Halo co-creator reacts to TV series: ‘Not the Halo I made’

I have not watched the Halo television show on Paramount+, so I have no opinions on it. Former Halo art director Marcus Lehto has seen it, however, and he does have opinions—and he hasn’t been shy about sharing them on Twitter.

Lehto was with Bungie from the early days, credited for graphics and artwork on Myth: The Fallen Lords before becoming art director on Halo: Combat Evolved, a role he held through Halo 2 and 3. He then served as creative director on Halo: Reach, the last Halo game to be developed by Bungie, before leaving the studio in 2012.

It’s fair to say that history entitles him to some thoughts about the Halo TV series, and he’s been sharing a few of them on Twitter. “I’m still getting through the series. Lots of mixed emotions and opinions!” he said last weekend, when a follower first asked him about it.

That opinion seemed to harden a couple of days later, though. “I’m not sure where the inspiration for the show comes from now,” he tweeted during a conversation with followers. “Not the Halo I made.” In response to another fan, he quickly clarified the point: “The Halo I helped make.”

Yeah, I’m not sure where the inspiration for the show comes from now. Not the Halo I made.May 16, 2022

It sounds pretty harsh, but Lehto later noted that he wasn’t implying criticism, just change. “For clarity, I never said I didn’t like it,” he tweeted later on. “It’s just so different than the Halo I helped make—it’s like a different universe.

“I actually like some of the battle scenes. Cool action and some great VFX. In particular, the plasma hit effects in ep1 are spot on.”

I didn’t say I hate the show. Some parts are interesting. Just confused by many of the choices that were made which feel pretty far outside the core fiction I helped create.May 18, 2022

It’s not too hard to understand Lehto’s perspective. He’s one of the original leading figures responsible for the creation of Halo so he’s bound to have deep connections to it, but he’s also been away from the series for well over a decade—Halo: Reach came out in 2010. Things have changed a lot since then, and it’s fair for Lehto (or anyone, really) to say that it’s cool, but it ain’t my Halo.

(To be fair, the Halo series didn’t exactly knock our socks off either, although chatter around the virtual office suggests some have warmed to it. It’s amazing what a little ass can do.)

When he’s not talking about the Halo TV series on Twitter, Lehto is heading up a new studio at Electronic Arts, where he’s working on the Battlefield series.