Is 'Halo 5' a Microsoft in-joke?

Halo 5? Is this some kind of in-joke at Microsoft?
Halo 5? Is this some kind of in-joke at Microsoft?

A Halo 5 logo has been spotted on an Xbox 360 screen at Microsoft's Redmond, Washington offices, which begs the question: whatever happened to Halo 4?

Channel 4 News managed to spot the Halo 5 logo on a recent press visit to Microsoft HQ.

However, there are some in the games industry that suspect this is little more than a clever in-joke from the folks at Microsoft. If so, we don't seem to be laughing.

Be a part of Halo history

What we do know is that Bungie is no longer looking after development duties on Microsoft's killer franchise. That's being taken care of by (ex Timeshift developers) 343 Industries.

As you can see from the recent Halo related job listings on the company's site 343 Industries seems to be the place to work, if you want to be "a part of Halo history."

So Channel 4 managed to spot a Halo 5 logo, alongside a logo for Project Gotham Racing and "Grandma's Room." Does this actually mean anything? Does it mean Microsoft is planning on releasing a proper Halo sequel soon?

We've asked Microsoft. Clearly we expect to receive a 'no comment' at any point soon. But we have to ask, because this is how things work. Sometimes they tell us things. Often they don't.

Halo 5 - an in-joke?

Tim Ingham, editor over on CVG is convinced that, "the 'Halo 5' logo would appear to be a clear in-joke at Microsoft – a nod to a far-off future."

The CVG editor thinks: "the next 'proper' Halo is, arguably, going to be 'Halo 4' – although if it's got an actual numeral in its title I'll eat my Master Chief figurine.

"Still, it's exciting to see that even with a jovial hat on, Microsoft clearly has long-term plans for the core story."

You can see more on 343 Industries plans for the future of Halo over on CVG, with the games site convinced that the next Halo, whatever it may be called, will not be a 'side story' game along the lines of Halo: Combat Evolved

One way or the other, Microsoft really has to ensure that the next game in its killer franchise blows us all away. Otherwise, we might just spend all of our time playing and talking about Uncharted 3 instead…

Adam Hartley