We’ve had several official sources(Frank o’ Conner, GrimBrotherOne, and even the head of Xbox) confirm Halo 3: Anniversary isn’t happening. Even given that Frank has a history of denying H2A before it was announced, it’s a bit unusual that even the head of Xbox has weighed in on the matter. For the time being I still believe it will happen, because of several reasons that I will list below.
Halo 3; Right on the edge of graphics
So, we’ve all noticed this, I’m sure. Most games today haven’t aged that much - not JUST because of the shorter passage of time, but also because games have become so close to the real world visually that it can’t age that badly(after all, it’s not like the real world constantly has graphic upgrades). Even Halo 3. Compare it to Halo 2 just before they announced Halo 2 Anniversary. Halo 2 definitely aged. Look at Halo 3, though. It hasn’t aged nearly as badly as Halo 2 Anniversary, despite the same amount of time passing after release. That being said, Halo 3 was right on the edge; it’s still aged, but not as badly. With Halo 3 being the last main-trilogy Halo game to not be natively HD, it’s graphics reflected that. A Halo 3: Anniversary(like CEA and H2A) will give it that boost, where it crosses the threshold of aging too badly, meaning H3A would be the last game to require an anniversary. (Heck, even ODST somehow hasn’t aged as much as Halo 3 did.)
Finish what you started
Halo 3 was the final entry in the original(main) trilogy by Bungie. A trilogy, the one place where “third wheel” ISN’T a bad thing. With 343 Industries having released Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary and Halo 2: Anniversary, it would simply feel utterly incomplete without a Halo 3: Anniversary right alongside it. Halo 3 is the most logical stopping point for the anniversary editions, especially as the last non-HD game.(at least, natively).
Halo 3 - out of place
Halo 3, with the release of CEA and H2A, is the most visually dated Halo game to date. Pretty crazy, huh? Well, that also means that for the occasional re-playthrough of the franchise, Halo 3 looks out of place. Playing through CEA, then H2A, then Halo 3, Halo 4, and Halo 5, Halo 3 feels like the odd one out. Plus, a lot of the later additions to the art-style(everything from a few Halo: Reach grunt armors to the not-perfectly-carved needler needles) are completely excluded from Halo 3 - lending an odd sense of in continuity. Halo 3: Anniversary would of course resolve this.
Sound - remastered
The sound and music in Halo 3 has felt a bit out of place - even as Halo: Reach released. It’s quieter, non stereo-mixed, and while it does avoid traditional gun sounds, that might be one of it’s big downsides.
MCC? Not a problem
Remember how CEA released? It was a remastered campaign alongside Halo: Reach’s multiplayer on six classic Halo: CE maps. I didn’t have a problem with that. They don’t need to completely recreate Halo 3’s multiplayer weapon-for-weapon, power-up for power-up, stat-for-stat, they just need to give us six classic maps in Halo 5’s multiplayer and the custom games can do the rest. (Especially since Halo 5 players already want some classic remakes). Halo 3 Anniversary does not need to be held back by the MCC’s shortcomings.
343 wouldn’t have to touch it, they can focus on Halo 6
Both Halo: CEA and H2A were only overseen by 343 Industries, while Sabre Interactive remastered the campaign, and Certain Affinity designed the multiplayer, and the maps. 343 Industries had a little more hand in H2A because of the MCC, but if H3A releases as it’s own product, that won’t be an issue. Heck, if Sabre Interactive wanted, they wouldn’t even have to create new models; they could just use what they did for H2A.
Blur could do the cutscenes
Considering how few(albeit impressive) cutscenes were in Halo Wars 2, Blur had plenty of time to work on Halo 3(especially since a couple of HW2’s assets were from H2A) - especially given that they could, like Halo Wars 2, simply use Halo 2: Anniversary assets for Halo 3: Anniversary.
One more reason why I personally believe it’s coming:
With all that out of the way, let me take some time to remind you(or inform you in the first place) that Mega, the company responsible for the Halo: Mega Construx line of collectors building sets, has already had a few classic Halo 3 sets leaked - one with a shade turret and two Halo 3 armored Spartans(Scout and CQB), and a line of figures of characters from Halo 3: A brute bodyguard, Cortana(and 343 Guilty Spark), Sgt. Johnson, H3 Master Chief, H3 Arbiter, and the Prophet of Truth. It’s not unusual for Mega to get information early; the MegaBloks Phaeton was seen before the Phaeton was announced in-game.
Tell me, since when does a merchandise company make tons of new, dedicated plastic molds for an old game, for the sake of celebration, when it doesn’t tie directly into something more official and first-party?( Mega hasn’t given us classic-armored Elites ever since Halo 4 was announced(the only exclusion being the Elite Honor Guard, which was more for Halo Wars 2 - which happened to use an H2A design), so why are they suddenly giving us a dedicated Arbiter mold? Something that people won’t buy a dozen of to make an army out of? Something that the un-informed won’t even recognize without official media to remind/introduce them?) What kind of world would we live in if the people at MegaBloks/Construx were simply more celebratory and festive than 343 Industries was?