Master Chief on the cover of XBOX (UK) Magazine!

BnwtlnpCYAAApp8Sa-weet! I’m definitely going to buy this issue! Great to see Chief front and center! Now if I can get some help from one of my UK friends and/or readers.

Here’s the text blurb from xbox (UK): 

Halo 5 is set to take on Titanfall and blow all the competition away as you’ll find out in the latest issue of X-ONE Magazine, on sale now. Master Chief’s next-gen debut leads 23 games that are only possible on Xbox One, detailed in issue #111 of the UK’s biggest independent Xbox mag.

From where this new game will be set, to the enemies that will be faced, how Kinect and SmartGlass might be involved and how to fix the multiplayer, we’ve delved deep into Halo once again to bring you all the latest info.

Also in X-ONE #111 we speak to BioWare about kicking off the big-budget RPGs of the generation with Dragon Age: Inquisition and ask Rocksteady why its Batman: Arkham Knight is only possible on next-gen systems.

We spent four hours playing Watch Dogs and bring you our 15 most enjoyable ways to cause havoc and mayhem on the streets of Chicago in Ubisoft’s incredible new sandbox game. We’ve also tracked down all 25 of the confirmed games for ID@Xbox and asked which of these Indie up and comers has what it takes to repeat the success of Minecraft?

X-ONE #111 is on sale now at all good newsagents and supermarkets. Alternatively you can have it delivered to your door by ordering a copy from our store. Great savings can be had if you subscribe to X-ONE (to save up to 30%) or by downloading X-ONE to your smartphone or tablet from



Of Halo leaks and theories.

Yesterday, I reposted the supposed leak from a supposed insider. A couple of people questions why I would do that and if it were appropriate for my blog.

The short answer is YES. However, let me explain.

On Friday, when the news broke of Halo 5 Guardians, we were all generally excited. It had been leaked the night before that we would hear of some news, just not specifically what that news would be. Did that take away from the news for me? Not at all. In fact it got me even more excited as I figured I wouldn’t be blindsided by info and could quickly share it with all of you good readers.

As evidenced on this very blog, theories abounded about the name, the concept art, and more. It was fun to guess, make conjecture, etc.

Fast forward to yesterday when someone wrote out a “leak” of what Halo 5 Guardians’ plot would be and what would be in multiplayer. Along with this Frank O’Connors reaction to it.

As a Halo fan, I would want to know if a leak happened, and more so, if the leak were TRUE. As a Halo blogger, I felt it my DUTY to report this news to you folks and repeatedly make mention that this news was NOT confirmed by 343.

While it may be disappointing to those at 343 (and understandably so), leaks happen in MANY industries. I see this happen very often in the toy industry. What does bother me is it seems that once again, 343 ids ill prepared to handle such leaks, be they true or not. Yes, in a perfect world, the developers themselves would be the ones to announce the news of their game. To do this, they really need to vet their employees more fully as well as those who play test for them, as the leaker claims to be one of.  Regardless of that though, many of we fans have starved for ANY info about the next Halo game. Friday’s reveal was a great start, but was very minor in actuality, despite the coverage it received, here and elsewhere.

What we fans do NOT want to see is 343 once again ignoring stuff like leaks. Frank’s plea is a mixed bag with folks. Go on any number of forums and you’ll see people both for and against Frank on the issue. For the record, I completely understand Frank’s frustration. However, I do think he could have handled it more diplomatically.

As an example, it might have been said this way:

We are still more than a year from release of Halo 5 Guardians. Any information that comes from a source that is not 343 and/or Microsoft needs to be treated as rumor. 

He could have also gone on to say:

This information is rather all encompassing. Some things may come to pass while others may not. It is still too early for us to discuss any of the finer details of the game as we are in development of it. In the months ahead, we will reveal things in due time.

Something like either of those statements would quell the leak somewhat. One issue though is that there are many fans who are leary of not having a straight up answer from 343. When you consider what they talked about before Halo 4 was released, then what we got in the game, there is reasonable cause for pause here. We asked of the “perks” rumor. They denied it or tried to twist it around, yet that’s essentially what we got.

