Kiki Wolfkill, who has one of the coolest names in the video game industry, and Frank O’Connor from 343 Industries took the stage at D.I.C.E. to talk about the challenges of building a brand-new studio, and taking over the massive "Halo" franchise.
O’Connor began by explaining the daunting challenges of building that new studio. The first challenge was to build the studio itself, while the second was to take over a beloved franchise that a lot of people had developed a deep love and appreciation for. That brings a tremendous amount of pressure to a team and a product, when you are expected to create something that the wants to be great right out of the box.
Communicating to the wide "Halo" audience was a new challenge for the company, which really began to stretch its legs when they released the "Halo: The Fall" of Reach novel back in 2001. According to O’Connor, that was pure opportunism on their part, but it opened up the transmedia options for the franchise as a strategy for communicating the nature of the universe and the backstory to the audience. All but two of their novels have been New York Times bestsellers, which has expanded the property beyond just the people who play the game.