Bungie founder Alex Seropian has said he's "a little bit" nervous about Halo 4, but given 343 Industries' reverence for the franchise and Microsoft's megabucks, he can't see the game being a disappointment.
Seropian left Bungie in 2002 and went onto found his own studio, Wideload Games, which was acquired by Disney in 2009. He's presently bossman at mobile games studio Industrial Toys.
"It's so crazy in an interesting way," Seropian commented, when Gamespot asked how it felt to see a third party handle Halo. "I've been an observer for a while now. So much has gone on with the franchise.
"I will say the encouraging thing is that I know a lot of the folks at Microsoft working on it and they are great people. I'm very hopeful that the team there is very fantastic. They are certainly treating it with a lot of care and respect. And applying the resources you'd like to see applied to a franchise like that. I'm hopeful that it will continue to bring the high production value and cool experiences it's known for."
Has Seropian sampled 343's previous Halo work, Combat Evolved Anniversary? "Yeah. It brought back a lot of memories. It was all great."
But is he at all "nervous" about Halo 4? "A little bit. But I don't think I can be anything other than hopeful that it will be great. We'll see. Halo is one of the crown jewels in the Microsoft gaming IP, if not the crown jewel, so you would expect nothing less than for them to take the time needed and apply the resources needed to make it great.
"I would be pretty surprised if they wiffed it. Maybe it will bring a fresh perspective, and that's so hard because there's so many fans that are used to a particular thing that bringing something new is often...it's hard to bring something new to a franchise that's so established. I'm looking forward to it."
Check out our round-up of Halo 4 gameplay, plot and feature details if you haven't already. The game's out late this year (a fake Halo 4 release date surfaced yesterday). I called for 343 to take a few risks in a recent blog post - do you agree? Or would you rather the series stuck to its guns?