For all their attempts at space opera 101, the real pull for a lot of Halo fans wasn't the struggle between humanity and a vast alien empire. It was multiplayer. Sweet, balanced, near-pefect multiplayer. But did you know that one of the series' most important legacies almost never made the cut? Hardy LeBel - who aside from having a fantastic name also worked on the first Halo's MP (he's now with Ubisoft working on Far Cry 2) - explains:
When we got bought by Microsoft, Alex Seropian and Jason Jones, who were the two principals of Bungie, came to me and [former Bungie engineer and animator] Michael Evans, and said, "Multiplayer is cut from Halo because we're trying to make it really work on the console and we just don't have the resources." But we threw a fit and were like, "No way! You can't cut it! It's just too cool!" They said, "We were hoping you'd say that — because you two guys have to resurrect it."
Oh, what could have been. A world without Blood Gulch isn't a world worth living in. In-Depth: Why Halo's Multiplayer Almost Didn't Make It [Gamasutra]