They had rough cut working "very early on" but the game was already an "incredibly ambitious" project, with an "aggressive schedule" to keep on track.
"We joked about it from time to time and even had a rough version of it working very early on in development," said Halo creative director Marcus Lehto.
"But the mechanics of it were pretty silly and we very quickly realised that the resulting gameplay experience wouldn't hit the bar we were aiming for, nor justify the amount of work required," he added. It was based on the 'Long Night of Solace' campaign level.
"With so many features and so much content already committed, Reach was an incredibly ambitious project on an already aggressive schedule." Even without a chance to smear your opponents into a fine paste on the hull of a mighty starship, Halo: Reach sold like hot cakes. New maps arrive tomorrow for Bungie's Halo swan song.