Was it a conscious decision by Bungie to not kill off Masterchief at the end of Halo 3 so that 343 could take the reigns and continue using him? Or did 343 just take what they were given and devise a way to make it so that they wouldn't need a new character?
I remember hearing when they made reach the original idea (or at least one direction they were thinking about taking) was to continue on from the legendary ending of Halo 3, so I think Bungie had some idea of where they would have taken it if they went down that path so hopefully 343 will develop on that idea whatever that was for 4,
@CandiBunni: The reason why they keep re using him is cause it's not really a character, he's become a brand now. You see Master Chief you think "Halo". Microsoft aren't gonna just throw away a symbol as recognisable as Master Chief. And really I don't mind them using him again, the Halo games have never really been about compelling characters, more about large scale "plots" with really well engineered action.
The real reason he's still a character is because he's not really a character.
Let me explain. Let's say they kill off Master Chief. What kind of character would the next game have? Obviously it'd have to be a strong tough military guy. That's basically all MC is. I'm not saying this as a bad thing, I'm saying it like it is.. Halo isn't exactly a game about depth of Character. Killing off MC would only mean they have to make a new character that's basically identical. This does nothing other than waste time and annoy fans who are into him.
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