Pilgrim Media Group is partnering with 343 Industries, developer of the Halo video game franchise, to develop an e-sports series featuring Halo 5: Guardians. Published by Microsoft Studios, the Halo franchise has registered more than $5 billion in sales to date. The game has a strong presence in e-sports, central to the Halo World Championship and the Halo Championship Series; the latter’s Pro League Finals is held Dec. 10-11.
Earlier this year, Pilgrim, in collaboration with Lionsgate and e-sports giant ESL, announced plans to create and distribute original e-sports entertainment content for television and digital platforms; this deal pegs Halo 5: Guardians as the first project to emerge from that joint initiative.
“We continue to be blown away by the sheer excitement surrounding e-sports; the scope and buzz are growing every day,” said Craig Piligian, Pilgrim Media Group CEO. “E-sports and Halo fans are exceedingly passionate about gaming and devoted to their favorite titles and franchises—they are exactly the kind of audience we want to produce for.”
According to Baird Equity Research, the e-sports industry was a $200 million business in 2015 that is expected to climb to $1 billion in revenue by 2018. Agency giant WME-IMG and Turner Broadcasting are partners on the worldwide e-sports league ELeague.
“We’re thrilled to be partnering with Pilgrim on developing a reality series that will bring the intensity and extreme competition of Halo 5: Guardians e-sports to a television audience,” stated Kiki Wolfkill, studio head of Halo Transmedia. “There is no better partner than Pilgrim to give our fans insight into the world of Halo e-sports.”
Producers have been keen to adapt Halo to screens large and small. Among the various projects, Halo: Nightfall was an Xbox digital series from Ridley Scott, while Steven Spielberg is developing a series for Showtime.
Pilgrim Media Group shows include Street Outlaws on Discovery and The Ultimate Fighter on Fox Sports 1.