Jon Hicks of TotalXbox.com published an article today detailing statements from 343 industries’ studio head, Bonnie Ross, in which she talks about wanting to leave behind the numbered Halo titles in favor of a subtitled approach for future “Halo” games.
"One of the reasons we're looking at Guardians - at some point we want to stop numbering, right, So we're looking at, especially on [Xbox] One, if I had my druthers we wouldn't have called Halo 4 "Halo 4". We really look at that as the start of where he's going, going forward. It's just that we're a new team and that's how fans look at it." Ross said at a closed door showing of “Halo: The Master Chief Collection”.
"With Halo 5: Guardians we're trying to give ourselves permission, hopefully get the fans to give us permission - at some point we need to drop that number. And still let you know that there's a big story coming."
This would certainly lend a bit of credence to an earlier report in 2012 said 343 Industries were bracing for a long future with the Halo franchise as a report from IGN.com stated that Microsoft had purchased "Halo 7,8,9" website domains. Although these websites are for numbered Halo titles, it shows a commitment to the franchise on behalf of Microsoft and they could certainly abandon the numerical surtitle should they so choose to. It shows that Halo is not going to end any time soon.
Last year at E3 when Bonnie Ross first announced the then titled “Halo on Xbox One”, Phil Spencer later released a statement saying that the then ‘Reclaimer Trilogy’ had been expanded into a saga allowing Microsoft to have as much room as they feel that they would need with the Halo franchise in order to properly tell the Halo story.
"While we originally said trilogy, we've actually expanded this to more of a saga, so we don't want to limit the Reclaimer story within a trilogy." Phil Spencer said in a statement towards Gamespot during last year's E3 event.
343 Industries is no longer held to the constraints of the "trilogy" expectation and they can carry Halo well into the future with as many iterations as they feel are needed to properly do so. But back to the present day.
"It would still be a Master Chief story. I just don't want us to get to, like, Halo 17. We're not Final Fantasy, we can't do it." Bonnie Ross stated in the initial Total Xbox link.
While many fans have high hopes if Halo is to continue well into the future, a game titled "Halo 17" could seem like a bit much to some and it would be understandable if 343 Industries were to abandon the numbers in the game titles by that point.
With their showing of “Halo: The Master Chief Collection” and the ever-so limited reveal of “Halo: 5 Guardians” news at E3 2014; 343 Industries definitely has a plan in place on how to keep Halo relevant for the foreseeable future. Now all that matters is if fans will be receptive to said plan.