Microsoft trademarked the name "Halo: The Endless" in the early morning of Thursday, Dec. 3.
The filing was first caught by Aggiornamenti Lumia (@ALumia_Italia) and then later picked up by Tom Ivan, a reporter for VGC. The trademark was last updated Dec. 7 — barely 24 hours before the launch of Halo Infinite.
According to the public information listed on Justia Trademarks, the name has to do with "entertainment services, namely, providing on-line computer games; online entertainment in the nature of computer game tournaments; conducting online contests; arranging and conducting competitions via the Internet in the field of video games," and so on.
Below, we've explained some ongoing speculations — including our own guesses based on the information available regarding the trademark.
Microsoft Moves to Trademark "Halo: The Endless"
From the publicly-available information, it appears that "Halo: The Endless" could be directly linked to an esports competition of some sort. Halo Infinite's multiplayer mode has already been released for free at the time of writing. However, no organized competition or similar league has been put together by 343 Industries or Microsoft, itself. Could this be the beginning of an elite competitive grouping for the top percentile of Halo players?
Halo: The Endless could also be a separate DLC package for the game, considering the trademark also applies to "downloadable game software; computer game software; video game software," and more. There are a variety of "endless" modes in similar games where players are pitted against recurring waves of enemies indefinitely. If that's the case, however, why bother extending the name specifically into a competitive space?
Even with our limited knowledge of trademark law, this seems akin to a Chekhov's Gun situation. But for now, Halo: The Endless' true meaning remains mysterious.