We knew that Halo 4 was a big budget game, you don't have to look any further than the web series Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn to figure that out. What we didn't know, however, is that this is the most money Microsoft has ever poured into a single game, bar none.
The gang at Polygon is currently running a must-read story, taking us inside Microsoft's User Research center, where Halo 4 has been undergoing rigorous testing for years. In the course of their time spent at the Research Center, Microsoft Studios head Phil Spencer revealed that Halo 4 is indeed the most expensive game that Microsoft has ever released to date. He continued, saying that Halo, as a franchise, is 'most important entertainment product in the company.'
How confident is Phil that Halo 4 is the most expensive game Microsoft has ever published? When asked, he responded simply, "Absolutely. Nothing's even close."
The article has some fascinating insight into the play testing process that goes into a big budget game like Halo 4, something that we don't get to see inside of very often. 343 Industries and their testing crew watch as participants played through various portions of the game, commenting on where they are getting mixed up and where the level isn't flowing the way they intend it to. Halo's singleplayer levels are linear, meaning that there is a path that players should be taking to proceed through the mission.
The testing crew's job is to make sure that players know where to go and to balance the challenge of each mission, as they move from Point A to Point B. There is some great behind-the-scenes information here, something that die-hard Halo fans will enjoy reading.
Halo 4 is scheduled to launch on November 6th, 2012 on Xbox 360.