Worlds sometimes collide in the most expected ways. Destiny, a series of first-person shooters developed by Bungie and first released in 2014, is getting a slew of weapons from Halo, a series of first-person shooters developed by Bungie and first released in 2001.
Rumors around a crossover have swirled for some time now. Bungie turns the big 3-0 this year, and is planning an in-game Destiny 2 event “that pays homage to the adventures we’ve shared.” Initial promotional screenshots sent analytical fans into a tizzy over whether or not character silhouettes indicated inclusion of Halo-inspired firearms, like the quintessential battle rifle. Plus, not sure if you’ve heard, but there’s a new Halo out this week, one that seriously oozes original-trilogy vibes (when the series was under Bungie’s purview).
The stars aligned just a bit too neatly for anything short of, at the very least, a crossover on the scale of an end-credits stinger from a Marvel Cinematic Universe movie. A trailer for Bungie’s 30th anniversary event confirms as much:
Among the fray, you can make out four weapons that are unmistakably lifted from Halo, further detailed on Bungie’s site:
- The Forerunner, an exotic-tier sidearm, is clearly the all-powerful pistol from Halo: Combat Evolved.
- The legendary-tier BXR-55 Battler is a burst-fire pulse rifle akin to the burst-fire battle rifle that first debuted in Halo 2, which has gone on to become a series staple.
- The Half-Truths sword, also legendary, is the iconic energy swords often used by high-level Halo enemies. Though enemies wielded it in the first game, players couldn’t use one until Halo 2. It’s also become a series staple.
- The Retraced Path is a legendary-tier trace rifle that maps to Halo: Reach’s focus rifle. (The focus rifle is fundamentally the same as the beam rifle from other Halo games.)
Bungie says all of these items are all part of the “Dares of Eternity” event, which is free to all players. Other additions—including the return of the fan-favorite Gjallarhorn rocket launcher—are only available to those who pick up the Destiny 2 30th Anniversary Park.
Bungie, which was once wholly owned by Microsoft, went independent following the release of 2007’s Halo 3 in 2007. In going indie, the studio left the rights for Halo with Microsoft, but went on to develop and release two more games in the series for Xbox: Halo 3: ODST and Halo: Reach. Following the release of Reach, Microsoft established a new studio, 343 Industries, intended solely to keep the Halo machine churning. In the years since, 343 has released three full games—2012’s Halo 4, 2015’s Halo 5: Guardans, and this year’s Halo Infinite—alongside a collection bundling pretty much every Halo prior to Halo 5.
Earlier this year, Xbox head Phil Spencer told Axios Gaming that, under his leadership, he thinks Microsoft could’ve held onto Bungie, but fully acknowledged why the venerable studio would’ve wanted to go its own way.
“At the time, they had big ambitions. They had sold their business for a certain amount of money. They saw what Halo turned into,” Spencer said. “And it’s like, ‘OK, Microsoft benefited more than Bungie did from the success of Halo.’ There’s no other story that can be written there.”
For the past year and change, Destiny 2 and all its expansions have been part of Game Pass, Microsoft’s Netflix-for-games subscription service, significantly lowering the barrier for entry for some 18 million subscribers. But that changes this week, when Bungie will pull Destiny 2’s expansions from the Game Pass library, as the hype cycle revs up for February’s release of The Witch Queen expansion.