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'Halo 5: Guardians' 2015 release explained, first concept art unveiled

Halo 5: Guardians - Concept Art
Halo 5: Guardians - Concept Art
Photo courtesy of 343 Industries, used with permission.

Following the announcement of “Halo 5: Guardians” for the Xbox One on Friday, 343 Industries’ Frank O’Connor posted a follow-up to delve a little deeper into the upcoming shooter and released one of the first pieces of concept art. One of the topics addressed is why the game is releasing in 2015 instead of 2014 as so many had anticipated.

“This audience has correctly stated and assumed that you can’t necessarily squish a full ‘Halo’ game into anything less than a three year development schedule,” O’Connor wrote on Halo Waypoint. “And at least up to and including ‘Halo 5: Guardians,’ that’s more or less true.”

As was mentioned before though, “Halo 5” is being built on an all new game engine. While praising what 343 Industries was able to do with the Xbox 360, O’Conner said, “We are moving to a whole new platform with the Xbox One – a new architecture, new graphics hardware and bluntly some new ways to think about gaming, period.”

O’Conner pointed out the innovations that previous titles in the series brought before broadly hinting at what the next iteration might offer. “So in building Halo 5: Guardians, we want to push the ecosystem as well as the universe. And we’ll have some surprises in store for new and loyal players of the series,” he said.

Moving to a three-year development cycle appears to be a necessity for AAA console developers for the PS4 and Xbox One. Activision’s announcement of a third development studio assigned to “Call of Duty: Advanced” so that each yearly release of the franchise has three years’ worth of development time illustrates this. If even the most aggressively developed franchise in modern gaming needs three years worth of development, than “Halo 5: Guardians” does so as well.