Microsoft closed out their Gamescom press conference with the surprise announcement of Halo Wars 2, a sequel to the 2009 Xbox 360–exclusive real-time strategy game.
Developed by Halo stewards 343 Industries and Total War developer Creative Assembly, Halo Wars 2 will be arriving on both Xbox One and Windows 10 in fall 2016.
The announcement debut trailer didn’t offer much in the way of detail beyond the game’s existence, but it does confirm (unsurprisingly) that the UNSC and the Covenant Brutes will likely be returning as factions. Whether they’ll be joined by any others—and how exactly the game will fit into the Halo canon—remains to be seen.
The first Halo Wars was relatively well received by critics, especially in translating RTS gameplay to the console space. Still, a sequel seemed unlikely after Microsoft shuttered the developer behind the first game, Ensemble Studios, shortly after launch. A partnership with Creative Assembly makes perfect sense, however, since the studio has decades of experience with RTS titles and have proven capable when working with outside licenses.