The world is still getting an original live-action television series based on the Halo video games, but it looks like Xbox Live subscribers won’t be the first to watch it.
Microsoft, who is producing the series through its Xbox Entertainment Studios arm, is close to making a deal with premium cable TV station Showtime, reports Variety. The deal would see the Halo show premiere new episodes via Showtime first and then become available to Xbox Live subscribers afterward.
The company first announced plans for the series nearly a year ago along with the news of its new Xbox One game console. The series is getting produced in partnership with Steven Spielberg and should be due out in the near future.
About 10 original shows are supposed to be produced under Xbox Entertainment Studios, as VentureBeat previously reported. Initially, it looked like the original shows were all suppose to debut on Xbox Live, but if the Showtime deal for Halo is true, that might change.
Nancy Tellem, head of Xbox Entertainment Studios, said in a recent press briefing that Microsoft had not precisely decided how each show would be launched, as some of the television shows will have varying degrees of interactivity while some will be passive like traditional TV. The shows targeted for the Xbox One video game console will be the most interactive, but shows targeted at Showtime will presumably be passive viewing experiences. Microsoft had also not specified whether some shows will debut as free features for all Xbox Live members, or for just paying Xbox Live Gold members, or if they would be required to pay additional fees.
Besides the Halo TV series, Microsoft is also working on a “digital feature” based on the Halo universe. That feature will come from 343 Industries and famed director Ridley Scott’s Scott Free Productions. It is set for a release later this year. The project’s executive producers are Ridley Scott and Scott Free TV president David Zucker. Sergio Mimica-Gezzan (Battlestar Galactica, The Pillars of the Earth, Heroes) will direct the show.