Bungie thought Halo Wars was a “whoring out” of the Halo franchise, never supported idea
Bungie, creators of the Halo franchise, were never interested in an RTS set in the same universe as Master Chief, Cortana and co.
That’s according to Tony Goodman, founder of the now non-existent Halo Wars developer Ensemble Studios. Goodman said that Halo Wars started life as an RTS unrelated to Halo and that Microsoft, being “risk adverse” told Ensemble to cover over what they already had with Halo imagery.
Microsoft apparently had little confidence in the project before the Halo respray and was worried about whether an RTS would work at all on a console. Having the game promoted as a Halo spin-off reduced the risk enormously.
“Microsoft was pretty risk averse and they said, ‘I don’t know if we want to take the risk of creating strategy games on a console. We’d feel better if Halo were attached to it,” said Goodman.
Goodman continued by saying that Bungie was less than keen about an RTS being associated with Halo.
“Another problem was that Bungie was never up for it. Bungie was kind of sore about the idea. What they called it was ‘the whoring out of our franchise or something.
“Yeah, that didn’t create a great relationship between us and Bungie; they viewed us as someone infringing [on their franchise].”