With a closed beta announced on March 25, 2015, Halo Online marks the first legitimate PC Halo title since the exquisitely constructed port of Halo 2 onto Windows Vista in 2006. Additionally, Halo Online serves as an online-only, multiplayer-only, and Russian-only Halo title, within which Russian players assume the role of joint-training between the UNSC and the Swords of Sanghelios. However, even with the insanely wide user base that Russia offers, which dominates a staggering 4% of the gamer population, 343 is looking to expand their audience. Here’s an interview with Frank O’Connor, about 343 Industries’ latest decision to release Halo Online to gamers in Antarctica:
HaloSwallower: What has compelled you to release Halo Online in Antarctica?
Frank O’Connor: When we originally announced the closed beta back in March, we received an onslaught of fan backlash over us choosing to release the game in Russia only. Originally, we passed off this backlash as just typical ingratitude. But when we remembered the reputation we gained from Halo: The Master Chief Collection, we had to make it up. We couldn’t afford to frustrate fans any further, so we decided to lift the exclusivity.
Q: Why Antarctica?
A: Why Antarctica? Well, since our goal has always been to amend the anger that followed last November, we needed to bring as many people into Halo Online as possible. Unfortunately, Jesus visited me that night and told me that only one country could receive the game. That put us in an extremely awkward situation. Of course, we wanted to choose the most gamer-populated country. I mean, that’s common sense from a business standpoint. But then again, we also didn’t want to further upset fans by favoriting one nation over another. And so, as a compromise, we chose a location that isn’t owned by any particular country, but shared by all. And so, we chose Antarctica.
Q: So from a business standpoint, what does Antarctica offer?
A: I’m sorry, can you repeat the question?
Q: Yep, sorry bout that. Anyway, from a business standpoint, what exactly does Antarctica offer?
A: So that’s what you meant. Alrighty then. From a business standpoint, Antarctica is incredibly bountiful. I mean, the Penguins alone present an absurdly large customer pool. And then, that’s to say nothing of the gulls, the seals. Everything.
Q: In the event you’d want to further your quest to expand the audience of Halo Online, what other locations might you consider?
A: We’re currently considering investigating the potential of Europa, Venus, and the Andromeda Galaxy as potential candidates. However, we do not have plans to release Halo Online outside of Russia and Antarctica.
Q: Anything else you’d like to say?
A: Yes, actually. Please do not rub my bald head for good luck. Okay?
Note: We were not responside for the act of rubbing Frank O’Connor’s bald head for good luck.