It was reported last month that Halo 5’s custom map toolset, Forge, would be arriving on Windows 10 as a free release sometime later this year. It was thought that this could signal Microsoft’s intention to bring the full game to the PC, but that now seems unlikely. However, one thing that looks almost certain is that the next installment of the franchise, Halo 6, will be available on Windows 10.
Microsoft announced the Xbox Play Anywhere initiative at E3 this week, which allows participating games to be played on both Xbox One and PC at no extra cost when bought digitally. Some of the titles taking part in the program include Gears of War 4, State of Decay 2, and Scalebound. Many of them, including GOW 4, allow cross-platform play.
One question that’s been thrown up by the initiative is whether it means certain franchises that were previously only available on the console will now come to PC. According to Xbox boss Phil Spencer, yes it does.
In an interview with PC Gamer, Spencer said he's "not about putting content only on console to manipulate Windows gamers to go buy an Xbox."
Spencer suggests the reason why a complete version of Halo 5 likely won’t be coming to Windows 10 is because rather than have Halo developer 343 industries update the game for PC, it is focusing on what's possible with Halo 6. “I can go take last year’s game, rework it to go on PC, or I can have 343 look forward in what they’re going to go do," he said.
Spencer went on to compare Forge’s PC release to Forza: Apex, the heavily cut-down, free-to-play Windows 10 version of Xbox One title Forza Motorsport 6. He said that future Forza titles would arrive on the PC as full games, and it seems the same will happen with the Halo franchise - complete with cross-platform multiplayer.
As a way of all but confirming Halo's return to Windows, PC Gamer asked Spencer if there would be any ideological reason Microsoft might not release the next Halo on Windows 10, to which he replied: “not at all.”