Without Halo, Xbox Live may not have survived. That's according to Bungie studio manager Harold Ryan, who recounted the run up to Halo 2's launch in a GamesIndustry International feature published today, which is 10 years to the day after Xbox Live debuted on November 15, 2002.
"I think Xbox Live wouldn't have made it. I don't think the Xbox would be where it is today without Bungie and without Halo," Ryan said. "As a group, we provided both technical and creative guidance and thought leadership that really pushed the limits. We weren't just a game developer using the service. We were integrated in the design of the service and how it worked. Systems for groups and matchmaking and skill ranking were all things that were pushed the furthest and the hardest by us.”
Xbox Live has grown significantly since its debut in 2002. The platform currently boasts 40 million members, with Xbox Live Gold users logging an average of 84 hours on the service per month. Additionally, games are only one part of the service.
Microsoft announced in March that gamers in the United States spend more time with Xbox Live entertainment applications like Netflix and ESPN than they do playing multiplayer games.
Microsoft is even sending select Xbox Live subscribers a free custom Xbox 360 console to mark the service's 10-year anniversary.