The original Halo Wars holds a special place in the hearts of Halo Nation as the most successful real-time strategy game in console history, with fans still clocking more than one million hours on Xbox Live each month via Xbox 360 and backward compatibility on Xbox One. We were introduced to Captain Cutter and the crew of the UNSC Spirit of Fire, fought the battles of humanity’s first encounters against the Covenant, and commanded armies en masse. Halo Wars proved that real-time strategy could be done successfully on console. Our goal with Halo Wars 2 is to take everything you loved about the first game, and bring it to the next level with the perfect partner in Creative Assembly – legends in the RTS genre. We also heard loud and clear that you wanted to play on PC.
Today, at E3, we announced that Halo Wars 2 is coming to Windows 10 PC and Xbox One on February 21, 2017. As many of you may remember from gamescom 2015, we originally announced fall 2016 as our targeted launch window. Development on Halo Wars 2 remains on track to be finished this year, but we made the decision to move the game to next spring, in order to give it room to breathe. We want fans to have a clear window to enjoy a game that we feel incredibly excited about! Also, with all the great games coming to Xbox One and Windows 10 this fall, gamers will have plenty to keep them busy, and they will have Halo Wars 2 to look forward to in early 2017.
With that said, you won’t have to wait until next year to play Halo Wars 2. In the Xbox booth at E3, you can play the Strongholds game mode on both the Xbox One and Windows 10 PC versions of Halo Wars 2. Also, starting today, anyone with an Xbox One and Xbox Live Gold can download the Halo Wars 2 Multiplayer Beta, which features two game modes over the course of a week. Here’s more on each mode:
- Domination will be available from today through June 16. Domination is the classic RTS gameplay from Halo Wars, now with all-new units, leaders, special abilities, and the amazing depth of Halo Wars 2. Players will build their bases and armies, and battle for control of the map and supremacy on the Ark.
- Deathmatch will be available from June 17 until June 20. In Deathmatch, you’ll plan and build your base and army – but instead of fighting for map control, you’ll fight until only one player remains standing.
This represents a beta in its truest sense, a snapshot of our game in-progress. This isn’t a “marketing beta” right before launch; we are eight months away from release, and so there will be bugs and kinks that you’ll experience in our multiplayer beta. Getting feedback and telemetry in a public beta setting will be crucial to our gameplay tuning for launch, so we wanted to give everyone access to the game as soon as we could. We want your help and feedback in order to to make Halo Wars 2 amazing!
We also know that PC gamers may ask why the current multiplayer beta is only available on Xbox One. We’re working hard to make sure that the PC experience lives up to expectations, and we simply couldn’t get a beta ready in time for E3 that would address the variety of specs across PC rigs. We will be doing a second beta closer to launch that will be available on both Windows 10 PC and Xbox One. We’ll also have the Windows 10 PC version playable across myriad events throughout 2016.
Speaking of Xbox One and Windows 10 PC, we’re very excited to be an Xbox Play Anywhere title! This means that a single digital purchase of Halo Wars 2 on Xbox One or Windows 10 PC will get you access to the other version at no additional cost. Whether you prefer the comfort of your living room couch with a controller or want to put your PC rig through its paces with 4K resolution and mouse-and-keyboard controls, the barriers of picking a platform no longer apply to Halo Wars 2 and many other titles.
Be sure to stay tuned to Xbox Wire – tomorrow, we’ll be sharing more information on pre-orders and the Ultimate Edition of Halo Wars 2, which will include Halo Wars: Definitive Edition, among other exciting bonuses!