let it warm up” we were all trying so hard not to laugh. Once his car was warmed up, he once again cussed us all out and left. At the following weekend’s LAN party, Devin came and just started laughing about the last weekend and we made him a shirt with a palm tree with the saying on it “get out of my palm tree” he ended up wearing it to a few local tournaments and LAN parties. Devin was always the life of the party, and we all miss hanging out with him.

- Cliff Schuldt, Multiplayer Designer

Screenshot of Halo 2 MP map Ivory Tower

While I often played the first Halo with friends, I truly fell in love with the series in the lead up to Halo 2, and the ARG I Love Bees that was made to advertise it.  I will forever tie Cake’s album Pressure Chief with Halo as I listened to it constantly while driving around DFW in my spare time to catch mysterious phone calls at drop sites, meeting other fans, etc.  I was working for Blockbuster Game Rush at the time, and Halo 2 was our first Midnight release.  So many people came out to pick Halo 2 up, we were amazed.

- Nia Frame, Helpdesk Analyst

Picture this; It’s the summer of 2007. I’ve sunken into the couch, bottle of Halo 3 Game Fuel in hand, and I’m rewatching the Halo 3 Vidocs and trailers for the 100th time. My 14 year old mind had never been so excited for an entertainment launch before. Those months leading up to the launch of Halo 3 have been ingrained in my memory for so long. Before I knew it, Halo 3 was in my hands, and I was forming some of the most memorable gaming moments alongside my dearest friends. 16 player custom game lobbies every night after school, re-running the Vidmaster Annual achievement over and over to help my friends get Recon, and getting my first 50 in Lone Wolves. At that time, I never had any idea that one day I would work in the game industry, let alone have the chance to begin my career on the franchise that mattered to me the most. Fresh out of high school in 2012, I was going on to pursue an education in Business- which I did so for 3 years. But in the back of my mind there was Halo. The thoughts and possibilities in my mind grew and eventually my love for the franchise pushed me to re-write my educational path to learn game art. Over the next decade, 3 universities, and 2 degrees later, I kept learning and growing as an artist with the motivation that maybe one day I could work on Halo. I couldn’t be more grateful to this franchise for inspiring me and driving my passion ever since I was young spartan. I hope Halo Infinite can inspire new generations of artists and creatives in the same way I was inspired growing up. <3

- Tyler Klimek, Lighting Artist

Master Chief Halo 3 marketing key art

Halo has changed my life multiple times. It's sounds like hyperbole but it's not. I know I'll forever be chasing the way Halo originally made me feel. Those feeling always circled back around to curiosity, conversation, and potential. Halo demanded that I put myself into the world. It begged more questions than it answered. The world felt larger than the immediate space I was traversing. The conversations and subconscious questions invariably centered around the term, "I wonder if..."

The potential of the world has always been greater than the experience itself. When I'd get a new game the excitement for the locales and emergent stories were always grander than anything anyone could make. The interplay between anticipation and realization repeatedly left this feeling of unending potential. It tapped into something fundamental: formative wonder, the desire to escape, the invitation to connect, and the empowerment to go fearlessly into the unknown. That’s a noble, joyful, cause to endlessly chase with measured gratitude and consideration.

- Dan Chosich, Narrative Experience Director

20 years ago: I was still in middle school, never heard of the Xbox, and probably just immediately thought ‘Microsoft=Windows’. Then 11/15/2001 hit, my parents got us the launch bundle as a winter present, and a new adventure both in-game and in real life started.

20 years later: I’m working within Microsoft/Xbox, on Halo, and witnessing a new Halo game getting ready to deploy. Very few get to experience this with *any* sort of IP/product, so I count myself extremely lucky. Looking forward to the new adventures that await!

- Sean Cooper, Senior Software Engineer

I was 11 years old when Halo 2 released, and back then I didn’t have a console so the main way I played multiplayer games was at LAN cafes paying by the hour. A few months after the release, my cousin invited me to his local spot to play in an H2 tournament with him and his friends. They were all a few years older than I was, but he knew how much I loved coming over to play Halo, so he let me tag along. When we got there everyone paired up, but no one wanted the little kid on their team and my cousin had agreed to play with a friend before inviting me. In the end it turned out the best player at the tournament had a no-show partner, so he got paired up with me. I could tell he was basically resigned to an early exit at that point, but he was still nice to me when we sat down to play.

Then we won our first match. And our second. As it turned out, this guy was REALLY good, and I was feeding off his skills and playing better than I ever had. We ended up eliminating my cousin and his friend, and eventually found ourselves in the finals. After a close 3-round series we lost the last match, but we both felt great having made it that far. Then to top it off I found out there was a prize for second place. I was going to win something in a Halo tournament!

It was 1 hour of playtime and a BAWLS Guarana.

