When Halo 4 launches on November 6, 2012, it won't be alone; 343 Industries will be getting fans psyched up in the weeks leading to the release with the Machinima.com and Halo Waypoint-hosted live action web series, Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn.
The series will unfold over the course of five weekly episodes, each one about 15 minutes long, Variety reports. The story will reveal how Master Chief "inspired a young UNSC cadet who will eventually become a leader aboard the UNSC Infinity spacecraft." This apparently has direct ties with the plot of Halo 4.
343's Frank O'Connor says that the fans have only themselves to thank for this web series. "Every time we do a live-action commercial the audience says, 'We want to see more so that we can explore the 'Halo' universe a little bit more. Demand grew more and more out of the two little vignettes we'd previously produced," he said.
Microsoft has a larger plan at work here as well, to package the full series after it's done so that it can be brought to other platforms. Success could lead to a Hollywood production as well, looking further out, but for now the web series is considered "the next step" for the franchise.
Baby steps, that's fine. We all saw what happened the last time Microsoft set out to get a Halo movie made.