343 Industries: “We Will Make This Right With Our Fans”
“We have not delivered the experience you deserve,” wrote Bonnie Ross, 343’s head, yesterday. “I personally apologize for this on behalf of us all at 343 Industries. Our team is committed to working around the clock until these issues are resolved.”
Spartan-117’s debut on the Xbox One has been nothing short of disastrous. Halo: The Master Chief Collection’s multiplayer suite, featuring over one hundred maps spanning four main installments, is riddled with matchmaking issues, UI bugs, and has prevented a majority of players from accessing the online components that the series is famous for.
A patch targeting these problems was released late last week but for many, myself included in the ranks, its affects are minuscule with several of the same key issues like long matchmaking times, failed sessions, and uneven rosters still rampant.
“Within 343 Industries and Xbox,” writes Ross, “I can assure you that resolving these issues is our #1 priority.” Both sides of the fence are apparently prepping a slew of content updates meant to improve the title’s dismal state. Ross is careful to note that her team won’t just be analyzing data from the controlled server environment at 343 but will be studying how improvements are working with “fans at home."
"Our primary and continued focus is first on fixing the issues at hand. Once we’ve done that, we will detail how we will make this right with our fans.” Sounds like free DLC to me.
Given the game’s high profile and Xbox’s posturing for it to be the Holiday console seller, The Master Chief Collection’s problems have overshadowed fellow broken-out-of-box releases like Drive Club, which suffered crippling server difficulties, and Assassin’s Creed Unity, a game so riddled with bugs it’s not uncommon to see NPC’s without a fucking face. You know you’ve got a crisis on your hands when people can forget that horror long enough to be angry at your game.
Halo 2 Anniversary’s Reworked Cutscenes Get Their Own Trailer
343 Industries main feature of The Master Chief Collection is undoubtedly the HD-ified remake of 2004’s Halo 2. Among the inner-workings being remodeled and reconfigured, the game’s prominent cinematics are getting the 2014 treatment.
Overseen by Blur Studio, the visual effects team responsible for space-bound portions of Avatar, the...
Halo 5: Guardians is a bigger effort than Halo 4. That applies to the content and scope of the game, as well as the technology in what’s now a brand new and more powerful engine. Certainly there are some core elements carried over from prior games, but we’ve invested a huge effort in retooling our tech to take full advantage of the Xbox One’s hardware and ecosystem to create worlds and experiences worthy of next-gen.
Halo’s Reclaimer Trilogy Upgraded to a Saga
Seems like the Xbox One is heralding much more than just two more numbered Halo’s. Powwowing with GameSpot, Microsoft Studio’s VP, Phil Spencer, teased bigger plans are in store for the Master Chief. “While we originally said trilogy, we’ve actually expanded this to more of a saga,” said Spencer, “So we don’t want to limit the Reclaimer story within a trilogy.”
Once the FPS franchise was under 343 Industries’ wings – a development studio specifically formed by Microsoft to create and oversee all media labeled “Halo” – Halo 4 was announced to be the first act in a new arc of the main series dubbed The Reclaimer Trilogy.
To catch you up, Master Chief himself has been ominously referred to as “The Reclaimer” within Bungie’s original three games. Halo 4 set up a greater emphasis on the Master Chief as a character by revealing that his destiny plays a larger part in the fabric of the series’ universe than just his role as a military grunt mowing down waves of Covenant. This is reinforced by the implication that (spoiler) his fate has been manufactured by the fabled Forerunners through eons of manipulation (To what end? Well, now we have to wait a whole saga to find out).
Now rebranded as the Reclaimer Saga, 343 has stated, “…We don’t want to limit our plans to a trilogy,” adding, “Our ambitions for the franchise are even broader than that." They do, however, promise the main plot line of the Reclaimer Saga will follow the traditional beginning, middle, and end storytelling structure. Personally, I feel plans for a mainline trilogy are still well in place, but fans should expect several satellite titles (likely a mix of both FPS and other genres) that dart in and out of the Reclaimer story. Think Spartan Ops on a grander, multi-game scale.
As for the unnamed Xbox One Halo trailer shown off at E3, Phil Spencer rejects the notion that it was for a Reclaimer spin-off, calling it a "legitimate” installment…which, of course, makes me want to refer to games like Reach and ODST as illegitimate kids. We’re still not calling it Halo 5, apparently, but Spencer confirms it is the next Halo planned for release.