In an interview with X-One magazine earlier this month, actor Mike Coulter — who plays Agent Jameson Locke in the Halo: Nightfall TV series and upcoming Halo 5: Guardians — stated that he will be the "primary character" of Halo 5. However, a brief post from 343 Industries' Frank O'Connor on NeoGAF states that previous protagonist Master Chief isn't going anywhere.
"Once Halo: The Master Chief Collection is released, and then Halo 5 comes out shortly thereafter, you're basically going to be playing a game with me as the primary character," Colter told X-One. "I'll have some cool weaponry, and some cool abilities, because by that time I'll be a Spartan IV."
O'Connor, the franchise development director for the Halo series took to the forum under his username Stinkles to debunk rumors that the developer would be phasing out Master Chief.
"'A' primary character," O'Connor wrote of Coulter's words, indicating that while Locke will be a major force in the game, just not the main one. "Chief is the main character and hero."
In response to a statement that 343 is possibly "gonna test the waters to see if they can retire Master Chief," O'Connor's response was brief.
"NO. The end," he wrote.
Halo: The Master Chief Collection and the Halo: Nightfall serires launch on Nov. 11, while Halo 5: Guardians is set to be released sometime next year.