To this day I don’t think I’ve had a more satisfying drink than that soda, or a better hour playing games than that free hour I won (I used it immediately). Almost two decades later, I now have the satisfaction of working on the franchise that gave me that exquisite moment of victory and help create those moments for the next generation of Halo fans.

- Tobias Osterhaug, Playtest Lead

Master Chief dual wielding in Halo 2 marketing key art

When I first met my now-wife, she worked at 343i and was in the process of shipping Halo 4, while I worked on Team Xbox. I watched her work hard to ship Halo 5 as we got married and started a family. Little did I know at the time, I would join her at 343i a few years later and we would both contribute to the success of Halo Infinite! Our first son was listed as a production baby for Halo 5, and our next two sons will be listed as production babies for Halo Infinite. We’re a whole Halo family.

- Bill Rosas & Sarah O’Leary, Senior Software Engineers (kids Alexander, Felix, and Dylan)

For my 16th birthday I had received one of the original green Halo Edition Xbox consoles, and what better thing to do than have a Halo LAN to celebrate. At this point Halo was THE game to play and I told my friends to invite whoever they wanted, and we had roughly 15-20 people show up with consoles, controllers , bulky tube TVs and network cables in tow. We set up all these consoles and TVs in my parent's basement, but I quickly realized that I would need more than my measly 4 port switch to set up this impromptu LAN center properly. There was a family friend down the street who owned his own computer repair business, I hurried over and asked to borrow some additional networking equipment and he graciously obliged. Once everything was set up and everyone's consoles were networked together, we were running multiple lobbies all night long! My mom still talks about how there were people showing up to play all the way into the wee hours of the night.  I think the last person to show up popped over around 2am and we played non-stop until after the last person left at some point the next day. This is still one of my greatest gaming memories to date! Halo helped shape the gamer and the professional I am today. 

- Nick Pittak, Security Analyst 

The release for the OG Xbox was the only time I have ever camped out in front of a business to buy something at launch. Every single person there was getting Halo: Combat Evolved. We jokingly discussed crazy rumors that had been posted on the old HBO forums (“you can shoot sniper rifles across the ring!”) while freezing our butts off. The atmosphere of the group assembled that night was really something special and solidified my love of the game and community.

- Kenneth Peters, Senior Halo Franchise Writer

I didn’t know it at the time, and maybe it’s cliché to say, but Halo (and the community!) was a beacon when I needed it most. For me, Halo started out as a touchstone – a way to keep in touch with my family when I lived in various places across the globe. I’d hop on to play a couple matches with my dad when we could and eventually found a small friend group. The natural evolution was to get more involved with the community and branch out and make more internet friends. And somehow, the journey led me to today: getting to work on Halo Infinite. 

- Sam Nylen, Community Coordinator

Halo was the reason that I wanted to get into the video game industry.

The first time I played Halo, I was 13? I was at my cousin’s house for Thanksgiving and he loaded Halo up on the original Xbox. We played splitscreen on Bloodgulch – I was hooked. I quickly found friends in my neighborhood and spent countless hours over there competing in ‘LAN’ tournaments between fellow neighbors and classmates. I didn’t own an Xbox until the Xbox 360, which I won at the Strawberry Festival in Burien, after winning a series of FFA matches. I played nearly 13,000 games of Halo 2 and Halo 3 on that Xbox. I was the envy of my high school because I was the only person to earn a 50 in both Halo 2 and Halo 3. It was like a weird, nerdy badge of honor to show up to local ‘LAN’ events with that distinction amongst my friends.

I forged several lifelong relationships, which stemmed from Halo and span across this country. To this day, I have countless friends who play Halo 5 religiously, who text me frequently to tell me how excited they are for the game to release. It’s been incredibly humbling, and an honor, to be able to work on the largest Halo to date. I would’ve never thought that I would be in this position. It’s an incredible feeling. It’s been even more exciting to share those memories and this experience with my children – maybe they’ll one day they’ll continue telling the story of the Master Chief.

While I’ve sunk countless hours into other shooters, Halo will always be the ‘Star Wars’ of the shooter genre to me, not just for the Xbox, but across all consoles. It’s meant so much to me, not just in my career, but in meeting people, who I would’ve never met without it. It’s been incredibly gratifying to meet people on the streets, who see my 343 dev shirts and have them tell me about how excited they are to play MCC and/or Halo Infinite.

I can’t wait for the public to play this studio’s labor of love.

