Halo Online sounds conceptually similar to China‘s Call of Duty Online—a multiplayer version of a popular first-person shooter that lacks an attached single-player campaign and that is designed for a specific country. Ninety-eight percent of Russia’s 46 million gamers own a PC, meaning Microsoft has a huge market in front of it.
Microsoft’s announcement on the Halo Waypoint site says that Halo Online is a “highly modified version of the Halo 3 engine and optimized for smooth performance on lower-end PCs.” Halo fans might notice that the announcement video contains glimpses of the Guardian map from Halo 3.
Halo Online will launch as a closed beta test later this spring. Microsoft currently has no plans to bring Halo Online to the Xbox One or to offer it outside of Russia.
Screengrab via halo_4game/YouTube