Gears of War 3 has been racking in the impressive sales numbers, Halo is still the 'crown jewel' in Microsoft's stable, according to Saber Interactive CEO Mathew Karch. This, despite Master Chief hasn't appeared in a game as the protagonist in four years.
Saber is co-developing Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary Edition with 343 Industries. They got the job because of their enthusiasm for the Halo franchise. According to Karch, "We gave them a very strong pitch and showed a lot of passion for it - they vetted us out very closely. We said 'we're going to over-deliver on this', 'we're going to beat your expectations', 'we're going to take it as seriously as we would a $20 million new IP that we need to go all in on'."
Karch added, "We realise how important this is and we've gone all in on it. It's Microsoft's crown jewel - that's my opinion. People can say Gears, but as big as Gears is it isn't Halo. I don't think they have a Gearsfest every year. I don't know, maybe they do, they had a Halofest and Anniversary was a key component of it and it showed really well."
Saber Interactive's next game is similar to Gears of War with a unique twist: just like Gears, it's a third person co-op shooter with a sticky cover mechanic - the twist is that players can manipulate gravity with The Grappler, which is very much like the Gravity Gun in Half-Life 2.