- Richard Meier, Producer

Screenshot of Blood Gulch from Halo:CE

One of my favorite Halo memories was at my old high school:

During my senior year, I had this two-period-long elective in one of the computer labs at the adjacent campus to the school. If you were able to complete your projects early, that class turned out to be effectively an hour of free time. Officially this would be time for studying or whatever, but someone discovered a secret copy of Halo: CE stashed away on the school network drives. No one really knew who put it on there – probably a student, or maybe even one of the faculty, who knows. But naturally – while our teacher started dozing off, which was more frequent than you would think – we’d click open the game and would wage unsanctioned sniper battles on Hang ‘Em High. Occasionally we’d look over our shoulder in case we needed to quickly tab out and pretend like we were working, and then when the coast was clear, we’d immediately go back to gunning each other with our pistols down on the catwalks.

Eventually, as I recall, the school IT department caught wind of this and sadly deleted the game, but many hours during my final year there ended up being spent on Halo rather than schoolwork. I’m sure you could make an argument that it was actually educational in the end, since I now work on Halo 😉

- Ashely Rohan, Graphics Engineer

When I was in 5th grade my friends and I would stay up all night playing Halo 2 1v1 Slayer on my favorite Halo map of all time, Turf. I’ve gone on and played every Halo game since then but the memories of playing Halo 2 all night during sleepovers is a special one I hold close to my heart. I feel so thankful to be able to contribute to such a meaningful franchise years later. I can’t wait to play Halo Infinite with my friends and the rest of you very soon!

- Braden League, Technical Artist

Screenshot of Halo 2 multiplayer on Turf

Halo Storytime: Halo has impacted pretty much every facet of my life since my youth. From playing campaign with my cousin in Halo: Combat Evolved Legendary Library runs, to late night system link games, and even onto playing countless hours of Halo 2 and Halo 3 online. It defined the type of game I wanted to play, the career I wanted to have, and the life I wanted to build.

The game, the story, the art; all pushed me towards the goal of wanting to be a part of building it. 5 years ago, the fan boy in me could hardly contain myself when I finally got to help be a part of the amazingly talented teams here at 343.

My favorite part has been helping tell the stories of the Publishing Team and how they brought MCC over to PC and the QOL updates that came with it. I am so excited to keep sharing them and look forward to it for many years to come!

- Tyler Davis, Community Coordinator

I had never played Halo before joining 343, but after I joined, I made an effort to play through all the games with two of my friends who grew up playing Halo. One of my favorite moments was watching our designated Warthog driver flawlessly run through the final level in Halo 3! It was so chaotic, but somehow, he made it through after only one or two tries. More recently, my driving skills were put to the test when we all got to play the public tech preview together. It was a classic case of “being at the right place at the right time” and driving my friend to drop off the enemy’s flag at our base using the most OP vehicle, a mongoose!

- Aila Enos, Software Engineer II

My first memory of Halo was from a LAN with my two older brothers. I vividly remember someone getting stuck with a plasma grenade on Hang ‘em High back in CE. Watching that blue orb attach itself to a helpless player until it detonated seemed like the coolest mechanic I’d ever seen in a video game. After that moment, it was all Halo – all the time.

Whether it was hosting the neighborhood LANs at our house or still being able to play together after moving across the country, Halo has helped me stay connected with amazing people and introduced me to so many more.

Halo has given me so much over the years, it’s nice to play my small part in ensuring it continues to do the same for others. Here’s to the future of the franchise we all love so much!

- John Junyszek, Community Manager

In 2001 I remember huddling around a CRT TV in my friend’s bedroom openly gawking at how real the Halo: CE grass textures were. I then immediately went out and sold every N64 and SNES game I could part with to scrounge enough money to buy an Xbox and a copy of Halo: CE. My friends and I spent many late nights playing Halo in my mom’s house with ethernet cables stretching from the basement to the second floor (thanks mom!).  To this day I am shocked that I get to work on a title that brought me so many great memories and on a franchise I truly idolize.

- Brian Dunn, Quality Engineer II Lead

Thank You

For twenty years we've shared this Halo Universe together - we've Believed, we've Finished the Fight (more than once), we've loved Bees, Hunted the Truth, captured flags, Forged brand new worlds, stayed up all night at LANs, seen beloved characters come and go, faced brand new foes, solved mysteries and discovered more still, gotten lost in stories, met new friends online, coveted collectibles, consumed snacks, cosplayed at conventions, and so, so much more.

None of these great experiences and memories over the past twenty years would've been possible without all of you. Your passion, support, and love for Halo has inspired fans, creators, and developers alike to continue feeding and evolving our beloved franchise. Thank you.

To all of our partners and colleagues over the years who have poured their hearts and souls into creating unforgettable experiences, stories, collectibles, and memories - thank you. To our friends from Bungie who started it all with the release of Halo: Combat Evolved twenty years ago today - thank you for creating something magical that has changed our collective lives forever.

On behalf of everyone at 343 Industries and our partners around the world - thank you for being a part of these past twenty years. We can't wait to usher in the next era of Halo when Halo Infinite launches on December 8. We're just getting started and the future has never looked brighter.