Microsoft has a ton of original TV shows in the works for the Xbox One, and no series has been quite so anticipated as the Halo show being executive produced by Steven Spielberg. But now, Variety is reporting that Spielberg's Halo may not actually be an Xbox exclusive — a decision that would mean Microsoft is giving up its biggest draw to Xbox's original content push. A deal is reportedly underway to develop the series alongside Showtime, which will air the episodes first before they head over to the console. It's not stated how long the window would be between their airtimes.
Even a small window would be a major loss for MicrosoftThe one added draw that Microsoft would be able to bring to the series is interactivity — a feature that it's been pushing throughout all of its original content. It's unclear what the interactivity will be, especially if the show is designed for a traditional TV network as well, but that could allow Microsoft to still reap some benefits of Halo's popularity without making quite as big of an investment as it otherwise may need to in order to get the series. Even so, losing exclusivity would mean losing viewers — and potentially a lot, depending on how large the window is between episodes or seasons.
The Spielberg-produced series isn't Microsoft's only Halo content in the works though. It also announced last week that Ridley Scott will be an executive producer on an upcoming digital feature, presumably a film. If Microsoft is indeed giving up exclusivity on Spielberg's series, it may be hoping that Scott's feature can win it back some of that attention. Details on both Halo projects are still surprisingly limited considering their high profile, but with the first Xbox Originals beginning to arrive next month, Microsoft may want to have something to share soon.