343 Industries has only had 2 major projects released since becoming stewards of the iconic Halo video game franchise. One was the very impressive Halo 4 on the Xbox 360 just before the new generation of consoles came into effect, and the other was Halo: The Master Chief Collection, a collection of every first-person shooter Halo game to date (except Halo: Reach) jam-packed into one game. As many of you will have heard, the latter was a pretty disastrous experience for everyone, the primary culprit being significant matchmaking and network issues. So much so that 343 Industries Franchise Development Director, Frank O’Connor, has admitted that “Halo: The Master Chief Collection is definitely a black eye for us”.
It was no small task to combine all these games, but 343 Industries persisted. “I will say that the nature of The Master Chief Collection – you’ve got five different game engines, you’ve got different studios working on it, you’ve got 343 working on putting it all together – the footprint and complexity was outrageous,” O’Connor said. But the real question is should we be scared for Halo 5, the next Halo chapter due later this year? Naturally, O’Connor was eager to dispel any doubts.
“Halo 5 is being made by a completely different team. It’s a singular product. It was built from the ground up for this new technology, rather than being sort of dragged kicking and screaming from 2001 and forced and shoehorned into a 2014 console. The problem spaces are still very challenging but they’re radically different. I think the beta is already a decent first step, in a retail environment, showing that we don’t have the same problems.”
I guess only time will tell. Halo 5 is due out on October 27th on Xbox One.