'Halo 5: Guardians' Release Date Coming Next Year: Beta Will Be 'Real'

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"Halo 5: Guardians" will launch next year.

Developer 343 Industries will launch its beta for upcoming first-person shooter “Halo 5: Guardians” this December. Though most beta tests are designed to help improve the overall experience of the finished product, the Kirkland, Washington-based company claims this won’t be a simple network test, but a real beta.

"We'll be adding a lot of new things in Halo 5, but we want to talk to classic Halo fans about what makes a great Halo experience, and we think we're going to get a lot of good data from them,"  “Halo” franchise development director Frank O’Connor told Eurogamer on Monday.  "And it's a real beta. Sometimes a beta is maybe a good way to test performance on your network. We'll be looking at every single aspect of how people play this, and we have a lot of time to actually take meaningful feedback."

O’Connor added that the beta will be an important measure of how people will play “Halo 5.”

"We're trying to mine it for all the data we can get," he said. "Not just network data or performance data. It's like, how are people playing? How are they adapting to the new features? How are they dealing with new weapons? There will be a huge amount of data for us to look at."

This will be the first installment since 2013’s “Halo: Spartan Assault,” a third-person shooter set in the timeframe between “Halo 3” and “Halo 4.” The title received mixed reviews. “Halo 4” launched for the Xbox 360 in 2012 and grossed $220 million on its launch day and $300 million during its opening week, setting a record for the Microsoft franchise.

The development of “Halo 5: Guardians” was announced during E3 last year, along with a trailer depicting a post-“Halo 4” Master Chief.

“‘Halo’” isn’t simply a perennial game franchise, it’s a part of the Xbox platform itself. In terms of innovation and ideation, it’s sometimes important to people who might not even play ‘Halo,’” Bonnie Ross, general manager of 343 Industries said on the Xbox blog last month. “And of course it’s a passion and an essential experience for two generations of gamers. So we asked ourselves, how do we begin and where do we go with ‘Halo’ on Xbox One?”

“Halo 5” will launch sometime during the third or fourth quarter of 2015 for Microsoft’s Xbox One.

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