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Microsoft cancels free-to-play Halo Online

343's attempt to expand Halo into a free-to-play franchise has been cancelled for now.

According to a post on the Russian social media network VK, Halo Online, Microsoft’s experiment with publishing a free-to-play online shooter in Russia, has been cancelled. 

It’s a quiet end for 343’s experiment with free-to-play games. The game was developed in partnership with Russian publisher Innova Systems and developer Saber Interactive, who hosted a closed alpha and beta of the game on Innova’s 4games platform in 2015. 

It was a game that seemed to mimic Activision’s partnership with Tencent to develop Call of Duty Online for China. In both cases, the developers took a globally popular IP and adapted its gameplay and publishing format for a foreign market. 

However, according to a member of the development team going by Fogeyman, Microsoft had “failed to [make] decisions on the future of the project” for the last six months. 

Fogeyman says that as a result of these delays, “the current form of Halo Online will not be released.” Saber has removed Halo Online from the 4games platform and suspended its VK page as a result of the cancellation. 

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