Microsoft Wasn't Fond of the "Halo" Brand

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Microsoft Wasn't Fond of the "Halo" Brand

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If Microsoft had its way, Halo would have been called something completely different.

Halo is a big name today, but back before the first title in the series, Halo: Combat Evolved, came out in 2001, Microsoft wanted to change that name to something else. Microsoft apparently didn't feel "Halo" would sell and forced developer Bungie to add the "Combat Evolved" subtitle.

Bungie ended up under Microsoft's corporate umbrella after being acquired in 2000, and Halo: Combat Evolved turned into a massively successful launch title for the original Xbox. However, Bungie wasn't too enthused with calling the game anything other than Halo at Microsoft's request.

Halo designer Jaime Griesemer recently told Edge Magazine (via CVG): "Oh, man... the subtitle. At the time, Microsoft marketing thought Halo was not a good name for a video game brand. It wasn't descriptive like all the military games we were competing with."

Bungie stuck to its guns though. "We told them Halo was the name," Greisemer said. Neither party was satisfied, so a compromise was reached where Microsoft could add the subtitle which "everyone at Bungie hated," revealed Greisemer.

"But it turned out to be a very sticky label and has now entered the gaming lexicon to the point where articles that have nothing to do with Halo get titles like 'Skateboarding Evolved'. So I guess in hindsight it was a good compromise," he admitted.

Bungie obviously gained some clout after Halo: Combat Evolved's success, which would explain why Halo 2 wasn't called Halo 2: Combat Evolved Again and Halo 3 wasn't Halo 3: Even More Evolution With Regards to Combat. It looks like Bungie was having trouble being under Microsoft from the very first title released after acquisition. It makes perfect sense for the developer to have been looking for greener pastures where it could perhaps find a bit more freedom, signing that lengthy deal with Activision earlier this year.

Via: CVG

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I like "Pyramid".

And Combat Evolved abbreviates to "Collector's Edition". So, glad they didn't have one, or it'd be "Halo: CE: CE"

Bungie with Activision will end up with CoD: Halo evolution .... online :P

No offense intended, but I've never laughed at a news article on this site, smiled, but never laughed. The bit about Halo 3 caught me off guard though, good one.

On topic, I always thought the name 'Halo' was a little silly, but it works and it's iconic now. I still refer to Halo: CE as Halo 1 though, it's just easier.

So no offense to them they think they will be better off with Activision? I mean just look what they have done to the CoD series. They are only trading one devil for another.

Halo was a great name for a game i thought.
and adding the :Combat evolved bit i quite fancied as well..

I dunno, I kind of liked the subtitle. I mean, Halo isn't a very descriptive name.

Halo sounds better than "SPACE SHOOTER IN SPACE!" or something like that. Besides I don't see how Halo is a bad name. That combat evolved was unnecessary though.

Halo: Reach for the Stars

I always thought Combat Evolved was an odd subtitle, but it did describe it rather well, so w/e.

Halo 3: Even More Evolution With Regards to Combat

That one had me in stitches beyond belief. Also, they wanted more freedom..with Activision? The world is reversed, but granted, nothing heard of them lately.

Well I don't like it that much. Its confusing when talking about Halo: Custom Edition for the PC.

Glademaster:
So no offense to them they think they will be better off with Activision? I mean just look what they have done to the CoD series. They are only trading one devil for another.

I hope the contract they agreed to had a clause that states "Don't fuck with Bungie's shit" somewhere in there.

Irridium:
Well I don't like it that much. Its confusing when talking about Halo: Custom Edition for the PC.

Glademaster:
So no offense to them they think they will be better off with Activision? I mean just look what they have done to the CoD series. They are only trading one devil for another.

I hope the contract they agreed to had a clause that states "Don't fuck with Bungie's shit" somewhere in there.

It probably does but Activision in their infinite demonism and total business ethic probably has in teeny tiny fine print under that which say that all Bungie's rights are belong to us or something along those lines.

Well, Mictosoft would have been idiots if they went with anything else. Halo, is a great name...small, to the point, and these days...full of clout!

Well, at least it didn't go Halo 2: Combat Reloaded and Halo 3: Combat Revolutions.

i thought they disliked it

I always thought that the subtitle sounded a bit awkward.

Glademaster:

Irridium:
Well I don't like it that much. Its confusing when talking about Halo: Custom Edition for the PC.

Glademaster:
So no offense to them they think they will be better off with Activision? I mean just look what they have done to the CoD series. They are only trading one devil for another.

I hope the contract they agreed to had a clause that states "Don't fuck with Bungie's shit" somewhere in there.

It probably does but Activision in their infinite demonism and total business ethic probably has in teeny tiny fine print under that which say that all Bungie's rights are belong to us or something along those lines.

That would not surprise me actually.
In fact its probably dictated in Egyptian Hieroglyphics.

This thread calls for: The Silliest Video Game titles! Let's Go!!!

Number 5: Onechanbara: Bikini Zombie Slayers

Number 4: Grand Theft Auto. Awesome title, altough half the world won't know what the fuck it means. I never did.

Number 3:Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days...not a day less. Almost like Naked gun 33 1/3.

Number 2: Pro Evolution Soccer. It's not soccer, and pro evolution? Why didn't they keep Winning Eleven? That's a cool name.

