Capping a week of Halo rumors, blogger The
Mole has an interesting (and entirely speculative) editorial on the prospects of the "billion dollar game" he calls
Halo Online will be as big as World of Warcraft and will be Microsoft’s first “billion dollar game.” Don’t be surprised if this game gets 10 million subscribers paying $10-15 a month within the first three years. That would be over a billion dollars a year in revenue.
I know this all sounds a bit crazy, but here is the reasoning. Bungie originally promised huge multiplayer battles and epic battles for earth in Halo 2. That didn’t happen, but I’m sure Bungie tried to make it happen. At the same time World of Warcraft has been making huge waves in the gaming world with it’s 6 million subscribers worldwide paying $15 a month just to play. A couple years ago those kinds of numbers would have been seen as pure insanity, but Blizzard’s near-perfect execution of the MMORPG genre in World of Warcraft made 6 million subscribers a reality. Bungie is one of the few studios who could make the same thing happen to the MMOFPS on a console.
Mole says thinks this could be the secret nuke that wins the console wars for the 360. I have no doubt that a well done "Halo Universe" massively multi-player game of any derivation would run rings around the gaming industry—an idea that can't be lost on the people in charge. But seeing as how we already pay for Xbox Live, would the corporate masters in Redmond really squeeze us for an extra $15 per month a piece out of pure Gold Farmer greed? My guess is they would.
Back in the reality-based community, Bungie.org says the rumor that the next Halo game will be called Forerunner, is a lame April Fool's prank concocted by Game Informer. Don't you love the dead tree gaming media?
[Previously: MS exec hints at Halo spin-off?]