Microsoft's decision to release Halo 4 last year made it impossible for the company to bring out a new Halo title for the launch of Xbox One, corporate vice president Phil Spencer told Kotaku, explaining the lack of Master Chief in this year's launch window line up.
"A couple of years ago we had the discussion of: 'Should we do Halo at launch and not do Halo 4 last year?'" said Spencer.
"But I was committed to getting Halo 4 done last year, and there was no way we were going to turn around with 343 a full Halo game in a year. So that was the plan we set on. I feel good about that."
In order to create a new title in the series in time for the launch of the new console, Microsoft would have had to begun development in 2010, he added; However, allowing developer 343 Industries to ship their internally developed project first was the priority.
"Unlike some franchises that manage through 1,000 people, Halo is 343 and that team obviously has tight control.They are our Halo team," he explained.
"A discussion around having a Halo game at launch, a true Halo at launch, meaning like a Halo 4 or 5-size game, would have been something we'd have had to start two or three years ago. We had the discussion, and we thought having Halo 4 come out when it came out from 343 and having them really land their first full version of Halo that they developed internally would be great for the 360 customers, great for 343 in shipping something."
Halo 4 launched last year, making $300 million in its first week. A new game in the series is confirmed to be in development for Xbox One.