Zack “Nibre” Fannon, the creator behind VR mods for Alien: Isolation and Halo Master Chief Collection (MCC), has been hired by 343 Industries, the studio in charge of the Halo franchise.

Fannon announced the change in his Twitter profile recently, which was first noticed over on the ResetEra forums. He now lists himself as an Engineer working on Halo MCC at 343 Industries, a property of Xbox Game Studios.

This comes nearly one year after Fannon went mostly radio silent with updates to the Halo mod ‘ReclaimerVR’, which seeks to bring unofficial VR support to the entire MMC (Halo 1–4 on PC).

Back in early 2020, Fannon attracted attention from the Halo studio in a profile piece, which may have been instrumental in his hiring. There, he revealed his long-term fascination with modding Halo, and ongoing pursuit of finally playing the classic Halo titles in VR.

I really, really wanted to play the classic Halo games in VR. At the time, I had just started developing things for the Oculus [Rift] DK1 and then DK2, so I was eager to virtually explore the colossal environments of Halo. This obviously wouldn’t be possible to do on the original games themselves, so I used what I was learning to start working on a makeshift Halo VR world-viewer, built with Unreal Engine 4. After working on it off-and-on for a year or two, I had a good proof-of-concept that worked with Halo 2 and Halo 3 maps, though it required a bit more pre-processing to get the data in a UE4 useable form than I’d like. It was a good experimental learning project to keep coming back to and improving on but wasn’t really prepared for a release yet.

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Continuing, Fannon says he then found himself working on MotherVR for Alien: Isolation, which helped by teaching him how to reverse engineer a game from scratch, a skill he’d later user when tackling MCC when it was released on PC in 2019.

Fannon now says ReclaimerVR is however “on ice for the time being.” It’s uncertain whether he is developing VR for 343i, but if they’re looking for someone capable of porting the classic titles to VR, they’ve found the right person.

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Well before the first modern XR products hit the market, Scott recognized the potential of the technology and set out to understand and document its growth. He has been professionally reporting on the space for nearly a decade as Editor at Road to VR, authoring more than 3,500 articles on the topic. Scott brings that seasoned insight to his reporting from major industry events across the globe.
  • Joe Chase

    I’m glad someone realized his talents and brought him on board. The Alien Isolation Mod is still one of my favorite experiences in VR. I can’t wait to see what Zack can do for VR with a team and a proper budget.

    • Jonathan Winters III

      Sadly, I doubt he was hired for his VR skills. More likely for his software engineering skills and passion for the Halo franchise. Microsoft has shown zero interest in developing games for consumer VR, except for their tiny lame Halo VR experience years ago, although the recent Doom 3 VR port for PSVR gives a glimmer of hope Microsoft will start to get more into the VR game development.

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      • care package

        9.5 out of 10 developers show zero interest. Why I gave up on VR. Got tired of all the A to AA games all based around the damn motion controls. My best VR experiences were the unofficial VR games.

  • Diego Cesaretti

    could this indicate some form of interest from the Xbox team in VR? an xbox series with vr support via thir party (oculus??) would be killer…

    • fakaff

      Won’t be oculus. I will sooner see them implementing windows MR API so they have a range of headsets available at release.

  • Diego Cesaretti

    i mean with apple and sony jumping on board (even Nintendo has some kind of vr) they are the only ones left behind

  • Wild Dog

    Well, I hope it works out. If he manages to equip all the MCC games with Full VR, I’d probably buy the rest of the library myself.

    And I think Microsoft actually deserves a fair bit of credit too. Can anyone see Nintendo hiring a talented modder? I hope they see this and get the hint.

    • david vincent

      Yeah no, Nintendo are more prone to sue modders than to hire them…

  • dextrovix

    I too wish Zack all the best, I just wish he’d release the source code as he originally promised, so others might be able to improve on MotherVR, or at least learn what he did to create it.

  • Good luck to him, this hiring is well deserved!