Halo Boss Admits "Mistakes" After Taking Over From Bungie

Bonnie Ross isn't shying away from admitting 343's mistakes.

28 Comments

Halo boss Bonnie Ross, who heads up developer 343 Industries, has spoken candidly about the transition from Bungie to Microsoft and some of the stumbles along the way. Speaking to VentureBeat in an interview from December that we were recently made aware of, Ross said 343 "made some mistakes along the way," and that overall, taking over the development reigns from Bungie has been a "very humbling experience."

She didn't mention any specific struggles by name, but no doubt the launch challenges for Halo: The Master Chief Collection, which 343 previously referred to as a "black eye" for the franchise, are among the "mistakes" that Ross is talking about.

Ross went on to say that 343 not only considers what's best for the Halo franchise as a universe, but also how the studio interacts with and responds to fans. Halo as a universe belongs to the fans as much as it does to 343 itself, Ross said.

"The whole team looks at this as not just our universe. It's the fans' universe," she said. "How are we doing right by the fans? How are we doing right by the franchise? It is a part of our culture, this precious, precious world, and we're responsible for taking care of it. And we want to do it right."

Indeed, 343 has demonstrated a willingness to do right by Halo's fans, one example being the team's ongoing commitment to expanding and improving upon Halo: The Master Chief Collection.

Also in the interview, Ross talked about how there are countless more storytelling opportunities within the Halo universe. As fans may know, Halo 1, 2, and 3 take place over a period of time of only three months. As such, Ross said she's excited about how many more stories there are to tell in the Halo universe.

"The fictional universe is huge. I looked at Halo as a universe, which is the most important character," she said. "We spent a ton of time in the early days of 343 just expanding the canvas, or framing the world in which we could tell stories and making it larger, adding more characters such that we could tell stories over the next two decades."

"I feel like it's such a large world and universe and there's so much stuff we can we can do so I kind of I have my dream job," she added. "I feel like there's so much more work to do and super excited about all the things we’re doing going forward."

Some of Halo's upcoming projects include the new Xbox One and PC game, Halo Infinite, as well as the TV show. "There's a lot more Halo stories to tell. It's such an amazing universe," Ross said.

Ross will be honoured as the latest inductee to the AIAS Hall of Fame at the D.I.C.E. Awards next month in Las Vegas.

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texastitan123

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I haven't played a Halo yet that I haven't enjoyed. Halo 2 remastered was my favorite followed by Halo 4. Halo 5 is probably the worst Halo, but its still a decent game. To me it was time to retire Bungie from the franchise. Bungie has done nothing spectacular since. I look forward to many more Halos to come.

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spiddyman007

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Only halo I played front to back was reach. That’s good enough for me

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nintendians

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can't beat the original developers.

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Moonco

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Moonco  Moderator

Kill the franchise off or get someone in charge who knows what they are doing.

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IcelandicHossi

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Edited By IcelandicHossi

Bonnie Ross sucks, how do you ruin Halo after Bungie built it up>>>????

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xHedon

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@icelandichossi: Bungie was letting Halo disappear. They left us with the absolute worst rated Halo ever, Halo 3 ODST, and that was an abomination.

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IcelandicHossi

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@xhedon: halo odst bad???? the ONLY reason some people did not like it was because they said 60 bucks for what looked like a campaign DLC from Halo 3 was a bad deal. that was it. Majority of people love the story, gameplay and characters

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xHedon

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@icelandichossi: lol nope. Not only was it bad it’s the worst Halo on metacritic

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fafafanta

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@xhedon: Halo Reach was the last Halo game Bungie made, and Halo 3 ODST was pretty good imo.

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xHedon

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@fafafanta: ah my bad. ODST was ass though and is the absolute worst in the series.

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EvilTyger

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Edited By EvilTyger

Halo 5, Killing Covenant leader felt like a let down. (it's like someone forgot there was supposed to be a boss fight...)

Still got the 'AI' forgets to follow you bug in H2, and it got worse. (and I loved trying to keep my whole squad alive through Delta Halo)

2 • 
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srfilk86

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I thought they did a great job with Halo 4. Not very many devs can take up an existing franchise and do it that much justice.

