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Halo Infinite: Season 4 launches on June 20, but Xbox’s most famous franchise was nowhere to be seen during a presentation that featured 27 games.
In an interview with the Guardian, Phil Spencer said significant growth in Xbox’s first-party studio line-up means once dominant franchises no longer need to be front and centre at every Xbox event (Gears of War was also notably absent from Sunday’s showcase).
“I wouldn’t say Halo is of lesser importance, but we have over 20 studios now,” he said. “I’ll go back to the years where I had basically four games – Fable, Forza, Halo, Gears, the four horseman of the apocalypse. We have a lot more games now.”
Spencer also said recent restructuring at developer 343 Industries was a factor in Halo skipping the show.
“We’ve been pretty public about the leadership change at 343,” he said. “You can kind of see that in some of the social things [the team have] been doing around seasons, but I don’t want to force them to talk about their longer-term vision until they’re ready. I think you’ll see some pretty cool things coming.”
“I feel confident in the leadership team, but the team that got us here is probably not the same team that’s going to take us forward,” he told Axios.
When asked if this potentially meant Activision‘s Call of Duty team could work on Halo should Microsoft’s acquisition of the publisher be completed, Booty didn’t rule it out but also said it wouldn’t be mandated by Xbox management.