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Halo’s most revered spinoff almost returned, but pitches went nowhere

One former Halo developer says dozens of pitches for the series have been made over the years, with a few focused on the ODST unit.

Halo ODST spinoff

Turns out a lot of Halo games have been pitched to Microsoft and 343 over the years, with many of them never seeing the light of day. Some of these 3o-odd pitches looked to bring back Halo’s ODST unit in multiple forms, but most never made it past the initial planning stage.

Former 343 Industries and Halo Infinite developer Kevin Schmitt has discussed said pitches on X (formerly Twitter). Schmitt worked on several of the FPS games in the series over 12 years, including Halo 4, 5, and Infinite. While game pitches going nowhere is perfectly normal, hearing about so many of them never seeing the light of day, with many of them being focused on the game’s ODST soldiers, is still devastating.

Schmitt responded to a tweet from ‘The Photoshop Guy’ that says they “Just learned that some ex-343 devs pitched an ODST game that was almost exactly like Helldivers,” and while Schmitt doesn’t make any direct reference to a Halo game in a similar vein, he does talk a lot about ODST.

“We must have pitched 20 to 30 game ideas over the 12 years I was there that would have totally worked in the Halo universe,” Schmitt says. “Many [single-player] and [multiplayer] ODST themed ones. Some galaxy-spanning, some more intimate… and one that was really dark.”

Halo ODST spinoffs

Schmitt was then asked why these game pitches never went anywhere, responding “Oh boy, how I wish I could answer this.” This was then followed up by a separate post about why so many videogame pitches don’t get the green light, saying it’s mostly down to “timing.”

“Been in gamedev for almost 30 years. Probably pitched well over a hundred games. There are thousands of reasons they don’t get made. It’s rarely corpo greed or some other nefarious reason. I find it’s a lot about timing.”

Since 2009’s Halo 3: ODST many of us have been clamoring for the return of the Orbital Drop Shock Troopers. With a similar drop pod system from Helldivers 2, the gears have started turning for what the ODST could do with a similar style of game.

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With the next Halo on the way and the massive success of Helldivers 2, perhaps 343 and Microsoft are now looking at what else they can do with the series. Community director Brian Jarrard says 343 has “additional teams now that are accelerating towards the future working on brand new projects,” so it looks like the team might already have its hands full.

If you want to revisit Halo 3 ODST, you can play it on PC via a Game Pass subscription.

In the meantime, we’ve at least put together all the best multiplayer games you’ll want to try with friends, alongside some great free Steam games if you don’t want to break the bank.

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