From what I'm given to understand, didn't Halo 4 sell significantly less than the previous Halo games? Surely if your main franchise is starting to suffer from dwindling sales, it's a better idea to take a few years off in order to work on some really fresh ideas, then surprise people with it and get them hyped a little way down the road.
Milking the tits off a cow people are already getting tired of doesn't seem like good animal husbandry to me. You just end up with a dead cow, and no-one to sell any beef to. Or something. Analogies.
Technically yes, but arguably not to as great a degree as what you've heard. Halo 3
was the peak of the series sales-wise, at slightly less than twelve million; the following game, Reach
, dropped to about nine and a half million. Halo 4
, at over eight million sales, runs about neck-and-neck with Halo 2
, which claimed an absolute monopoly on Xbox Live multiplayer at its release. Heck, the first game "only" sold about six and a half million copies, and that was the game credited with selling the original Xbox. Personally, I'd pin a lot of the sales droop since Halo 3
on the online-multiplayer-only crowd jumping ship to Call of Duty
, since that franchise stole the crown between Halo 3
's release in 2007 and Reach
's in 2010. Thanks to the franchise fatigue you described, I don't expect sales to pick up for the foreseeable future, but what with Halo
, future games' sales should at least remain relatively stable. (Granted, whether that reprieve is warranted - i.e. probably not - is a different matter.)
However, that means 343i is pretty much bound to only make Halo, kinda sucks from the developers' point.
Considering that 343 Industries was created specifically for the purpose of continuing the Halo
franchise (hence the name), I thought that was kind of a given, both for us and the 343 employees.