Russians are a very lucky people. They get to play a new Halo game called Halo Online, developed by Sabre Interactive and Innova Systems. Of course the game is developed under the watchful eye of 343 Industries, a Microsoft wholly owned computer gaming company that focuses specifically on Halo and the Halo franchise.
Halo Online is only being released in Russia for reasons unknown to us. I personally think that Russia was chosen specifically as a closed beta test country for several reasons. First, low-end PC users. Russia is known for its abundance of ‘low end’ PCs. Unlike other parts of the world where games are usually marketed, Russians don’t have a high quantity of high-end gaming PC users in its population. Russians do game, but unlike their North American counterparts it’s probably easier to sort out game performance for a game using an old game technology [Halo 3 Engine] where there aren’t so many different types of new hardware. Second, lots of hackers. There are many, many computer hackers in Russia. Microsoft and 343i surely knew this expecting these people to target the game and hack Halo Online right away. In my opinion, this would help facilitate development during the beta test to block these ‘game invaders’ and root out problems. Third, recruitment. Russia is not only a place where hackers and game exploiters reside, but it is a country were several game-modder groups hang out. Modders are already causing problems with the game, illegally re-writing Halo Online’s launcher and data files. This is certainly a problem for any game developer who doesn’t want to have its game exploited. This again is just my opinion, but Microsoft could go so far as to recruit and pay these individuals to further develop the game. Not only can Microsoft do this since these modders are probably Halo fans and have the required computer skills, but hiring from this specific group of “programmers” also protects the code from hackers since these Russian coders already have inside information about the latest techniques everyone in the hacker community uses.
Think that a game using old technology running on low-end PCs has no chance of making real money? Think again. Counter Strike has been making great money for Valve Corporation for years. Counter Strike is a huge target for hackers and modders as well. Despite these threats, Valve’s game is hugely successful on gaming consoles as well as lower end PCs. Microsoft realizes that and is making large moves with to get in on the online game business model. With dedicated servers and utilizing modders who are fans of Halo, Microsoft’s new game should be fairly successful!
Check out the latest gameplay with Halo Online 60fps: