343: Next Halo will be 'much better'

Franchise director Frank O'Connor says 343 Industries "made a lot of mistakes" with Halo 4, but overall the game "wasn't half bad."

Halo 4, the first numbered entry in the series developed outside of Bungie Studios, won praise across the board and generated $220 million in day-one revenue. Despite this success, developer 343 Industries said that it suffered a handful of setbacks with the game, promising future entries will be better.

"We have a lot to learn. We made a lot of mistakes. We can do better," Halo franchise director Frank O'Connor said in a retrospective blog post. "And we know this, and we will."

O'Connor said there were a "ton" of things 343 wished it had done better with Halo 4, including the implementation of features that didn't make it into the final game, various glitches that surfaced, "DLC fiascos," and communication breakdowns.

The developer didn't only focus on the negatives in the blog post, admitting that "for a first effort, [Halo 4] wasn't half bad." Bright spots during the development of Halo 4 included the formation of a tight-knit development team and the overhaul of the game engine, he said.

O'Connor further explained that stepping into Bungie's "oversized" shoes would have been a challenge for any developer, noting the venture "terrified" the team at the onset. However, as the studio grew and 343 Industries began to feel comfortable, those fears were quelled, especially once Halo 4 finally hit shelves in November.

"We altered the engine. We expanded the universe. We innovated in storytelling, technology, and even marketing. It wasn’t flawless by any stretch of the imagination, but by most objective criteria, it was a resounding success," O'Connor said. "So we know we have a lot to do. And we know we have a lot to learn. But we also know that we now have the capacity, the teamwork, the technology and the experience to do much better next time."

O'Connor didn't lay out any specific plans for the future of the Halo brand, though he specifically stated that 343 Industries is capable of doing something "genuinely amazing" on next-generation hardware. Microsoft has previously confirmed Halo 5 and Halo 6 by way of announcing the Reclaimer Trilogy. Additionally, Microsoft has been openly hiring for a next-generation Halo title since July 2012.

A next-generation Xbox is rumored to hit store shelves this fall.

Written By

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and would like to see the Whalers return to Hartford.

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307 comments
kingcrimson24
kingcrimson24

halo 4 wasn't half bad ? hell it was amazing , best halo since halo 2 . can't wait for next one 

zachv1
zachv1

Man yeah I agree halo 4 is probably the worst halo to date in the series the things that made me hate it were the Prometheans, the didact  and the way they portray the forerunners in the open and tearing through all the mystery and lore about them in the universe, the portrayed relationship between master chief and cortana which went from a mother and daughter type relationship to oh cortana my virtual girlfriend, also the use of spartan ops where they reused mp maps and the game-play was repetitive with all armor unlocks looking the same, and burrowing other elements from other games. Halo 4 could have been alot better but it just wasn't a true a successor to one the greatest fps of all time halo 3, and halo 5 might be better but considering the fact they have less time to make the game and there is going to be a 5 and a 6 I've pretty much moved on 343 needs to either make a halo 2 remake or another halo featuring sgt johnson or open world that totally breaks the formula other than that I've moved on to destiny. Halo 1&2 were amazing, halo 3 was the best successor ever, odst gave us a whole other story with a new hero paving a new path, Reach thrust us into noble six showing us another story of beloved spartans,  bungie paved the street for the halo franchise but it appears 343 still hasn't walked across it. Unless 343 makes another formula breaking halo other than 5 and 6 then it is nothing more than a cash cow franchise Microsoft is coming to use for the xbox one

Thurston97
Thurston97

This is just terrible, gaming is my hobby and now it's crushed

papasthegreat
papasthegreat

its was about time that 343 accept that  Halo 4 was an totally fail failed the true gamers of Halo disappointing all of this people ho waits for a along time for the 4 chapture

solidsnake7882
solidsnake7882

WEll I thought they did amazing with Halo 4 so I am excited that they want to improve on what I thought was near flawless.

funkymonk72
funkymonk72

To be honest this game messed up so bad i'm not willing to pay for a sequel up front. I loved halo especially 1 & 2  and wars/odst at the time they were released but seriously the "altered engine" and i'm talking about physics made it feel like i wasn't playing as a spartan, The expanded universe was awful prometheans are the worst enemies  they've made in game combat repetitive and also the way that the "expanded universe" was held together by convenient story telling. Multiplayer felt like playing call of halo like it had some tiny fragment of what made it awesome left with allot less game modes. Halo if it's to continue needs 2 things 1. A company that cares about it and it's fans  (before and after releases 343)  2. Time to to be made into a great game that sets the bar high like it used to. To be honest i traded halo 4 in for Farcry 3 and i'd rather follow Bungies next project 

CricK0es
CricK0es

Sometimes I enjoy the game, but I don't particularly like it or love it. It is called Halo, looks like Halo and plays a bit like (Halo CE-3) but it isn't the same because I feel they have implemented      certain qualities from other games such as COD; so preferring to iterate rather than innovate. Personally, I feel Halo 5 could one of the best yet if they just listened to the community and took a step back towards their roots... eg Halo 3. But I doubt that will happen because most game developers only seem to create for money rather than love for gaming and its community. Sorry.... rant over :) 

Paper_Mario_4
Paper_Mario_4

There is no "next Halo"

343i has destroyed the franchise to me. 

perfect_chao
perfect_chao

Well so many Halo games, i have to say back in 2002 when i got an Xbox first off with Halo and MGS2 bundled with it i got really bored of Halo and didn't find it exciting.. MGS2 however i really got into, i liked that game a lot.

at the time i had either 256k broadband or 512k and also had Soldier of Fortune 2 on my PC which was awesome fun online, needless to say it was TONS more fun than Halo, i even bought halo 3 on my rarely used 360 and found it boring.. so moral of the story for me is to never touch a Halo game again.

Ever since i got into PC's i just struggle really badly to play FPS games on consoles, besides the fact i found Halo boring, the last games i ever enjoyed that were FPS on console were Goldeneye 64 and Perfect Dark, both of which i played tons. Half life and Left 4 Dead are much better nowadays on PC, and way more fun than a Halo game, single player and multiplayer wise.

I may look to PS4 for certain next gen games, i really only use my Vita and 3DS now apart from my PC.

SpardisJX
SpardisJX

Glad to hear 343 Industries is looking to improve on things they thought were flawed, which was few and far between in my opinion.  This definitely has me excited for the future of the Halo series.

TrueProphecy22
TrueProphecy22

Spartan Ops was an atrocity... but I really enjoy the rest of the game.  


I'm not the biggest fan of the rotating game modes... and I really miss team snipers and rumble pit.


One thing this game really needs is more maps.  I really wish they'd just open up the backlog of multiplayer maps, I don't care if they're retextured or not.  That, unfortunately, is never going to happen.

AP3Xoblivion
AP3Xoblivion

So humble, and I personally felt like the did wonderful things with a franchise I enjoy.  The story telling was quiet good for a FPS.

RenikoSeika
RenikoSeika

It better be. I'm really disappointing with how 4 turned out. I enjoyed the story line of it, although it seems I'm like the one in a hundred who did, but the actual gameplay, and MP, was rather shocking. Spartan Ops had potential, but it was let down by a number of factors, including the actual feel of the game and that it's built for a four-man party, and doesn't scale the difficulty and spawns for less people.

LtCmdrShepard
LtCmdrShepard

I hope so. Halo 4 is by far the worst Halo game for me and i thought one of the previous ones were bad. Sure its fun to play but the Campaign story totally sucked and Multiplayer feels like a step down from Reach.Still they did a good job. Since Halo 3 theres still a new Halo game every year and its not the same recycled game every time that Call of duty is.

godzillavskong
godzillavskong

Great game and it deserves much praise. Can't wait to see the Halo series on Microsoft's next gen platform,

blaze_craze
blaze_craze

i just wanna say i disliked the low number of maps on the big team deathmatches (thats like the only mode i play), and i thought spartan ops was lame

Arsyad00
Arsyad00

yes, it will be `much better` when it is ported to PC.

Kunasha
Kunasha

"Hey guys we've won dozens of video game if the year awards. Sorry our game sucks!"

I don't play Halo, but surely they're not being fair on themselves?

Shahnil
Shahnil

IMO studio 343 blew away bungie. This was for me the best single player experience.

darkfox3
darkfox3

This is probably the 2nd best if not best halo game. 

1. Maps Maps Maps.  Why am I playing only 3 maps in the is game? F off to these MLG style mape and make something like Zanzibar or at least something with character. Heck how about  just something fun. Why not just throw every map from every halo game in? 

2.You need a better way to find custom games,maps, etc. embrace your audience don't just go and make Halo 5 fix what you have now.


eternal_blade3
eternal_blade3

Hey, add four-player Firefight. That'd be awesome. What'd be even more epic is "Forge-able" Firefight maps...

Vodoo
Vodoo

Imo, this was the best Halo game since Halo 1 & 2. The single player blew away any previous offerings. 343 just embarrassed Bungie. They, 343, also made the game so much better looking by taking the realistic looking route instead of Bungies' cartoony look. 

MoonlightJust
MoonlightJust

Next one better be better,  considering how meh this one turned out.  I won't try to say it was bad,  but it certainly wasn't anything spectacular.

Meta_Dragon
Meta_Dragon

If  i want endless sequels, i'll play COD. Don't be Activsion, Microsoft.

damo320
damo320

343 messed up matchmaking search with Join in Progress, got rid of good connection search and screwed the netcode so badly that off host international connections equal pathetic hit detection.