There are other things I could go on about. The pint being, people are not as quick to trust when they have felt some varying degree of being “burned” or “deceived.”

As a person who has nearly 20 years in marketing, I’ve see whole ad campaigns, that have been in the works for months or longer, utterly destroyed by just ONE bad PR incident. Pro/competitive players are curious about what Halo 5’s multiplayer will bring. Is it more of the same? Will we have ranks again? Ranked and Social Playlists? And again, the list could go on. Halo Lore folks, like myself, are really jonesing for any information about what the next campaign will be.

So, YOU have to decide for yourself. Did this leak HURT or HELP Halo 5? It is my opinion that even if this information is wrong, it has still created more of a stir for the game. That can only be a good thing. Of course, if you believe all of that leak, you may well be in for a surprise and/or a let down. So do yourselves a favor and do not take it seriously. Until/Unless 343 refutes it, it should be considered rumor/conjecture/supposition by someone.

As to those questioning me personally about having that info on the blog… As I expressly said it should be considered rumor, not official, and the like, I think I’ve made it abundantly clear where I stand on this. With respect to those questioning me, is there any harm in reporting this? How am I any different than the likes of IGN for instance? Is it because they are a HUGE site that they are allowed to report on this? I should hope you good readers would actually appreciate reading this at a fan’s site, than one of the mega gaming news sites that posts the story for news fodder and moves on. I am very much entrenched in Halo. You see that on a daily basis when you come here to the blog. If I thought posting that would ruin my credibility, might I have considered posting it? The answer there is NO. I still would have posted it. Why? Well to put it bluntly, this is MY blog. I pay for it. I didn’t leak this info. I just reposted it.

One BIG reason why I created this blog was because I was being censored or held back at another Halo site I was heavily involved with. I want to share everything I can and in a responsible way. If I was being responsible about the leak article, I would have said it was true or something along those lines. I hope you all think and know better of me than that.

So you won’t find me apologizing for reposting the leak. If anything, it may just keep 343 “honest”. Meaning that they are more under the gun to deliver clear, concise, and timely information about Halo 5 Guardians, rather than try to keep things so secret. That approach failed them miserably with Halo 4. I think most of us would agree that we don’t want to see Halo 5 fail either. Especially because 343 can’t handle leaks or PR incidents.

I’ve said repeatedly that I only wish the best success for 343 and I still mean that.


The Halo Bulletin 5-22-14


It’s 2:00 a.m. Pacific Daylight Time on Friday, March 16. HFFL: Sorry for the interruption, Bravo. It was May, not March. Okay, carry on. After about an hour of sleep, my alarm goes off, but for the first time in weeks, and possibly months, I don’t hit the snooze button. Instead, I jump out of bed, throw a hoodie on, grab my backpack and keys, and I’m out the door. After a quick, foggy-eyed drive down the road, I swipe my badge at the door, and find a (mostly empty) studio, with a few fellow members of the Community team already at their desks. It was time to announce the title of the next installment in the legendary saga of the Master Chief, Halo 5: Guardians.

Last week’s announcement was, as Frankie said, a big weight off of our shoulders. For nearly a year, you’ve been wanting to know more about the future of Halo on Xbox One, and being able to finally announce this title, along with releasing some visuals, was exciting to say the least. Seeing the immediate response, analysis of the visuals and name itself, as well as all of the new discussions that emerged was overwhelming. We were thrilled to join in on the long-awaited excitement and conversation for the first time since last year. We’ll be able (and can’t wait) to share details about what’s coming for the Halo franchise in 2014 in just a few short weeks at E3.

HFFL: Hopefully, 343 will address the leak by the supposed insider. Either refuting it, confirming parts of it, just please do not completely IGNORE it…

Last week, we released some exclusive Halo 5: Guardians wallpapers (you can snag ‘em here), and today, due to requests from you, the community, we prepared wallpapers of Friday’s concept art from our very own Sparth. Download below, and beautify your screens.


