Microsoft made an online-only ‘Halo’ game just for Russia

Halo Online will take advantage of the huge PC gaming market in Russia.


Dennis Scimeca

Internet Culture

Published Mar 26, 2015   Updated May 29, 2021, 5:33 am CDT

Microsoft wants Russian Halo fans to know that it hasn’t forgotten about them. In fact, it’s launching an online-only version of its popular futuristic game exclusively for Russian gamers.

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

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*First Published: Mar 26, 2015, 12:41 pm CDT