Considering I only buy Halo games for the multiplayer (as do majority of guys on my friends list) this was a massive fail. Most of the guys I know won't even buy the next game because this one was so awful for MP. 

xboxps2cube
xboxps2cube

all you guys Im looking at your comments... all of them have the "ed" at the end... Lov(ed) Lik(ed) thats the problem with this game... not  the fact that was good... it was a game you play and dont go back afterwards.. including the multiplayer thats why the company is saying the next one will be better

AlexFili
AlexFili

I'm guessing Sanghelli got the raw end of the deal yet again

dkdk999
dkdk999

That gives me hope for halo 5.

franky111
franky111

I honestly loved it, but I'm happy to see a self-critical developer for a change. Glad that Bungie didn't take that with them but instead rubbed it off on 343...

Bioware, on the other hand, RUINS an entire series, knows they screwed up, but refuses to admit it. 

thekken
thekken

@papasthegreat It wasnt a TOTAL fail. It certainly was a commendable effort. I'm thinking this was a set-up for the 2nd and 3rd in the reclaimer trilogy.

thekken
thekken

@funkymonk72 Your comment became moot the seconnd you said you loved halo wars/odst.

TriggerManX97
TriggerManX97

@TrueProphecy22 I feel the exact opposite, I thought the campaign was boring and the competitive multiplayer was a major disappointment mainly because it was too similar too CoD, However Spartan Ops was great It was the only reason I actually continued playing after I finished playing the main Campaign.

vault-boy
vault-boy

@LtCmdrShepard If you thought the previous games were bad why would you ever want to play the new games? Its not like they are revamping the formula, just altering it.

erix43
erix43

@Arsyad00 

NO chance in hell for Micro$oft. C'mon man, it's a CONSOLE SELLER. DUH. 

vault-boy
vault-boy

@Kunasha No designer ships a game with everything they wanted to do done. From Half Life to Ocarina of Time every developer on that game never got to squeeze in 'that one more thing' and they are never able to be 100% satisfied with their game so you can see how it can be hard to not be critical of your work. Not to mention they seem pretty damn humble about their creation.

erix43
erix43

@Kunasha 

That's called a "good design team." They are never impressed. Good designers evolve as Halo 5 will. I can't wait. 

vault-boy
vault-boy

@Shahnil I think they did a much better job on the story and I feel like if they fix all the big and obvious issues they can make Halo 5 the best Halo to date EASILY.

damo320
damo320

@darkfox3 I doubt they can fix the thousands of issues which exist with the online component of this game. The patch would a very large download indeed. I think Frank knows this and hence he wants to move on to Halo 5 and then he can start pretending that the mistakes of Halo 4 didn't happen.

damo320
damo320

@Vodoo In terms of replay value single player Halo accounts for about 5 - 15% of the games lifespan. What is a massive fail is the horrendous multiplayer which plays badly on national hosts and is completely unplayable on international host. When you add to this 343 unwisely removing good connection search options you are left with a game which is unplayable beyond campaign. 

You need only look to how sharply the online numbers in that game are dropping to see just how badly 343 have performed on the MP side.

godzillavskong
godzillavskong

@MoonlightJust High standards much? I thought this was easily the 2nd best halo title to date.

CTBradums
CTBradums

@xboxps2cube Honestly, that's basically how the game turned out for me. I played through Campaign, played a little multiplayer, did a little Spartan Ops, and stopped. After a while of thinking, "I need to play Halo 4", I realized that I honestly wasn't that interested in the multiplayer like I was for Halo 3 - or even Reach, for that matter.

And the more I read about how imbalanced and crappy a lot of people kept saying the multiplayer was, it really just killed that tiny remaining desire to play more. The storyline was interesting, and there was more detail to the characters and storyline than ever before, but that's about all I really liked about Halo 4. I give them credit, and I'd take this over CoD any day, but it's not the epic that we remember Halo to be. At least CoD's multiplayer is amusing, even being the glitchy garbage that it tends to be.

SpyLiam
SpyLiam

@TriggerManX97 @TrueProphecy22 

spartan ops had its ups and downs, like the story was good but didn't really connect to halo at all, and the spawning was horrible either too close or too far away, but then i agree with campaign and multiplayer, too much like cod and wasnt played fairly through all countries 

damo320
damo320

@vault-boy @Shahnil The biggest mistake they made was bypassing having a public beta of the games multiplayer. There are so many things that could have, and should have, been addressed prior to this game shipping. 

So I strongly disagree with the idea that 343 blew away Bungie overall. On multiplayer Bungie are in front of 343 by worlds. Bungie's Halo Reach had the most robust net code of all the Halo games. You could only possibly make this comment in relation to single player where 343 did lift the bar somewhat. But considering multiplayer is the only frequently replayable part of the game 343 have failed to make a game with an adequate lifespan. The Halo 4 online population now is what Halo Reach was after 2 years before Halo 4 came out and its only been 3 months.

If 343 arrogantly decide to bypass a beta again there isn't a chance in hell I'd pre-order another fail lagtacular crapfest that is Halo 4 multiplayer.