Desktop – 1024×7681280×7201920×1080

Windows Phone – Surface – Android – Android Tablet – iPhone 5 – iPad – iPad Mini – iPad 2

Next up, we’ve got some Matchmaking goodies as well as community creations. Let’s dig in!

Matchmaking Playlist Update5-21_voting800-7b135c7c17664724a86751311ed0c805

Last week, we sat down and brainstormed about which King of the Hill game types we could include in the Community Choice Poll. During a quick run down memory lane (which is fairly common for a Community Choice Poll brainstorm), we stopped at Halo 3’s Mosh Pit, and immediately knew that it had to be included for community consideration. Apparently you did as well, as the game type earned nearly 80% of your votes, and will be included in the King of the Hill playlist this coming Monday. Once you’re done BBQ’ing with the family, jump into the Mosh Pit. Actually, it may be best to wait 30 minutes after eating before doing so.

Additionally, we’ll be adding Stealth King to the playlist. The game type is quite different from traditional King of the Hill – each player is equipped with a Sniper Rifle, Plasma Grenades, and the Thruster Pack. Oh, and all players in the Hill have Active Camouflage. If it sounds crazy, it absolutely is, and we hope you enjoy this new fun game type during King of the Hill’s reign as our featured playlist.

HFFL: A variant of Stealth King was playable in Halo Reach. I’m definitely looking forward to playing that game type.

We’ve also added several new game types to other playlists – included in this list is the following:

  •  Added Oddball to Team Doubles
  •  Added Neutral Flag to Team Doubles
  •  Added Neutral Flag to Team Heavies

To enjoy these new experiences in Halo 4 Matchmaking, jump in and try ‘em out!

The Master of Master Chief Makeup
We don’t often get the chance to talk about makeup on The Bulletin, so we were excited to see Elsa Rhae’s absolutely incredible makeup and face painting skills highlighted on Elsa is in a category several steps above that guy who can slap a set of kitten whiskers on your little sister at the county art fair. Of course, we’re particularly impressed by her Master Chief face paint, but you should check out the rest of her impressive breadth of work at her Facebook and Instagram or even take a master class from her, courtesy of her YouTube channel.


Community Spotlight Shines Againcommunitymember-spotlight_800-d47056deeb2a4f488b2fb439d9273340

The acclaimed and mysterious author of our Community Spotlight recently returned from their sabbatical. The weeks spent on a moisture farm near Tashi Station have treated him them well and the series returned this week with renewed spirit!

This week, learn all about Mastrbiggy from HBO’s news team and look forward to future installments of this bi-weekly series.

HFFL: Just once, I’d love to see a fan spotlighted who ISN’T from one of the huge sites. No offense to any of those sites. However, they have well more than enough publicity and members. I wish 343 would take a page from Bungie when Bungie used to spotlight small sites/groups/etc. Some of those sites are just as dedicated to Halo, even if they aren’t as big/popular/as well staffed/etc. I can think a several I’d like to see be spotlighted who I think are deserving of it, given their passion and dedication to Halo. (And no, I do not mean me, though it of course would be an honor.)

Screenshot Spotlight: Shotgun
Last week, we turned the spotlight on the Sticky Detonator. Take a gander at the following Shotgun screenshots, and maybe even find inspiration to make your own.

Screenshot spotlight 5-22-14

HFFL: From this gallery I like the following: “Spark of Life” and “Enter the matrix”.

For your chance at being in the next spotlight, take a screenshot from a King of the Hill match and then tag it with “KotH” and “Halo Waypoint,” and maybe, just maybe, yours will be featured in the next Halo Bulletin!

And with that, this week’s Bulletin comes to a close.
Until next week,

HFFL: Is it me or are the bulletins a bit sparse of late? Hopefully they are saving up for E3 in just a few short (LONG) weeks….