Bungie's writers considered extending the saga of Master Chief beyond Halo 3 - whose ending certainly left an opening for it - before settling on the prequel story of the Fall of Reach, the studio's community manager said.

It's hardly a shock; when last seen, Master Chief was entering cryonic sleep on a ship adrift in space. (The video is above. Don't play it if you don't want to know the details.) Perhaps it's more of a surprise the studio veered away from one of gaming's most well known characters, who needs no introduction and whose exploits already have a narrative context.

"Even before the idea to build a game based around Reach came about, a lot of other concepts were explored, up to and including a proper 'Halo 4,' where Master Chief was going to wake up from cryo-sleep and we were going to tell that story," Bungie's Brian Jarrard told MTV Multiplayer.

The idea never made it past pre-production, though.

Jarrard went on to explain that the idea never made it out of pre-production. "It just wasn't as interesting to the team to just pick up where that left off and all the baggage that came with it," he told MTV Multiplayer.

Jarrard says the prequel also is a better fit, both for the series creators as well as players: "We don't want to open up a whole bunch of doors that we're not going to close. By the end of this, it's all going to come to a nice, neat finish, and if people want to then go play the Halo trilogy, I think they'll have a better understanding of what's going on, but it's not required at all."

Bungie Considered 'Halo 4,' Starring Master Chief, Instead Of 'Reach' Prequel [MTV Multiplayer]