Halo: the novelisation of games

June 28, 2011

When Star Wars: episode IV : a new hope hit the big screen in 1977 it was a huge success and led to a myriad of franchise elements – alongside clothing and toys there arose an ongoing range of novels following the exploits and adventures of the numerous characters and exploring the worlds this space opera movie series introduces. More recently it has become common practice for high grossing movies to produce a broader range of merchandise to satisfy public demand, this expansion is not just into clothing, novels and toys but also into games – for example, Pirates of the Caribbean and Avatar.

The flip of this is when a game does the reverse and produces clothing, toys, movies and novels.

When Halo: combat evolved was launched on xbox in 2001 it was a huge success and led to a massive cult following. Not only have there been more games (Halo 2, Halo Wars, Halo 3, Halo 3: ODST, and Halo: Reach), a dvd of short animated films (Halo Legends) and plans for a movie, but a range of novels written by noted sci-fi writers exploring much of the back-story to the world of Halo and the various characters met and played throughout the games. The true value of these novels  (The Fall of Reach,The Cole Protocol,  The Flood, First Strike, Ghosts of Onyx, Contact Harvest, and Evolutions) is the way they complement the story-line of the Halo games and satisfy public demand whilst waiting for the next game to be launched.

Halo is a space opera, the games transport players to an alien landscape which is both familiar and foreign and where the aliens species are both enemy and friend. The Halo novels allow further explorations of these landscapes, and relationships, and satisfy player demand to know more about these worlds. It’s also pretty cool that a game is so popular, among its unique audience, that it demands and gets its own novel series.

CatyJ

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