343 Industries have announced that a free version of Halo 5: Guardians’ mapmaking toolkit, Forge, will be coming to Windows 10 PCs later this year. Tom French, UGC Director at 343 Industries, had this to say in the official release:

Forge on the PC will finally give the mouse/keyboard editing precision the community has always been clamoring for. On top of that, an updated and optimized UI geared towards mouse interactions makes a lot of the inputs in Forge easier/faster than before.

Since we released Forge in Halo 5 we’ve seen so many amazing new things come from it – from weird mini-games we could have never anticipated to meticulously crafted maps that are even approaching the visual quality of internally built maps. The team has continued to wonder what we’d get if we could put Forge in the hands of as many people as possible, and making it free on Windows 10 literally gives the chance to anyone who wants to jump in and try their hands at building a cool new map for Halo 5. I’m excited to see what the future content from the community will bring!

This move comes after such PC releases as Gears of War: Ultimate Edition for Windows 10, Quantum Break, and the newly released Forza Motorsport: Apex beta. It will be the first time since 2007 that any portion of a mainline Halo game has arrived on PC (discounting Halo Online, which had a limited released only in Russia).

Without any further details it’s difficult to know what can be expected from Forge – Halo 5: Guardians Edition, but the promise that users will be able to “test and play with friends” is certainly suggestive of some form of (likely limited) custom game multiplayer.

Perhaps a more interesting question is whether we can expect a full game release of Halo 5: Guardians to Windows 10 sometime in the near future. Gears of War: Ultimate Edition for Windows 10 released six months after its Xbox One counterpart; seven months on from the October 2015 release of Halo 5: Guardians and this doesn’t appear very likely. But one can dream, right? And certainly the chances of Halo 6 being released on PC has just risen as well.

We will continue to bring you more news on Forge – Halo 5: Guardians Edition as it develops.