Number 1: And the winner is....Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker! Peace Walker? Solid Metal? The title isn't too bad for fans and people that know the series but I've never seen such a random collection of words qualified as a title. Game looks great though.

I really like the tile Halo, but the CE subtitle sucks. It makes it more descriptive by ironically being undestriptive. So it's modern combat? Wow, I never. I like short words best as titles because the become iconic and are easily referenced in dialogue like Sims, Ico, Halo. A small descriptor also works like Plants vs Zombies.

Jaredin:
Well, Mictosoft would have been idiots if they went with anything else. Halo, is a great name...small, to the point, and these days...full of clout!

Agreed. The name is PERFECT for the series. Microsoft know nothing about naming.

Irridium:

Glademaster:

Irridium:
Well I don't like it that much. Its confusing when talking about Halo: Custom Edition for the PC.

Glademaster:
So no offense to them they think they will be better off with Activision? I mean just look what they have done to the CoD series. They are only trading one devil for another.

I hope the contract they agreed to had a clause that states "Don't fuck with Bungie's shit" somewhere in there.

It probably does but Activision in their infinite demonism and total business ethic probably has in teeny tiny fine print under that which say that all Bungie's rights are belong to us or something along those lines.

That would not surprise me actually.
In fact its probably dictated in Egyptian Hieroglyphics.

There is probably a foretelling of a phrase Bobby Kotick has yet to say which I believe it will go something along the lines of this "I want to take the fun out of gaming by assimilating all franchises into Call of Duty".

Yeah the whole Bungie, Activision thing is just a partnership. Activision will not have any influence over the actual game. Bungie was smart enough to write this into the contract. Activision will just be helping with advertising and such.

When I saw the title, I had to raise an eyebrow... I thought that Microsoft hated the Halo "brand" as in the Halo franchise itself. Which would be quite odd.

I always had trouble not throwing in a little N into the mix: Halo: Combat Involved

Leaving Microsoft to pair up with Activision. How is that "greener pastures?" That's more like descending into a deeper level of Hell.

cool. I always wandered what was with the combat evolved title.

I all ways love that, Greener more freedom filled pastures...at activision.

I just hate the continued insistence on adding the subtitle. To me, the game is just "Halo". If I want to specify the first game in the series, I'll say "Halo 1".

I don't see this as incredibly surprising, though; I mean, coming up with a name is always hard, and I always second-guess it. Heck, I remember having a two-hour "meeting" trying to come up with a name for a server at work once, and even when we all agreed on it, we all complained about it for the next two weeks.

For that matter, I have machines on my home network that I keep thinking I should rename, if I didn't have to update every machine that talked to it and if I didn't know I'd just hate the new name in three months anyway.

Although Microsoft is probably the last company that has any right to complain about what should be an exciting name. "Windows", "Office", "Money", "SQL Server", "Windows Phone", "Internet Explorer", "Streets & Trips"... For crying out loud, the game system is called the "X-BOX" (attached to which I have a "Live Vision Camera" -- it wouldn't surprise me if Natal's non-codename ends up being the "Live Advanced 3D Camera System").

Tom Goldman:
It makes perfect sense for the developer to have been looking for greener pastures where it could perhaps find a bit more freedom, signing that lengthy deal with Activision earlier this year.

Because we all know that Activision allows complete artistic freedom.

Halo
Combat Simplified

Might have been a more appropriate title.

OT: It's really common for big name games to major changes, or just any game with anime in it especially in the 90's and such where every RPG had to be "fixed" for american and european consumers by having a painter (In Segas case Boris Vallejo). Which was ridiculous because you'd boot up the game and see it is NOTHING like the cover art. Breath of Fire 3 got some terrible treatment in Europe, that was the biggest bastardization of a cover ever.

Considering that "Halo" almost ranks up there right alongside "Mario" as one of the most recognizable titles/names in the business (and is practically a household name)...

...what more could you ask for? So they didn't like it. Seems strange to talk about it now, 3-4 games after the fact...

You do know this is extremely old news?

They have always been saying this, since about 2, 3 years ago.

Well this is a nice piece of mud that comes out after Bungie is away from Microsoft. Guess ol' MS forgot to include a hush-hush in the separation papers. Wonder what new revelations are yet to be discovered?

Glademaster:
So no offense to them they think they will be better off with Activision? I mean just look what they have done to the CoD series. They are only trading one devil for another.

Well with Microsoft they were actually under ownership, according to the article here. With Activision, Bungie is just in a partnership. Bungie maketh the game, Bungie calleth the game whatever the hell they want to, and Activision puteth a box on it and finds places to selleth it.
Not like the same scenario where Activision had ownership over Infinity Ward, and had a lot more to say over what IW did. And apparently they came up with a lot more to say than just what to call the game.

Snotnarok:

Halo
Combat Simplified

Might have been a more appropriate title.

You aren't taking into account that at the time Halo first came out, they had some new revolutionary stuff to put in. One of the first to have vehicles in FPS's, new sorts of weapons, etc.
Microsoft was still being rather pedantic about the title. But Microsoft does as Microsoft thinks.

Someone is really going to claim that "Evolved" is now a halo reference?

BS

Plurralbles:
Someone is really going to claim that "Evolved" is now a halo reference?

BS

Not just "Evolved" no. "(Activity) Evolved", yes.

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