This morning during the Xbox E3 2018 Briefing we announced the formation of The Initiative, a new first-party game studio based in Santa Monica, California. Further details on the anticipated game were sparse, and it doesn't have a release date yet. It is going to be the first mainline Halo title starring Master Chief since 2015's Halo 5.
Although none of the Japanese developed games appear to be Xbox exclusive - the developers, it seems, not yet quite that confident - it's a hugely promising sign that Microsoft has been able to win them back.
According to Halo director Frank O'Connor, the game will feature the iconic Master Chief of the Halo series much more prominently, especially in the wake of the character's relative absence in Halo 5: Guardians. But it was Spencer's announcement of a Netflix-like game streaming service that will work across Xbox, PCs, tablets, set-top boxes, and smartphones that really grabbed people's attention. Microsoft's intent to acquire Ninja Theory will help ensure the creative team has the resources and freedom to bring more ambitious games like "Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice" to fans. The earliest projection for the game's release is late 2019, considering that the game will be running on a brand new engine dubbed SlipSpace. And that engine will power the game for both Xbox One and Windows 10, a major step for the typically Xbox-focused franchise. Despite strong success with its Xbox Game Pass subscription, streaming allows for a more mobile experience, and even OEMs like ASUS are paving the way with its new gamer-centric ROG smartphone.
Of course, with the Xbox One X and the PlayStation 4 Pro upending the usual console cycle, all bets are off. There are a still a lot of questions we have about this title, but Microsoft and 343 Studios also have some time to answer them. Tell us in the comments section! We are thrilled to welcome five new studios into the Microsoft family.