Halo: how to best expand your brand like the franchise!

3 min read

When it comes to videogaming the halo voice actors do a first-rate job of bringing the brand to life. Since its release over two decades ago, the media franchise has garnered glowing reviews. It has also generated tons of money, and inspired countless adaptations. A fitting example of this is the upcoming live-action TV show. The show tells a new story while still respecting the Halo canon. But why is there so much hype around a twenty-year-old game? Well, the popularity of the brand is a result of its iconic mascots. Master Chief Petty Officer John-117 and Cortana, his AI companion, are legendary video game characters. And both these characters are at the core of the Halo TV show. 

Halo: image of Master Chief
Image: Paramount

So, what is Halo about? 

At the core of the franchise is the experiences of the Master Chief. Together with Cortana, he’s tasked with containing the Covenant, an alliance of aliens warring against the human race. Despite speaking primarily through a helmet, Master Chief is a character that commands respect. His words though few are as vital to his character as his actions. Cortana on the other hand is a talkative foil to the master chief’s thoughtful and somewhat silent on-screen interactions. Both are crucial characteristics the halo voice actors had to concentrate on to transform these fictional avatars into live-action heroes. So who are the halo voice actors that epitomize these valiant characters? 

Who is the voice of Halo Master Chief?

Long-time voice actor Steve Downes has been the master chief voice actor since the very first Halo game. This man behind the voice brings the towering soldier front and center for the majority of the franchise. However, Downes originally had to represent the Master Chief role going off a simple character sketch. The primary focus was to create a Clint Eastwood–type soldier, a man of few words and more action. The character also underwent various updates and appearance revamps. The master chief voice actor had to pivot to capture just the right vocal essence required to meet the change. 

After Halo’s success, the brand considered recasting the halo voice actors with celebrity voice overs. However, Downes continued to voice the character. So the master chief voice actor had to infuse raw emotion to capture the heart of this supersoldier. It’s little wonder then that the Master chief is number one on the top-ten list of best halo characters

Halo: image of Cortana
Image: Paramount

Who is the voice actress for Cortana?

Cortana is just about as important to the world of Halo as the Master Chief is. Jen Taylor is the voice actress for Cortana and her voice has become so synonymous with the role that Showtime hired her to continue voicing Cortana in the live-action TV show. Taylor also voiced the Windows PC/Phone personal assistant from Microsoft that was named after the popular Halo character. In the TV show, Cortana retains her role of artificial intelligence which requires no physical interaction with other characters, so the voice of Taylor is one of the few voices that have not been recast. 

Why did they change Master Chief’s voice?

Despite its initial announcement in 2013, the development of the show took almost a decade to arrive. This is because adapting a video game of this magnitude to live-action has its own share of challenges. Especially when casting such iconic characters is such a delicate task.

One such task was recasting the role of Master Chief. Steve Downes served the role well for many years. Of course, now aged 71, he no longer fits the physical bill of a spartan supersoldier. The show plans to break tradition by revealing the face beneath the Master chief’s helmet. This is one of the main reasons Downes was replaced by Pablo Schreiber. Using Downes’ voice would mean having to dub the remainder of the character’s lines once the helmet was off. This could interrupt the viewers’ immersion in the halo environment.

Recasting a younger actor in the role allows for a better blend of physical and verbal interaction. This follows the new path the Halo franchise is moving in. Early reactions to the reveal of the new Master Chief have reportedly been overwhelmingly good. It means that the direction the Halo franchise is moving in still resonates with existing fans. The first episode set a record as Paramount’s most-watched show when it premiered globally. All because the show remains true to the game’s central theme. It also appeals to a new target audience of non-gamers. 

Halo: image of a girl's hands clasping a videogame controller
Image: Envato

How can you adapt Halo to your brand? 

Halos live-action TV show, although based on a video game, follows much more than just a shoot to win story. The show offers a more compelling look at the Master Chief’s character than any of the previous video games have done before. So, what works for the brand is tossing out the established story by focusing on telling a new one. This direction appeals to fans of the game while targeting viewers who are new to the franchise. So Halo’s advancement from the virtual world to the real world starts with the characters that make the brand. Steven Kane, Halo’s showrunner, said that in creating the TV show they didn’t focus on the game, instead, they talked about the characters and the world and this made all the difference in expanding the brand from successful game to successful live-action TV show.  

Final thoughts

The age of gaming has a direct impact on both the digital and physical world we live in. And voice actors play a pivotal part in making virtual characters believable. This is something that had a direct bearing on the Halo TV show because the brand was able to expand from a video game franchise to a TV show that appeals to even non-gamers. All made possible because of the impeccable skills of a set of truly remarkable Halo voice actors.  

So as you continue to navigate the virtual world and give your brand a truly awesome voice, we’d like to wish you every possible success. 

And as a final note, Voice123 has an abundance of voice actors to suit all your branding needs. So be sure to delve through these professional voices to find the Cortana or Master chief you need to magnify your brand. 

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