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September 8, 2010

Creative director Marcus Lehto of Bungie Studios thoughts on Halo Wars

Picked up on a interview with Bungie’s creative director Marcus Lehto today which looks back at Bungie during the Halo years and the future of the studio going forward. The interview does touch on Halo Wars and the studios thoughts about Ensemble working on the title. –

Looking back, were you happy with Microsoft’s decision to make Halo Wars? What did you think of the game, and its reception? What’s your stance on Halo spin-offs in general?

For Halo Wars I can say that we weren’t involved with it at all, but at the time we figured – and it’s still true – that if anyone would want to take a stab at a Halo RTS, Ensemble had the pedigree and talent to do it.

Ultimately, all of us were happy with how it turned out; they would have been hard pressed to do a better job at an RTS on console. Certainly elements like the cinematics – how they enriched different parts of the universe – as fans it was really cool to see that.

Would you have liked Microsoft to come to you? We’re surprised you weren’t involved with Halo Wars at all…

Well, we didn’t have any room in our schedule anyway. We had a pretty rigorous schedule to get Halo 3 out of the door, so I think Bungie has a pedigree for making those types of games, but not to the extent Ensemble did. It made a lot more sense. We were focused on getting bullets on pixels, giving people a tight, fun, action packed world, It was the right fit.

It is clear that Bungie were very pleased to have Ensemble work on Halo Wars and felt safe the studio would do a good job with the Halo IP. Halo Wars turned out to be a great game and as Marcus says they would have indeed been hard pressed to do a better job for an RTS based console.

The full interview can be found below which also contains some interesting questions and answers about Bungie’s past, present and future plans.


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