Microsoft has announced that a free to play version of Halo, entitled Halo Online, will start closed beta and eventually fully release on PC this year. The project has been running behind the scenes in collaboration with Saber Interactive and Innova Systems for a while and now it’s time to let players in to gather feedback.

The catch? The game is currently only slated to release in Russia.

Halo Online has no single player campaign but does have a tiny amount of story to motivate the multiplayer action. Halo Online runs on a heavily modified version of the Halo 3 engine and takes place on a secret UNSC space installation called Anvil, where Spartan-IV soldiers train together in war exercises to sharpen their battle skills.

Microsoft says they aren’t totally ruling out a release of Halo Online in America or Europe, but at the current time “our focus is on learning as much as we can from the closed beta period in Russia.”

What do you think of a Halo Online exclusive to Russia? Sound off in the comments below.

Mike "Magicman" Byrne has been a part of the MMOBomb family for years and serves as the site's current Editor-in-Chief. His love for MMOs and gaming in general has led him to covering games for numerous websites including Gamebreaker TV and XIV Nation where he proudly displays his fanboy flag for FFXIV:ARR.


  1. guess it was good i studied some russian in high school, i guess its a bummer for those who dont understand it šŸ˜€

    • Bummer that halo doesn’t need a translator to play. As long as they keep the controls the Same and add a controller support to it.

      • I don’t think this game is going to have controller support. Not if they did some research. Controller support is not something you want in a game “for Russia only”. Most Russians don’t have controllers and/or prefer mouse + keyboard in their games.

        • By default, any PC game developer has the M/K mapped out, the controller support will be an addition as always. Even if its a limited number of people who prefer the controller, understand that its a extra feature and has nothing to do with doing research. Mapping and scripting can be done in 5 minutes. having the UI to show the XBAY takes another 30.

  2. Ok as a halo fan i need to say this is a kick in the …..

    guess Halo online aint a big project since they will release it only in russia and my first reaction is also that the content seams to be lacking right there 1base training games? soo basically the mathcup from Halo3 with some extra lol’s prolly not the strongest way to come out today..

    I say im sad to hear they made such a weak game from something so good if this is the case, letts just not hope this kills Halo forever and that it will be brought up as a true online game at a later date.

    Developers and even microsoft needs to realize that we need to broaden the horizons of gaming today, we cant release the same type of FPS,Moba,MMO over and over and just expect that the player base will find it cool.

    New thinking games like fortnight that blends elements of a sandbox with fps and strategy is not a bad example on how a developer needs to think today. We dont invent the lamp since its allready invented, instead we might need to invent a car? right?

  3. Russia?? Home of online hackers.. Every shooter game its always the russian using Aimbot, or some kinda hack to win.

  4. Either they are crazy or their game is horrible. First of all, we don’t have many Halo fans in Russia, because very few people own a console (PC gaming is much more affordable here). And on top of that our national currency went to the sh****ers recently, so they can’t expect to make a whole lot of money off of us.

    Ah, well… At least they won’t have much competition on the market.

    P.S. It’s kind of strange that I find out about this game here, and not from its Russian publisher. >_>


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