Halo Wars 2 is a real-time strategy (RTS) video game developed by 343 Industries and Creative Assembly. The game was published by Microsoft Studios and released in February 2017 on Windows-based personal computers (PCs) and the Xbox One video game console. The game is set in the science fiction universe of the Halo series in the year 2559, and is a sequel to the 2009 video game Halo Wars. The game sees the return of the human crew aboard the UNSC warship Spirit of Fire and introduces a new alien faction known as the Banished. A war between the two factions ensues on the Ark, a Forerunner installation. Gameplay in Halo Wars 2 builds upon the foundation established by its predecessor; players construct a base of operations and command armies from a bird's-eye view of the battlefield.