Skip to main content

Steam may offer an unexpected new home for the first three Halo games

Halo 3
Image used with permission by copyright holder

When you visit Valve Software’s Steam service, the digital distribution platform presents itself as a comprehensive, intuitive store front. That’s a huge boon for the success of Steam, but it belies all the hard work that goes into the service. For instance, every time a new game is added to Steam, the title must first be added to a massive database of available games – and for the most part publishers would like this addition to be as stealthy as possible, lest it overshadow their own internal plans for a dramatic announcement. Usually Valve is pretty good about keeping such things under wraps, but the most recent update to the Steam database includes a very surprising mention of the first three Halo titles.

Using a tool called “CDR,” Steam fans recently pulled down the contents of the service’s most recent games database update and discovered a number of new games that seem to be headed to the platform. Alongside the Halo games, the list includes titles like the indie platformer (and Xbox 360 exclusive) Fez, The King of Fighters XIII, and Duke Nukem 3D: Atomic Edition. Have a look at the full roster: 

  • La-Mulana
  • The Splatters
  • Octodad: Dadliest Catch Beta
  • Duke Nukem 3D: Atomic Edition (Duke Nukem 3D+)
  • Super House of Dead Ninjas
  • Fez
  • LucasArts Test App
  • Fast and Furious 6
  • Lococycle
  • Yogventures!
  • Hardware
  • Hardware (Demo)
  • Dyad
  • Cut the Rope
  • Shadow Warrior Complete
  • Hardware (VIP)
  • Hardware (Internal)
  • The King of Fighters XIII
  • Retro/Grade
  • Resident Evil: Revelations
  • The King of Fighters 2002 Unlimited Match
  • The King of Fighters ’98 Ultimate Match
  • Quantum Conundrum 2
  • Halo 3
  • Halo 2
  • Halo: Combat Evolved
  • The Witness
  • Angry Birds Space
  • Angry Birds Seasons
  • Second Life
There’s no word on when these games might appear on Steam and technically this isn’t a guarantee that it will happen, but it is the closest alternative to absolute certainty we might see, so we expect announcements for each of these titles to crop up in the near future. The Halo announcement is likely to be particularly hyped. After the above list was published the Steam database was rapidly updated to excise the Halo listings.

Normally any game appearing on Steam would not be seen as news – Steam is the biggest games-based digital distribution platform of our modern era, after all – but the Halo franchise is an exception. In the past Microsoft has never allowed a Halo game to be released on any platform that it doesn’t exert at least majority control over. The closest Microsoft has ever come to dropping a Halo game into the lawless wilderness would be the PC releases of the first two Halo titles, though with Microsoft’s dominance of the PC industry via its Windows operating system these games weren’t exactly beholden to the whims of other companies. 

Even more surprising is the listing for Halo 3. Prior to this database being leaked to the public by clever amateur hackers, there was no hint that Halo 3 might be headed to PCs. Its two predecessors did, and Halo 2’s PC iteration even boasts an active online community to this day (over seven years after its retail debut), yet Microsoft has stood by its decision not to offer Halo 3 to PC gamers. Perhaps it doesn’t see the value in a PC version, or it just wants the Halo franchise to be associated purely with the firm’s Xbox division. Whatever the reason Halo fans have long been upset that the only way to enjoy Halo 3 has been via the XBox 360.

In the past, games that appear in Steam database listings are generally close to release, so while this information can’t be seen as totally official just yet, we expect Microsoft and/or Valve to serve up a full announcement on the upcoming Halo trilogy releases in short order. Following the release of this news, Microsoft told Kotaku that “We currently do not have plans to release any ‘Halo‘ titles on Steam,” said a Microsoft spokesperson. The key word is, of course, “currently.”   

Editors' Recommendations

Earnest Cavalli
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Earnest Cavalli has been writing about games, tech and digital culture since 2005 for outlets including Wired, Joystiq…
Is XDefiant cross-platform?

Ubisoft's latest shooter is looking to break into the very competitive free-to-play market with XDefiant. This is a third-party studio that very rarely releases any of its games on a single platform, and a multiplayer shooter like this needs to be available in as many places as possible to succeed. However, if it doesn't have cross-platform support, then it might as well be exclusive since the player base will be split regardless.

Has XDefiant made the critical error of not having any cross-platform support, or can you pick up this game knowing you will be able to find a match easily? Let's find out.
Is XDefiant cross-platform?
Yes, XDefiant is thankfully fully cross-platform between PC, Xbox Series X, and PlayStation 5. That makes it all the easier to convince a friend to give it a try since it costs nothing and you can all play together even if you don't have the same console. You also have the option to turn off cross-play if you prefer to stick to only matching up against others on your system. A future update is also planned to allow console players to exclude PC players from cross-play to remove any advantages they may have using keyboard and mouse over controllers.

Read more
XDefiant Twitch drops: rewards list and how to redeem them
A character in XDefiant

Ubisoft is giving XDefiant a big push for its full release. Not only is this a completely free shooter with full cross-platform support, but the team is dishing out free rewards for anyone who tunes in to Twitch streams of the game over the next six weeks. That's a lot of potential rewards, but you need to know what streams to tune into and how you can claim those drops. We'll also give you a rundown of each reward you can get week by week to make sure you don't miss out on your next favorite gun skin.
How to redeem XDefiant Twitch drops
Starting at 9 a.m. PT on May 21, Ubisoft will begin hosting the first XDefiant stream called the All-Star Series. After this initial stream, rewards will be given out each week on any XDefiant stream you decide to watch.

You can earn three rewards every week for the first six weeks of XDefiant's launch. The first unlocks after watching for 30 minutes, the second after 1 hour, and the final reward for 1 hour and 30 minutes of total watch time that week. To redeem the rewards, you need to first make sure your Twitch account is linked to your Ubisoft account.

Read more
The Witcher 3 REDkit is out and it makes modding easier than ever
Geralt from The Witcher 3 and his horse Roach.

Modders got some good news on Tuesday with the release of The Witcher 3 REDkit, a free tool that Witcher developer CD Projekt Red says will allow people to edit "almost everything within the game."

REDkit was developed mainly by Yigsoft, a developer that's worked alongside CD Projekt Red on The Witcher 3 and Cyberpunk 2077. According to a blog post, the tool is similar to ones used to create The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt (although REDkit's store page notes that "achieving the full scope of development akin to the original creators may require access to external tools"). The post also says that more tutorials and documentation will be unveiled soon, but people who want to hop in immediately can do so. The REDkit is now free to download on Steam,, and the Epic Games Store.

Read more