Joseph Staten joined Xbox in 2014 as a senior creative director at Microsoft Studios, following his work on the Bungie-developed Halo games and, more recently, Destiny. Staten is now working with Comcept and Armature Studio on ReCore, an upcoming Windows 10 and Xbox One action adventure exclusive set on an alien world infested with mysterious robots.
During our interview on ReCore, I asked Staten how he felt about 343 Industries' work on the Halo universe, and what it would take for ReCore to evolve into one of Microsoft Studios' core franchises.
Jez Corden: Considering you wrote the first few Halo games – I'd feel a little like Halo was my baby, haha. I just wondered how you feel about how 343i handling the franchise now? Is there anything you'd change?
Joseph Staten: I think they've done an awesome job. The real pleasure for me now is that I can play Halo games in the way I never could before – as a fan. I know nothing about the 343 Halo games going in, so now when I get them, I get that experience of a Halo fan. Cracking open the case and letting the story go. That's something I never got to experience working at Bungie on the older Halo games. I'm always super eager for them to come out, I still love that universe, it's just fun to sit back on my couch as a fan.
Jez: Could ReCore evolve into a franchise as big as Halo one day? It represents a unique place in the Xbox One line-up, and with Nintendo sitting on the core Metroid franchise you could be filling a gap in a lot of people's hearts with ReCore. Is it designed with sequels in mind? Or will ReCore just be a one-shot?
Joseph: Well, when we made Halo 1 we didn't know we were going to get to do a sequel. We wanted to get the best game possible onto the disc, and then we hoped for people to enjoy it. We earned a sequel. Every game in the global publishing portfolio – whether it's ReCore, or Crackdown or Scalebound – we have aspirations and hopes that they can go on and grow into 'big boy' franchises like Gears, Forza or Halo. But you have to earn that success. You have to build an audience.
We've approached ReCore in the same way that we approached the Halo games – let's put as much quality in there as we can, let's attract as broad of an audience as possible, and let's do our best to earn a sequel. If we do? That's awesome. We certainly have ideas on where we want to take the story, but you never really know. But I think ReCore is a pretty special game, I love the way it plays, I hope people enjoy it.
ReCore is launching on September 13th, 2016, and promises Metroid-like gameplay across a dungeon-filled alien world. Be sure to check out our full interview with Joseph Staten and Keiji Inafune using the links below, as well as some of our early gameplay impressions on this upcoming Windows 10 and Xbox One exclusive.
Is ReCore the kind of game you would like to see turned into a franchise? Do you think 343 Industries has done a good job with Halo? Let us know in the comments.
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Jez Corden a Managing Editor at Windows Central, focusing primarily on all things Xbox and gaming. Jez is known for breaking exclusive news and analysis as relates to the Microsoft ecosystem while being powered by caffeine. Follow on Twitter @JezCorden and listen to his Xbox Two podcast, all about, you guessed it, Xbox!