Halo as a franchise isn’t going anywhere. That’s the standard set by Microsoft’s Halo-dedicated development studio, 343 Industries. According to 343 Industries general manager Bonnie Ross, it has always been the plan for Halo to remain a mainstay for at least 30 more years. That was the goal set for 343 Industries as Microsoft passed the franchise from Bungie to their in-house start up.
The only caveat to that lofty goal is that 343 Industries was founded in 2007. It is nearly eight years later and 343 Industries has one main-line Halo game to their name, a mediocre twin-stick shooter and a pair of remastered but problematic Xbox Original games. While 343 Industries has shown flashes of their potential, namely in the quality of Halo 4, they are still relatively unproven thanks in part to their uneven quality of work.
Bungie Studios helped greatly in the early work of 343 Industries, allowing the budding studio to assist on the stellar Halo: Reach and much of their staff is comprised of former Bungie developers who chose to stay with the Halo franchise. But with such a long shadow cast by a marquee studio like Bungie, 343 Industries has had trouble establishing themselves. Halo 4 was a fine game, but often looked slow when compared to twitch shooters like Call of Duty. While Halo has never meant to be that type of fast paced shooter, Halo 4 never managed to dethrone Call of Duty on the multiplayer activity charts.
I do believe that Microsoft is right to envision Halo as a tentpole in their game development for decades to come. It certainly worked for other industry headliners like Super Mario. But in order to stay competitive in the already saturated world of first person shooters, 343 Industries needs to learn how to be as good as Bungie was, and faster. Players are always going to give a spectacular franchise like Halo attention, but in order to capture that attention long-term, they need to be more than great, they need to be incredible.