The gaming world has been abuzz with rumors about a potential Halo battle royale game, codenamed Project Tatanka, reportedly in development by Certain Affinity. Over the January 13-15 holiday weekend, speculation escalated about the project’s cancellation, leading to confusion and debate among fans and industry observers alike.
The rumor originated from a discussion on a January 13 stream of the XboxEra podcast. Hosts Jon Clarke, Nick Baker, and Jesse Norris pondered over the possibility that Project Tatanka had been canceled. This speculation quickly spread through the gaming community, with various outlets citing Baker as a source. XboxEra subsequently published an article to clarify the situation, emphasizing that the cancellation of Project Tatanka was still in the realm of speculation.
The existence of a Halo battle royale under the codename “Project Tatanka” has been a subject of speculation since April 2022. At that time, Certain Affinity, known for its work on the Halo and Call of Duty franchises, announced a deeper collaboration with 343 Industries on Halo Infinite. Details of this collaboration remained vague, but statements from Certain Affinity’s COO, Paul Sams, in a September 2022 interview with VentureBeat hinted at a significant, unannounced project.
Bloomberg reported in January last year that Project Tatanka initially started as a battle royale concept but might evolve in different directions. Despite these hints and rumors, there has been no official confirmation regarding the nature of Project Tatanka, and Certain Affinity declined to comment when approached by Kotaku.
The concept of a Halo battle royale raises questions not only about its feasibility but also about its necessity. Halo Infinite already features game modes that resemble aspects of a traditional battle royale, such as the now-defunct Last Spartan Standing and an expanded Big Team Battle mode. However, these modes do not fully embrace the battle royale format.
Critics argue that the core elements of Halo, including powerful weapons, strong player-characters, a dynamic sandbox environment, and distinctive vehicles, may not seamlessly translate into the battle royale genre. The fear is that introducing a battle royale mode might dilute Halo’s unique gameplay experience, focusing more on trends than on the franchise’s strengths.
The future of Halo Infinite and the potential for a battle royale mode remain topics of discussion and speculation. The debate reflects a broader conversation about the direction of gaming franchises and the challenge of innovating while staying true to a series’ roots.