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samrvdman

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Halo 5's campaign was awful and having to fight the same boss over and over was repetitive and unimaginative. Halo 5 felt and looked good. Multiplayer played better than halo 4, but the halo 5 maps were all garbage.... Hopefully Halo infinite plays as smooth and as well as halo 5, but has a great story, with big set piece battles, and well designed multiplayer maps

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bigcrusha

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Bungie did make an expansive universe yes, but what they had that 343 doesnt is focus. Above anything else, Bungie's Halo philosophy revolved around 3 questions "are you a faceless badass? Are you fighting an interesting and colorful variety of aliens? Are they fun to shoot at?" 343 focuses too much on building upon what was already there, trying to turn Halo into an uninspiring Sci-fi melodrama. The result is unimaginative promethean weapons that mirror human weapon archetypes, uninspired promethean enemies that are a chore to shoot and a story fans can't care about. Hell, halo 5s bossfights were a testament to their garbage design philosophy.

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Vodoo

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@bigcrusha: I agree. Fighting the Prometheans is not fun at all. They have no character, like the Covenant do. They feel like a generic enemy after being built up to be something extraordinary.

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bigcrusha

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@Vodoo: Right on, I can go on for days about questionable design choices. Like how Bungie never attempted to contextualize any of Halo's multiplayer elements within the story. Multiplayer always existed in a separate reality from singleplayer where as 343 felt players need a "grander reason" for why they fight other Spartans, like spinning Infinity slayer and Warzone as a "training simulation" to cover behind the shitty decision to add Ordinance and Req into the game.

You can easily spot the changes in design philosophies by watching both Bungie's and 343i's ViDoc's side by side. Story came second, every design choice Bungie made had maximum 100% fun in mind. Where as Bonnie Ross and 343 kept talking about "grander epic" tales which tell the deeper story about the "man behind the mask". The overdone Sci-fi lego looking powersuits and overdrawn aliens and environments, tryna' flex that Microsoft budget slider to max is ultimately what put the franchise into the state it is now.

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santinegrete

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Edited By santinegrete

Well at least their debut project, Halo 4, was good. If it ended as bad as MCC, that could been a blow nor studio, MS or even Xbox brand could have shrugged off easily. I can't say about MP, since I don't play that (and I heard it is very divisive towards there).

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Barighm

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@santinegrete: Was it? All I remember is a multiplayer that lost all of its soul and became a bland headshot simulator and TERRIBLE Promethean levels. The Covenant levels were fun, but that's about it.

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129260

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How about you do us a favor and dump halo which you clearly cannot get right, and make a new IP?

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PeterRoberts123456

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Halo 3 was awesome. Since then halo has deteriorated consistently into the same mindless rubbish. They had better come up with something better with infinite. It seems they have no idea. I expect nothing new from infinite. Shame.

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onehitta323

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It was all downhill after halo 3. Halo 5 was just terrible. The master chief collection was basically unplayable for months after release. I still remember how terrible that game was. The ship sailed a long time ago. Not looking forward to any upcoming Failo games.

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sangzeel

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Edited By sangzeel

Good thing they are admitting their mistake. Now how about fixing it as early as possible. Let bungie build new Halo games for xbox only(no more PC). This will bring xbox back on track for sure. At least one game for this gen console and rest for next gen console. Same goes for EPIC games GoW series. Come on MS give us some good news before E3.

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Barighm

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@sangzeel: Assuming they can convince Bungie and Epic to come back.

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xHedon

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@Barighm: God no, Bungie is complete garbage now. They were mostly garbage at the end of their role at MS, and then turned into entire garbage at Activision.

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PrpleTrtleBuBum

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Edited By PrpleTrtleBuBum

except their frame for the universe sucked. the first 3 were excellent campaignwise but halo4s promethean robots, lego planets and im gonna take over the world main boss were just terrible. and then theres halo 5...

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redhedjack

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I'll wait n see how Infinite turns out before handing over my faith.

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Barighm

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Edited By Barighm

Gee, you think? I've only been saying as much for years.

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ZZoMBiE13

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@Barighm: Same. It's been very frustrating watching 343 take fertile ground and salt the earth with their foibles. Foibles that were mostly avoidable to anyone who wasn't willfully tone deaf to what used to be the Halo community.

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